“Bringing Filipino Films to Filipinos”
The Sineng Pambansa encourages the creativity of the filmmakers in the Philippines. Through the National Film Festival, deserving projects from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will get a chance to share their stories through film making. This aims to showcase the vitality and the complexity of our country’s cultural heritage through film. In this competition, we will see the works of the new generation film makers.
For this year’s National Film Festival, there are 6 Full Length Features and 3 documentaries entries. The National Film Festival 2012- Ikalawang Yugto was held at the SM Lanang Premier, Davao City on November 22-24, 2012.
The National Film competition was graced by 9 talented and brilliant filmmakers. They have been through a lot of struggles and tests before they were able to come up with their respective masterpieces. The first hurdle that these filmmakers faced was the budget. As this is an independent-produced film, money plays a very crucial role in the process. Most of them prioritized food for their cast and crews. Other expenses such as travel expenses and talent fees are also being considered. But being a filmmaker, they also have the talent to scavenge and find their own means to cut the expenses. Most of them asked their family members and friends to become a cast of the film for free. If talent fee is needed, they can only offer an amount lower than the indie-film rate. These projects have survived the monetary requirement under a very limited budget.
Aside from the money matters, our filmmakers are up for the challenge to come up with a project that could offer something new to the viewers. Aside from using non-actors cast (due to budget constraint), what we could expect to their films is the honest portrayal of their subject matter. They invested so much on their characters and the story itself.
Choosing of subject is not about their own respective niches. Our contenders have opened their mind to new possibilities and new information that they could convey to the audience. After all, the reason why they joined filmmaking competition is to communicate their subject and not only to impress the viewers.
Aside from the variety of subjects and genre of entries, our contenders have also their own influences with regards to filmmaking. From the book authors like Bob Ong to Hollywood movie directors like George Lucas, these great influences nurtured our writers and directors to come up with these brilliant entries. Most of all, it’s the passion that brought them all together in this competition. The objective to influence the viewers and to have the sense of empowerment is just few reasons why the National Film Competition was a success.
Here are the 6 entries for Feature Film
Anac Ti Pating
Written and Directed by Martin Masadao
“Anac Ti Pating” happens in one school year from June to March. Sixto Mangaoang is a Math wizard in Grade 5, he however also has the penchant for drawing and writing. For his English Class project, Sixto decides on writing a short story for children about a shark living in the forest in the Cordilleras. Sixto ‘comes-of-age’ in this school year, he develops a friendship with his neighbor, the retired Dr. Rayos, who encourages Sixto to strive hard to pursue his dreams. Sixto also befriends his Korean neighbor, a boy about the same age as he, despite their awkward first meeting. Sixto experiences first love. Sixto stands up to the school bully. Sixto discovers the truth about his birth”
Written and Directed by Aimee Apostol-Escara
“A bitter curse sets off a collision course with the lives of two girls in a remote town in Iloilo. Ana, a young paltera (midwife), is forced to deliver a baby whose birth is cloaked in mystery. Lila, living in isolation with her mother, makes a dangerous journey across the mountains to buy salt from the nearest town. There, she unravels the dark horrible secret that doomed her to a life hidden from the world.”
Written by Sigfreid B. Sanchez and Directed by Sigreid B. Sanchez and Racquel Z. Sanchez
“Two aging couples, a linear film editor (Noel Trinidad) and an ex-dubber (Tessie Tomas), part ways at the twilight of their years to see what's missing in their lives. The woman finds comfort in a school janitor (Ronnie Lazaro) who she sees as having a parallelism to her life. The man, in attending his high school reunion, gets an interest in a 20 year old barrio lass who is the daughter of his bestfriend (Jun Urbano). The film, which stars the members of the 80s defunct gag show "Champoy", is also a tribute to the last days of linear editing in the Philippines and the men and women who once work in this department of the film industry.”
