Celebrating 100 years of Philippine Films in Mindanao

PHILIPPINE Cinema filmmakers, students, school faculty and staff, and film enthusiasts in Cagayan de Oro City have gathered in Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan on a two-day conference as part of the celebration of 100 years of Filipino film artistry.

The Mindanao leg of the Sandaan: Philippine Cinema Centennial Conference-The Filipino Film Centenary Expedition (TFFCA), which was held on November 16 to 17, involved a series of lectures on the history, culture, and legacy of the Philippine Cinema over its first 100 years.

According to Hobart Savior, Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts (XCCA) director who is also the representative of the National Committee on Cinema in Mindanao, the Sandaan is to make people aware that the film is “really creating a better republic, a very effective tool for awakening consciousness and awakening interest to help our republic a better one.”

“And where reflections and mirrors and hammering about societal issues, calling to actions to respond to many of our socioeconomic political issues. And I think film as an art or as a medium is very effective,” Savior said.

The two-day conference comprises lectures such as: Guerrillas in the Midst: A Narrative on the Role of Mindanao Cinema in the Digital Age by Mr. Dax Cañedo which was presented by Savior; The Resurgence of Cebuano Cinema by Ara Chawdhury, a filmmaker in Cebu; Loving Cinema but Not Living It: Reading and Teaching Reality and Artifice by Prof. Tito Valiente, a member of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino; and Philippine Cinema, A Century Hence by Dr. Patrick Campos, director of the University of the Philippines Film Institute.

“Our audiences will be told how to really look into the context on how cinema surges and emerges and how cinema is actually a very important environmental aspect that goes along with our lives,” Savior said.

“And at the same time, it is also very significant where para bang ang pelikula rin ay hindi lamang siya entertainment but it also gives you a lot of instruction, a lot of hammering reflections, so yun yung point,” he added.

The event also had film screenings of Filipino movies that have defined national issues at the time of their premier: “Zamboanga,” starred by Fernando Poe Sr. and Rosa del Rosario, and directed by Eduardo de Castro; and “Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria,” starred by Donna Gimeno and Daday Melgar, and directed by Remton Zausola.

Through the Sandaan, it is expected that a lot of aspiring filmmakers and producers will emerge, the XCCA director said, adding that they’re also looking forward to more film critics and writers who could support the Philippine films through reviews and promotions.

Savior is also hopeful that a Film Development Council will be created in Cagayan de Oro City, like the one in Davao City, as he dreams of having the area known as the culture and arts city.

“Our Xavier Center for Culture and Arts could really be a very good potent and essential organization or institution to help the city to develop its landscape on culture and the arts and the promotion of all arts, hindi lang (not only) film. So we can have perhaps Cagayan de Oro as a culture and arts city,” Savior said.

Sandaan: Philippine Cinema Centennial Conference-The Filipino Film Centenary Expedition is spearheaded by the Film Development Council of the Philippines and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, through the National Committee on Cinema.

The project, as part of the three-year celebration of the 100th year of Philippine Cinema, is intended to last until 2019.


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