THIS year’s Davao Ngilngig Film Camp ran from September 7 to 9, 2018 at Malagos Garden Resort, Calinan, Davao City, and was packed with activities from day one until finish. The mentors were resident Pasalidahay members Bagane Fiola, Glorypearl Dy, and Jay Rosas, and guest filmmakers Jeffrie Po (director, Ang Ikaduhang Pagbalik, 2017), Raya Martin (director, Smaller and Smaller Circles, 2016), and Sherad Anthony Sanchez, (writer-director, Salvage, 2015) who all gave key talks on searching for ngilngig stories, recreating them into film, and how to pitch them effectively.

The story-pitching session and the production of each camper-crew’s brainchildren consumed almost two days of the event. Volunteer-actors, some of them already award-winning, were even brought in to help the campers realize the characters in their films. The pressure was indeed heavy on the 16 campers, who knew that all of their film outputs will premiere in the Film Camp Bloc in the Davao Ngilngig Film Festival slated on October 26 to 30, 2018 and will be featured in Malagos Garden Resort’s Mga Handuraw sa Baul on October 27, 2018. At the end of the three-day camp, four films with distinct ngilngig voices were produced.

At the close of the camp was, memorably, a jest: “Class picture ‘sa! Pina-Battle Royale!”. The suggestion had caused quite a laugh, as it was known to almost everyone that the film, adapted from a 1999 novel by Koushun Takami, was a dystopian thriller about ninth graders who were captured and forced to kill each other in an isolated island. But the echoes of the campers’ laughs that night seemed like very telling sighs—of relief, triumph, and perhaps, strangely, of surrender to the claws and joys of filmmaking.

Ngilngig Festival 2018 is organized by Pasalidahay with Balud Art Network, Global Shapers Community Davao, Micromedia Digital Video Productions, Origane Films, Pinoy Movie Blog, Swito Social Innovation Hub, The Panagtagbo, Timewrap Film Productions, and in partnership with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Midtown Printing Co., Inc., Cinedashery East / Midtown Films.

The Festival is also sponsored by Malagos Garden Resort and Balik Bukid Farm and Kitchen, National Commission for Culture and the Arts or NCCA, SunStar Davao, and supported by Art Portal: Gallery for Contemporary Art, Balay Amakan, Dhanstore, Energy FM 88.3 Davao, Morning Light Art Gallery and Shop, and Revere.