Three short films from northern Negros Occidental were selected for the exhibition section of Cinemalaya 2020, the Philippines’ biggest independent film festival.
These films were “Ang Tumuluo”, directed by Aldrich Rosano, from Cadiz City; “Paon” by Seb Valdez, and “Buding, Ang Babayi Nga Naglutaw” by Mark Raymund Garcia, both from Sagay City.
The films were selected under Cinemalaya’s Indie Nation Shorts Section, along with 23 other films from around the country, from more than 200 entries that were submitted for the festival.
“AngTumuluo” (The Devotee) tells the story of Thea, an increasingly disillusioned member of the Church and her struggle with her lover and co-devotee Seva, set against the backdrop of the waning years of Marcos’ Martial Law.
Rosano’s film is one of the grantees of Cine Kasimanwa and Department of Tourism-Western Visayas under the Western Visayas Film Grants Program last year.
“Paon (Bait),” the winning film in Sagay City’s film festival in February, is about a series of disappearances in theHimogaan River because of an alleged Mermaid living beneath it. The people feared this except for Andoy, 34, a lonely fisherman who still lives by the riverbank.
Before reaching Cinemalaya, the film bagged six awards duringSagay City’s Margaha Film Festival, for Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Director, and Best Picture.
Meanwhile, “Buding, Ang Babayi Nga Naglutaw” (Buding, The Woman Who Floated) is about three people who went to a police station to report a rather unusual incident: a woman is seen floating inside her seaside home.
Garcia’s film was the winner of last year’s Sine Negrense: Negros Island Film Festival and Cine Kasimanwa: Western Visayas Film Festival. It received 17 awards from two film festivals and was part of the 2020 Cinema Rehiyon, the largest gathering of regional filmmakers in the Philippines.
Garcia is a former Visayan DAILY STAR business writer.
Other films from Western Visayas include “Saliwat” by Jay Palmares, “Utwas” by Richard Salvadico and Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay, which is part of the 10 films in competition in the festival.
This year, Cinemalaya is screening all the films online through Vimeo onDemand(https://vimeo.com/ondemand/cinemalaya2020standard/443535144?autoplay=1). It will run on August 7 to 16.*