MANILA, JUNE 29, 2012 (INQUIRER) By: Marinel R. Cruz - Award-winning director Brillante Mendoza (photo) and United States Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. are the special guests at the 2012 Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival which opens tonight in Davao City.

The five-day festival is the flagship program of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). It will run until July 3.

A special screening of excerpts from Mendoza’s latest film, “Thy Womb,” a joint project of the FDCP and Mendoza’s CenterStage Productions, will highlight the opening night.

“Supporting local film festivals is as important as participating in international fetes … FDCP has helped me a lot in making ‘Thy Womb,’ I am just returning the favor,” Mendoza, who won the 2009 Cannes best director award for “Kinatay,” told the Inquirer. “I believe in Briccio (Santos, FDCP chair). He’s an action man.”

“Thy Womb,” shot on location in Tawi-Tawi, features internationally acclaimed actress Nora Aunor in the lead role.

According to executive director Teodoro Granados, the festival will screen 17 films selected from the National Film Competition, which the council initiated last year.

“(The contest) received about 120 entries consisting of full-length features, documentaries and animated shorts from all over the country. These finalists were given seed money to finish their films,” Granados said in a statement.

The films will be screened at SM City Davao, Abreeza, G-Mall and NCCC Mall, he added.

Also part of the four-day event is the inauguration of FDCP’s Davao Cinematheque, which was donated by the city government headed by Mayor Sarah Duterte.

Granados said that a commemorative statue of the late National Artist for Film Lino Brocka will be unveiled at the Cinematheque’s inauguration tonight.

The statue was designed and executed by Filipino sculptor Jonas Roces.

The feature films in the festival lineup are John Raymund Macahilas’ “Ang Mga Aswang,” Sigfreid Barros Sanchez’s “Ang Mga Kidnaper ni Ronnie Lazaro,” Ronny Poblacion’s “Beadworks,” Najib Alyhar Benito-Zacaria’s “Duwaya,” Peter Solis Nery’s “Gugma Sa Panahon Sang Bakunawa,” Fyrsed Alsad Alfad III’s “In Bangka Ha Ut Sin Duwa Sapah,” Jocelyn Banasan-Kapuno’s “Kanana Kanu,” Agustin Pagusara’s “Malan,” Gutierrez Mangansakan III’s “Qiyamah,” Ed Lejano’s “Qwerty,” and Orvil Bantayan’s “Tambara.”

The documentaries include Lester Babiera’s “Bulig,” Dominador Escasa Jr.’s “Jingle Lang ang Pahina,” Pepper Melencio’s “Illustrated By” and Dempster Samarista’s “Taguri: The Kites of Sulu.”

The short animated films are “Kalon” by Blecyrezza Piluden, and “Si Pagong at Si Matsing” by Carmen del Prado, Didy Evangelista and Mai Saporsantos.

The awarding of winners is on July 1.


Davao hosts Sineng Pambansa, Cinematheque to be inaugurated Share on google Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on email More Sharing Services 4 Written By: Chris Fabian Friday, 08 June 2012 Category: Lifestyle

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) will stage the first Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival in Davao City from June 29 to July 3, featuring the finalists of the FDCP’s first National Film Competition.

The festival films will be screened at SM City Davao, Abreeza, Gaisano Mall, and NCCC Mall.

The film festival is a joint undertaking of the FDCP and the city government of Davao headed by Mayor Sara Duterte. The formal opening on June 29 will be a red carpet event, at the SM Cinema 3. Awarding ceremonies for the winners will be at the Abreeza Cinema 4 on July 1.

Highlighting the opening night on June 29 will be a special screening of excerpts from the latest film of Cannes Best Director Brillante Mendoza, Thy Womb, a joint project of the FDCP and Mendoza’s CenterStage Productions, and shot on location in Tawi-Tawi. Mendoza and the film’s lead actor, internationally acclaimed actress Nora Aunor, will be the guests at the opening of the festival.

In line with its program of bringing national film festivals to the regions, the FDCP selected Davao to be the staging ground for the first Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival because of the city’s leading role in the political, economic and cultural history of Mindanao. With its wealth of local talent, it is also an important regional base for the emerging independent film community in the Philippines.

Sineng Pambansa (National Cinema) is the flagship program of the FDCP, whose guiding motto is “bringing Filipino films to Filipinos” all over the country and in Filipino communities overseas. The FDCP has staged no less than nine film festivals since last year in Iloilo, Zamboanga, Baguio, San Fernando in Pampanga, Marawi, Tawi-Tawi, and Ilocos Norte.

