Int’l Film Fest starts this week in GenSan

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews /26 Nov) – The first SalaMindanaw International Film Festival (SIFF) opens Tuesday in General Santos City with a film on Andres Bonifacio and will close on Saturday, November 30, with a forum also on Bonifacio.

The Festival will run from November 26 to 30, 2013 at the Robinsons Movieworld Gensan Cinema 4 and other venues.

The opening rites will be held at 10:30 a.m. on November 26 followed by the showing of the film “Prologue To The Great Desaparecido” by Lav Diaz.

“Prologue” is an introduction to Lav Diaz’s most important upcoming feature film, ‘The Great Desaparecido’, which questions Truth and History around Philippine Revolution and Independence.

The film’s synopsis says that on May 9, 1987 a few months after Andres Bonifacio led the Philippine Revolution, “Bonifacio was charged with death sentence by rival revolutionaries led by Emilio Aguinaldo. Bonifacio’s body has never been found. His wife, Gregoria De Jesus, searched for his body in the mountains for thirty days, calling for Andres and even spirits to help her find her husband.”

In the afternoon, “House of Memory: The best of Philippine short films” will be shown along with “
The Great Cinema Party” by Raya Martin/Philippines (out of competition).

Teng Mangansakan, SIFF 2013 Festival Director, had earlier explained that the Festival “is anchored on its mission to be a mirror (salamin) of peace (salam) in Mindanao, thus the name SalaMindanaw.”

Mangansakan said that for the Festival’s first edition, they shall be presenting feature films by Filipino and international directors alongside short films by budding Mindanawon filmmakers in five competitive sections – main competition for Asian full-length films, Asian short films, the Mindanao short films, as well as the General Santos Inter-School Film Competition and Sarangani Open Film Competition.

The best film in the main competition shall be awarded the Golden Sambolayang Prize, while the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Prize shall be awarded to the film that best exemplifies the Asian spirit and vision. The Royal Durian Award shall be given to a filmmaker who has greatly advanced Southeast Asian cinema in the world stage.

Eight films are competing in the main competition. Constructors by Adilkhan Yerzhanov / Kazakhstan; With You, Without You by Prassana Vithanage / Sri Lanka; Mother by Vorakorn Ruetaivanichkul / Thailand; Sayang Disayang by Sanif Olek / Singapore; By The River by Nontawat Numbenchapol / Thailand; Jazz in Love by Babyruth Gutierrez / Philippines; War is a Tender Thing by Adjani Arumpac/Philippines; and Liberta by Kan Lume / Singapore.

On the second day, on November 27, filmmakers from the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) will meet at the Sun City Suites to “identify common issues relating to film in the BIMP-EAGA region, present and analyze the status of film production, marketing, financing and distribution in the member countries, determine and initiate a market for film and television content that meets the cultural sensitivity of the region’s population, create platform for film tourism, and discuss possible cross-cultural collaboration and mutual audiovisual development initiatives that can be undertaken among stakeholders in the region.”

The BIMP-EAGA meeting is in collaboration with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) and expects to draw in film professionals and government representatives from the BIMP EAGA countries are expected to attend.

The Festival will end on November 30 with a forum on “The Image of Andres Bonifacio in Philippine Cinema” at 8:30 a.m. at the Audio-Visual Room of the Mindanao State University-Graduate School .

The Forum intends to “dissect the cinematic representations of the Philippine national hero and present the various processes of translating history into cinema and how their results have lead us to our understanding of history and nation building.”

This Forum in being presented by Salamindanaw International Film Festival in collaboration with the SOCSKSARGEN Sociological Society and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Bonifacio.

The Forum’s panelists are Dr. Nicanor Tiongson, Member, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino; Teddy Co, Film Historian and Curator; and Raymond Red, Film Director and Cinematographer. (MindaNews)