Written and Directed by Dominic Lim
“Bobet is a junk shop owner in a dingy garbage town at the outskirts of Manila where everything and everyone thrown away by society resides. He is joined by an overly dramatic mother fueled by telenovela antics, a blind sister with super-hearing powers, a childhood sweetheart with roller coaster mood swings, and a riff raff cono best friend among other equally wacky individuals that litter the streets of Purok Ocho.
Bobet discovers superhuman strength and trash manipulation capabilities and becomes…Kapitan Basura, at your service. Tumatanggap din po ng labada.
Each successful feat of Kapitan Basura elevates him to more fame but not necessarily fortune. Nevertheless, Bobet continues to battle crime and avert disasters. Meanwhile, the nation is plagued by an unknown creature randomly devouring facial treatment patients in all hospitals owned by the mysterious but alluring Dr, Chupacabra Sanchez.
In this trippy and useless comedy, we see the rise and fall of a superhero amidst a society of filth, garbage, and poverty.
This year’s crappiest and trashiest film. Truly, a magnificent work of garbage.
Kapitan Basura. The hero Manila deserves, but not the one it needs. Ever.”
Limang Dipang Tao
Directed by Eseng Cruz
“13 individuals, 13 lives. Based on the song of Ryan Cayabyab, of the same title, this film talks about the different conflicts and realities of the Filipino individual.”
Written by Agustin Pagusara
Directed by Benji Garcia
“YEAR 1967. Anton was a student of the Lyceum of the Philippines taking up a course in Political Science, while working as a clerk in a furniture factory in Caloocan City. He showed extraordinary writing skills which qualified him to become part of the editorial staff of the school paper. He also got involved in activism in those years approaching the decade of the 70s.
Spurred by nationalist ideals he took initiative in organizing a workers union in the factory he was employed in to counter the company union formed by the factory owner. This angered the owner who soon started to conduct “union busting activities” that resulted in the violent death of one of Anton’s union members. Anton’s own life was endangered.”
For the Documentary Category:
Ang Babae sa Likod ng Mambabatok
Written and Directed by Lauren Sevilla Faustino
“Ang Babae sa Likod ng Mambabatok unravels the multiple layers of the almost mythological figure-living legend, Fang Od, a 92 year old woman who has been called the ‘Last [Traditional] Tattoo Artist of Kalinga.’ The first layer of the story is the one she is most famous for-being a tattoo artist. At her eyes, she continues to exhibit sharpness and precision in the very demanding art and skill of tattooing. The second layer shows her many stories as woman who has reached the age of looking back. She regales us with stories of her many suitors, of her youth, the dancing and the feasts. She also looks back with not just a tinge of regret that she never married nor had children of her own. Her body covered in tattoos is a landscape on its own mirroring the map of a woman who has chosen wittingly or unwittingly a road diverging from convention and in the process became a culture-bearer.”
Written and Directed by Sheron Dayoc
“Chasing Fireflies focuses on the narratives of young female children who were victimized by human trafficking and their eventual captivity to child prostitution.”
Ang Pagbabalik ng Bituin
Written by Sheryl Manalastas
Directed by Sherbien Dacalanio
“Ang Pagbabalik ng Bituin tells the story of Estrelita “star” Saco, a teenager who has been employed as household to help in Manila for close to ten years. Every so often, Star pays a visit to her hometown of Cabadbabaran, Agusan del Norte. Everytime he visits, she is treated as a star by the townsfolk- not because she is a celebrity but because of the gifts that she brings: DVDs.”
For every competition, there is a sole Victor. Here is the list of minor and major awards given to the winner last November 24, 2012 at the Awarding Ceremony at SM Lanang Premier
Best Artistic Contribution for Music: Huling Byahe
Best Performance by an Actress: Tessie Tomas (Huling Byahe)
Best Performance by an Actor: Deuel Raynon Ladia (Anac Ti Pating)
Special Jury Prize: Malan
Grand Jury Prize: Huling Byahe
Grand Festival Prize: Anac Ti Pating
2nd Prize: Chasing Firelies
First Prize: Ang Babae sa Likod ng Mambabatok
Best Documentary : Ang Pagbabalik ng Bituin