THIS year, 16 films selected to chronicle the stories of filmmakers across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao amid varying restrictions and alert levels during the pandemic in the country will take center stage at The Eksena Cinema Quarantine: Covid-19 Filmmakers' Diaries 2.

The organizer, in a statement, said this year also marks the culmination of the centennial celebration of Philippine cinema.

As continuation of the first Eksena Cinema Quarantine (ECQ), the National Committee on Cinema, a sub-committee of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), initiates the second ECQ, which will feature two omnibus films out of the 16 selected films.

Sub-Committee on the Arts (SCA) and National Committee on Cinema (NCC) chair Rolando Tolentino said they continue to support the efforts of filmmakers from the regions to persevere in their craft and public, make films in the hardest of pandemic times, and thrive as productive filmmakers in spite and despite the pandemic.

"It is the NCCA's contribution to spur the continuation or sustainability of filmmaking practice among regional films," he stressed in a virtual presser Friday, February 11.

In its second year, the University of the Philippines Film Institute professor said, the Eksena Cinema Quarantine is not only a showcase of the best of regional filmmaking but more so, a testament to Filipino filmmakers' commitment to film as art and Philippine society.

These 16 films were made by filmmakers, namely, Joseph Andrew Abello (Not a Short Film), Roberto Acusar Jr. (PangamutGayd), Reyan Christian Amacna (Pinitik), Ara Mina Amor (Pisti Pandemic), Mervine Anjelo Aquino (Palengke Day), Brian Jonathan Bringuer (Mel), Demie Dangla (Things I'll Tell You), Jean Claire Dy (Ritual of Affliction), Christopher Gozum (Agno: Memories of a Forgotten River), Xavier Axl Roncesvalles (Anima Sola), Jarell Serencio (Paris sa Akong Kasingkasing), Alyssa Mariel Suico (See Us Come Together), Kevin Van Sulitas (My Day), Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay and Richard Jeroui (Mga Handum nga Nasulat sa Baras), Hubert Tibi (Ilog Bikol), and Jasper Villasis (Sampung Minuto).

Tolentino said these filmmakers have established themselves via full-length films, short films, or a combination of both.

"We are happy to bring in 16 films by filmmakers representing the regional clusters in the country to be premiered soon not just in the local audience but also the international audience provided by our online platform," he added.

The sequel project is still in partnership with the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod and NCCA's National Committee on Cinema. It aims to contribute to the development of Philippine cinema by curating omnibus feature-length films in the time of Covid-19.

Also, to be able to document the individual and collective experiences of artists, cultural workers, Filipinos, and the Philippines in the midst of a global health crisis.

"We thank our partners for helping us out to offer our modest contribution also to the Filipino public who are also in dire need of sustaining art in their everyday lives," he added.