The FDCP initiated the National Film Competition in September last year and received about 120 entries consisting of full-length features and documentaries from three geographical areas (Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao), and animation shorts from all over the country. A unique aspect of this competition is that the language of the locality was used in the dialogue or the narration, in order to underscore the vitality of the country’s indigenous cultural heritage through the medium of film. The 23 finalists were awarded seed money to finish their films. A second batch of meritorious entries would be funded later this year.

FDCP Chair Briccio Santos, noting that the finalists came from as far north as Kalinga and Benguet and as far south as Davao, Marawi and Jolo, remarked that “the region-based filmmakers are now contributing their outstanding talent and creativity to the making of a true Sineng Pambansa or National Cinema.”

The finalists from the first FDCP National Film Competition, and the regions they represent, are the following:

Full-length feature film

Luzon: Ang Mga Kidnapper ni Ronnie Lazaro, Sigfried Barros-Sanchez, Metro Manila; Qwerty, Eduardo Lejano Jr., from Manila; Kanana Kanu, Jocelyn Banasan-Kapuno, from Kalinga

Visayas: Ang Mga Aswang, John Raymund Macahilas, Iloilo; Beadworks, Ronny N. Poblacion, Iloilo; Gugma Sang Panahon Sang Bakunawa, Peter Solis Nery, Iloilo

Mindanao: Tambara, Orvil C. Bantayan, Davao; Duwaya (Polygamy), Najib Alyhar Benito-Zacaria, Marawi; Malan, Agustin Pagusara Jr., Davao; In Banka Halit Sin Duwa Sapah, Fyred Alsad Alfad III, Jolo, Sulu; Qiyamah, Gutierrez Mangansakan II, Maguindanao


Luzon: Jingle Lang ang Pahinga, Dominador Escasa Jr., Tagaytay; Illustrated by, Levi “Pepper” Marcelo, Manila;.

Visayas: Ginabuhi It Bulig (Binubuhay ng Pagtulong), Lester G. Babiera, from Aklan

Mindanao: Tagurih: The Kites of Sulu, Dempster P. Samarista, Sulu;

Animation (national)

Kalon, Blecyrezza E. Piluden; Si Pagong at si Matsing, Analyne D. Pineda

Film competition jury

Seasoned film experts will comprise the jury for the films participating in the National Film Festival featuring the finalists of the FDCP’s National Film Competition.

They are Christian Merer, Counsellor for Cultural Affairs of the French Embassy and Sabrina Baracetti, president of the Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche and festival president of Far East Film Festival in Odine, Italy (documentary); Kim Ji-Seok, executive programmer of the Busan International Film Festival and Paolo Bertolin, consultant of Venice Film Festival, (full-length feature), with two Filipino film critics beefing up the jury.

Newest Cinematheque to open, Lino Brocka statue to be unveiled

A related event during the National Film Festival will be the inauguration of

the FDCP’s Davao Cinematheque, also a joint undertaking of the FDCP and the City Government of Davao under Mayor Duterte. The inauguration will take place on June 29, a few hours before the official opening of the film festival. The new cinematheque is located on Palma Gil Street, in a building donated by the city government of Davao.

Highlight of the Cinematheque’s inauguration will be the public unveiling of a commemorative statue in tribute to the late National Artist for Film Lino Brocka.

It will be a permanent fixture in the building in recognition of Brocka’s well-known cinematic achievements. The work of art was commissioned by the FDCP, designed and executed by Filipino sculptor Jonas Roces.

Santos and Duterte will lead government officials, representatives from the motion picture industry, and film enthusiasts from Davao in the inaugural rites officially opening the second operational cinematheque in the country. The first Philippine Cinematheque set up by the FDCP was launched in Baguio City in September 2011.

“The opening of this new cinematheque will augur well for the emerging role of Davao City as one of the leading centers of culture and the cinematic arts

not only in the Philippines, but throughout the Southeast Asian region as well,” according to Santos, a Davaoeño who is a son of former Davao City Mayor Luis Santos.

The Cinematheque is a vital part of the Sineng Pambansa or National Cinema program of the Film Development Council of the Philippines. It is intended to be an alternative and accessible venue for classic and contemporary Filipino films, both mainstream and independent; for state-of-the-art foreign films sourced through the FDCP’s Film Cultural Exchange Program with other countries; and for workshops and symposiums on directing, scriptwriting, editing, cinematography, and all other aspects of filmmaking.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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