12 'Sine Halaga' films underscore cultural values

NEGROS. Filipino cultural values will take center stage at the online Sine Halaga Film Festival that will open Wednesday, August 25, 2021. (Contributed Photo)
NEGROS. Filipino cultural values will take center stage at the online Sine Halaga Film Festival that will open Wednesday, August 25, 2021. (Contributed Photo)

HIGHLIGHTING cultural values mainly through video on demand platforms, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), in partnership with the Negros Cultural Foundation (NCF), is showcasing 12 films during the Sine Halaga Film Festival opening Wednesday, August 25, 2021.

NCCA Executive Director Al Ryan Alejandre, in a virtual press conference Tuesday, said since the start of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, they have seen how values play an integral role in the lives of every Filipino.

Alejandre said volunteerism, compassion and fellowship shown through the countless community and personal initiatives of the citizens have proven how essential they are in the national recovery.

"Our film-makers, our artists, were able to convey authentic and aspiring Filipino stories guided by the values that mark a resilient nation," he said, adding that "I am proud of what our finalists have achieved."

The online film festival will open at 6 p.m. Wednesday and will be broadcast live on Facebook. It marks the world premiere of the 12 films on Vimeo OnDemand and the NCCA Learning Resources Hub website.

The films include Bakit ako Sinusundan ng Buwan directed by Richard Legaspi, Black Rainbow directed by Zig Madamba Dulay, Dandansoy directed by Rod Arden Condez, Hadlok directed by Ralston Jover, Looking for Rafflesias and other Fleeting Things directed by James Allen Fajardo, and Lorna directed by Noel Escond.

The six others are Masalimuut Ya Tiyagew Ed Dayat directed by Jan Carlo Natividad, Mina's Family History directed by Christopher Gozum, Sa Balay ni Papang directed by Kurt Steven Soberano, Salog ning Diklom directed by Jordan Jose Dela Cruz, Ugbos ka Bayabas directed by Manie Magbanua Jr., and 13 Feet directed by Carlo Obispo.

Film Festival Director Elvert Bañares, who also spoke at the virtual press conference, said the films will be made available to the public for free.

"This is for every Filipino around the world," he said.

The film festival tackles 19 Filipino values identified from a two-year research conducted by the NCCA to uncover insights on what Filipinos value at present.

These include personal values such as the value of the self, life, and purpose, resilience, happiness, and social values such as good governance, love for country, honesty, and integrity.

Bañares emphasized that each film was written to reiterate the importance of these Filipino values while depicting local customs and practices.

Sine Halaga Film Festival also comes with an educational component wherein the films will be used for classroom education.

"It is what makes Sine Halaga unique from other film fests - the films used as a tool to teach Filipino values," he said.

Bañares added that they are organizing a series of webinars and preparing study guides to aid our teachers in discussing the films to their students.

"With the help of our teachers, we can effectively articulate the values that each film conveys," he also said.

At least 100 entries from hopeful filmmakers nationwide were screened by the Sine Halaga jury during the selection process.

Of the number, only 12 stories were chosen, and we're awarded funds for production.

The jury includes NCCA Committee on Cinema Chairperson Rolando Tolentino, film critic and educator Tito Valiente, award-winning Filipino filmmakers like Jeffrey Jeturian, Roy Iglesias, Sari Dalena, National Study on Filipino Values author and lead researcher Arvin Villalon and co-author Jose Soliman Jr.

Sine Halaga organizers believed that streaming the films online is an effective way of reaching the younger generation to empower them with values that are positively Filipino.

For updates and more information on Sine Halaga, follow @SineHalaga on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Vimeo or send an email to sinehalaga@gmail.com.


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