Davao film makes it to Paris

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 06 December) — A film produced by homegrown Alvertus Film Production about the journey of a person with disability (PWD) in Davao City is among the films featured in the 13th Signes De Nuit International Film Festival from November 26 to December 10, 2015 in Paris, France.

The film, “Ang Baril ni Polding nga Walay Pulbora” (Polding’s Gun with No Gunpowder), was produced in 2014 by independent filmmaker Alberto Egot Jr. as his entry to the 10th Mindanao Film Festival last year where it won “Best Documentary.”

Egot said his film was later screened in last year’s Cinema Rehiyon in Cebu City where it took the attention of Axel Estein, the curator of the annual international film festival.

Egot’s film joined seven other films from the Philippines featured in the Paris festival: Happy New Year by Joseph Israel Laban, Wawa by Anj Macalanda, Junelyn Has by Carlo Francisco Manatad, Sky is Everywhere by Ralph Aldrin Quijano, Handumanan Sa Usa Ka Salida Badlis sa Kinabuhi by Ivan Karol Martinez, Lisyun Qng Geografia by Petersen Vargas, and Swirl by Petersen Vargas.

“I was so surprised knowing the caliber and achievements of the other chosen Filipino filmmakers. They have been competing in Cinemalaya and others are full time filmmaker,” he told MindaNews on Sunday.

He said he is honored that his film is among those featured in the filmfest.

Polding’s struggle

Polding is a PWD (person with disability) who survives the perils of the street on a wheelchair as his home, begging for alms.

“Polding and his twin brother are physically disabled. Arms twisted. Locked joints. They walk with the help of their hands, exposing them to bacteria and other diseases. With the help of some good Samaritans, they were provided a temporary shield which they call their homes – a customized wheelchair with a roof. Underneath is where their stuff are kept. They are usually parked on San Pedro street near the church and City Hall of Davao,” he said.

His brother, who suffered from similar physical condition, died a month after he was confined in a hospital for an untreated phlegm.

Though the two have families who live in the city, they were overwhelmed by shame and opted to live on their own to avoid becoming a family burden.

“At 37, Polding’s twin brother died. He said his brother was a hard drinker and a smoker… He couldn’t afford to stop him from the happiness he was enjoying because happiness itself, for them, is rare and expensive,” the press release on the film said.

“Now, Polding is alone. At night, when heavy rain pours, he has to install a tarp around his mobile home. With his condition, he usually gets wet first before he can finish covering his vulnerable home. Fever and cough are his buddies. They come and visit him most of the time,” it added. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)