Davao indie film sweeps Cinema One fest

“Ang Huling Baylan ng Buhi” (“The Last Baylan of Buhi”) won Best picture, Director, Best Scriptwriter, and Best Screenplay. It was also nominated in four other categories, including Best in Editing, during awards night at Teatrino in Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila

The cast informed was also bestowed the best ensemble citation for their performance, according to Jelieta Ruca, a member of the cast.

The film was directed and written by 22-year-old Sherad Sanchez, a Davaoeño. Veteran actor Bembol Roco and Davao-based media personality Marilyn Roque led the cast.

The film tells the story of a tribal priestess famed for her supernatural powers facing a miraculous event that threatens to destroy her tribe's heritage, culture and religion which she has zealously protected.

A feature length movie shot in the Davao highlands, the film is produced as one of the participating projects of the Cinema One originals. The film is one of the alternative movies partly financed by Cinema One, which would be featured at Skycable's premiere Filipino movie channel and will also be shown nationwide in SM cinemas.

Sanchez has directed short films shot in Davao that had been exhibited and won acclaim in film festivals around the world.

Working with a production crew, including volunteers, mostly from Davao, the film was produced with tight a budget.

Sanchez is one of seven independent filmmakers picked by the Filipino cable movie channel for the 2nd annual Cinema One Originals.

Each filmmaker received a P700,000 production grant to compete in a screening festival in all SM Cinemas in October. The films would be screened later in Cinema One.