Serna: 233 films in Cinemalaya

FINALLY, the anticipated “invasion” of indie films in Cebu via the 12th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival will start four days from now. On Tuesday, the festival will open with the screening of two competition films in the full-length feature category.

As mentioned in a previous column, these are Dagsin at 6:15 p.m. and Lando at Bugoy at 9 p.m. The other competition films vying for the Cinemalaya Award in the Full-Length Feature category are Ang Bagong Pamilya ni Ponching, Hiblang Abo, I America, Kusina, Mercury Is Mine, Pamilya Ordinaryo and Tuos.

The 10 entries competing in the Short Feature category are Ang Hapon ni Nanding; Ang Maangas, Ang Marikit at Ang Makata; Bugtaw; Butas; Fish Out of Water; Forever Natin; Get Certified; Mansyong Papel; Nakauwi and Pektus.

“Break the Surface” is this year’s Cinemalaya festival theme. Cris Millado, Cinemalaya Festival director and vice president and artistic director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), came to Cebu for a huddle with the media for the film fest.

He said Cinemalaya is very thankful to the Ayalas for partnering with them through the years. Aside from the main venue of the film fest which is the CCP, the movies will be shown at Ayala Cinemas in Greenbelt 3 and Glorietta in Makati; Fairview Terraces, TriNoma and UP Town Center in Quezon City; Solenad, Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna; and, of course, Ayala Center Cebu.

So far, the production of 127 full feature independent films and 106 short films has been supported and promoted by Cinemalaya, many of which had won awards in local and international competitions and festivals.

Through the annual festival, Cinemalaya has showcased over a thousand works by independent filmmakers including full feature films, shorts, documentaries, Filipino film classics and art films.

***

The Province of Cebu celebrates its 447th founding anniversary this week, starting with the opening ceremonies last Monday. The ongoing Tabo sa Kapitolyo was opened right after the flag-raising ceremonies.

Other activities were the Wellness Day, contests in comical skits, singing, poster making and a quiz bowl. Tomorrow, the anniversary date itself, a holy mass will be celebrated followed by lunch in respective offices and the anniversary program.

The Ironman 70.3 Philippines championships on Sunday is part of the celebration. The remaining activities are the Farmers’ Day (Aug. 12), Anniversary Futsal Tournament in the City of Naga (Aug. 13 and 14), Inyo Ang Kapitolyo (Aug. 15), Media Night (Aug. 26) and the Capitol Anniversary Run and Local Job Fair (Aug. 28).

***

The recent birthday celebration of Gani Villarojo, one of the members of the popular Cebu quartet Sakdap and the proprietor of Soundtraxx Production Studio, suddenly became a showcase of talents after the dinner.

His good friends from way back his school days attended and performed in the impromptu program, while his wife Gloria was all over the venue assisting in attending to the guests.

His only daughter Katrina Issabela wrote a poem which was read by program host Sam Costanilla. After the performance of the celebrant’s friends, the band George took over and played the celebrant’s favorite songs.

Gani himself said that it is a memorable occasion that he’s going to cherish in the years to come.

***

After the event, respected and sought-after choreographer-director Junjet Primor asked if the town of Oslob will still be holding a festival on its fiesta in December.

I told him that in an informal chat with the new mayor, Hon. Jose Tumulak Jr., the official divulged that the town’s barangay officials requested for a “break” this year considering the barangay elections preceding the fiesta.

The break will afford the town officials to decide whether to revive one of the two festivals or organize a new one. Junjet himself said that Oslob’s Sadsad Festival (including its jingle) is one of his favorites and hopes that it will be revived.

Before the Sadsad Festival was made the town’s fiesta cultural highlight by former Mayor Emelito Abines, it started as the Poblacion’s festival when he was still the barangay captain of the Poblacion.

Two years ago, one of Cebu Province’s oldest festivals was revived by the incumbent barangay Poblacion officials and it will be staged again on Aug. 20 as a highlight of the feast of Senyor San Roque.

At least six puroks will be participating plus a guest contingent from Hotel Sebastian. Happy fiesta, Barangay Poblacion! Viva Senyor San Roque! Sadsad, Oslobanons!
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