13 films to compete in Mindanao’s only int’l film fest

A total of 13 films will vie in the third edition of SalaMindanaw International Film Festival from November 18 to December 2 in the cities of General Santos and Cotabato.

Six films will vie in the Festival’s Asian full-length competition. These are Chasing Waves (Charliebebs Gohetia, Philippines), Under Construction (Rubaiyat Hossain, Bangladesh), Jalanan (Daniel Ziv, Indonesia), Snakeskin (Daniel Hui, Singapore), River of Exploding Durians (Edmund Yeo, Malaysia) and Crescent Moon (Ismail Basbeth, Indonesia), festival director Teng Mangansakan said.

Meanwhile, seven films will compete in the Asian short film section. These are Elegy (Yousef Kargar, Iran), When The Boats Come In (Khin Maung Kyaw, Myanmar), Man in The Cinema House (Bernard Jay Mercado, Philippines), The Cat and The Orange Seeds (Nguyen Le Hoang Viet, Vietnam),  November (Shane Lim, Singapore), Following Diana (Kamila Andini, Indonesia) and The Young Man Who Came From The Chee River (Wichanon Somumjarn, Thailand), he said.

The Festival will open with an exhibit at SM City Gensan on November 18 called Fluid Boundaries – Bridging Central Mindanao and Southeast Asia Through Cinema.

The exhibit will feature a photo exhibit of films made in Southwestern Mindanao in the last 10 years as well as in neighboring Southeast Asian countries that share common images and issues forming a unique film iconography and discourse. It is co-presented by the Department of Tourism XII.

Mangansakan noted that with the exception of Bangladesh and Iran, all films in the lineup are from Southeast Asia.

“On our third year, the Festival’s programming is closer the vision of SalaMindanaw, which is to make the Festival a platform for Southeast Asian cinema,” he said.

He cited that with the start of the Asean economic integration next month “cinema can bridge Southeast Asia and bring its people closer”.

He noted that “General Santos and Cotabato are strategic locations for regional cinemas across the east ASEAN region due to its proximity to other regional film hubs such as Davao and Zamboanga in the Philippines, and Palu and Makassar in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Cotabato is also the seat of the regional government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao”.

Mangansakan also announced that SalaMindanaw is also organizing this year the inaugural Mindanao Screen Lab.

He said the undertaking is in partnership with forumZFD, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Mindanao State University General Santos.

The Screen Lab aims to provide emerging Mindanao filmmakers hands-on training and project development sessions that will transform ideas into films, he explained.

Mentors include award-winning Filipino filmmakers John Torres and Sherad Anthony Sanchez and Singaporean auteur Kan Lume, he said.

SalaMindanaw is the first and only international film festival in Mindanao. It is organized by the Mindanao Center for the Cinematographic Arts or Mindanao Cinematografica. (MindaNews)