Cinemagis 2019

re­leases of­fi­cial en­tries

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - 'tsada! - By An­gelo Lorenzo Cor­re­spon­dent

A year af­ter cel­e­brat­ing its 10th an­niver­sary, Cinemagis con­tin­ues its ad­vo­cacy as an artis­tic and cine­matic av­enue to pro­mote and show­case the vi­brant film in­dus­try in North­ern Min­danao.

This year, the dig­i­tal short film fes­ti­val has ac­cu­mu­lated over 21 en­tries by film­mak­ers from Ca­gayan de Oro City, Ili­gan City, Oza­miz City, and even stem­ming as far as the Caraga Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion. Eight of these have made it in the se­nior or pro­fes­sional cat­e­gory while 13 films will com­pete in the stu­dent cat­e­gory.

Cinemagis, a port­man­teau of the terms, “cine” (which re­lates to the art of film mak­ing) and “magis” (which de­fines the Ig­na­tian prin­ci­ple of do­ing one’s best be­yond ex­pec­ta­tion), has been one of the on­go­ing lega­cies of the Xavier Cen­ter for Cul­ture and the Arts, the her­itage, artis­tic and cultural or­ga­ni­za­tion of Xavier Univer­sity - Ate­neo de Ca­gayan.

Sup­ported by the Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Cul­ture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Film Devel­op­ment Coun­cil of the Philippines (FDCP), Cinemagis has bran­dished its pur­pose as an an­nual film fes­ti­val that tra­jects lo­cal film­mak­ers with their craft to­wards cine­matic achieve­ment.

In the up­com­ing event slated from Jan­uary 23 to 26, some fa­mil­iar names re­turn to the Cinemagis screen to show­case their nar­ra­tives be­sides com­pet­ing for promis­ing awards. A year of re­turnees Among the film­mak­ers in the se­nior cat­e­gory, five had par­tic­i­pated in last year’s fes­ti­val. An­gelo Miguel Dab­bay takes on a more dra­matic ap­proach to his nar­ra­tive this year in “Perya” in con­trast to his comedic, “Kabuang ug Kasakit” last year. Tat So­ri­ano once again tack­les ro­mance in “Pagsa­lop” which at­tempts to stir the heart­strings just like his pre­vi­ous films, “Panamilit” in 2014 and “Good night”, his en­try last year.

Ken­neth Sabi­jon, whose short film, “Ang Batang Mandirigma” won best film in Vil­lanueva’s first Kaad­lawan Film Fes­ti­val, de­cides to dig into the con­flict be­tween the as­pi­ra­tion for ed­u­ca­tion and the con­se­quence of par­tak­ing a rev­o­lu­tion­ary cause in “Ka­subo sa Kahid­lan (Sor­rows of Deep Long­ing)”. An­other poignant tale is that of Adrian Rey Manapil whose “Par­lor” ex­plores the mys­ter­ies of a fam­ily’s past.

Mean­while, Ed­mund Telmo, who earned the best film last year for his drama, “Redemp­syon”, ven­tures into a dystopian sci-fi realm in “3021.” Rarely has a con­cept that gauges on the ex­tinc­tion of the hu­man race been done for a lo­cal film and sub­mit­ted to Cinemagis. Telmo also won best film in the stu­dent cat­e­gory in 2017 with “Moru: No Man’s Land.”

As Dab­bay, So­ri­ano, Sabi­jon, Manapil, and Telmo had par­tic­i­pated last year, Or­pheus Nery, who was Best Di­rec­tor for his Greek mythol­ogy in­spired biopic ,“Or­pheus” two years ago, joins the ros­ter with his “-1st Draft” (pro­nounced as neg­a­tive first draft). This would be Nery’s fourth film in Cinemagis fol­low­ing “En Pace” in 2015, “The Bar­rel” in 2016 and “Or­pheus” in 2017.

Rachel Ann Dolor’s psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller “Mata” and Jun­lou Tor­doz’s drama “Tabyog” com­plete the list for the se­nior cat­e­gory. Tor­doz comes from the Caraga Ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion and has also or­ga­nized a fac­ulty sym­po­sium about the fu­ture of Philip­pine cin­ema in his home­town.

En­tries among the se­nior cat­e­gory may have been crafted by ex­pe­ri­enced and as­pir­ing film­mak­ers and their crew, but new voices and im­ages emerge in the stu­dent cat­e­gory.

Di­ver­sity in the Nar­ra­tives

Diver­si­fy­ing the nar­ra­tives is also one of the film fes­ti­val’s an­nual aims. The stu­dent cat­e­gory in­cluded new voices in its list of en­tries this year, with nar­ra­tives rang­ing from so­cial is­sues, men­tal health prob­lems, the tragedy of in­ter­nal con­flict, and rel­e­vant themes for sex ed­u­ca­tion.

From Xavier Ate­neo, two stu­dent film­mak­ers pro­duced films that en­com­passed the love for fam­ily - John Roel Ca­bana’s “Re­pleksyon” and Joie-Mari Pa­trizia Tan’s “Einna.” En­rolled in pro­grams that re­late to arts and hu­man­i­ties, Lit­er­a­ture ma­jor Alessan­dro Kennz Nioda and His­tory ma­jor Daniel Clark Ca­ban­tan pre­sented themes that range from se­crecy with Nioda’s “Come Close” to de­sire with Ca­ban­tan’s “Plas­tic Mir­ror.”

Be­yond Xavier Ate­neo, stu­dents from Ca­gayan de Oro Col­lege, Liceo de Ca­gayan Univer­sity, La­pasan Na­tional High School, Min­danao State Univer­sity, La Salle Univer­sity in Oza­miz City, and Saint Michael Col­lege of Caraga have made it among the se­lected 13 short films. Stu­dent film­mak­ers from MSU-IIT have bran­dished pride over the years for a streak of films that have gar­nered awards in the film fes­ti­val. This year, In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems ma­jor Nor­riell Joyce Dal­man and Nurs­ing stu­dent Angielle Sch­naider set their ex­pec­ta­tions, along with Chris­tian Alan Tor­ing. Dal­man’s “Ang­gulo” presents the strug­gle of a war refugee as he goes through an ad­just­ment phase af­ter he sur­vived from the tragic Marawi siege. Sch­naider’s “Han­duraw” at­tempts to fol­low a main char­ac­ter’s un­likely jour­ney home. Tor­ing, who joins the ranks of Telmo and the many who have al­ready par­tic­i­pated in years prior, draws a poignant tale about a son’s love for his mother with “Sa Pa­bori­tong Anak ni Papa.”

Also re­turn­ing is Earl Hen­drix Reyes (or Drix Reyes) from La Salle Univer­sity in Oza­miz City with “A Pas­sion of Cries”, iden­ti­fy­ing the causes of san­ity in the re­main­ing mem­bers of a nu­clear fam­ily. Jun Vin­cent Abao, who also hails from the same univer­sity, ig­nites the nar­ra­tive about a main char­ac­ter who talks about his past in “Bi­tuin” Within CDO, Liceo de Ca­gayan Univer­sity’s Al­lan Jay Jamin traces the lines that bind a re­la­tion­ship in “Phan­tasm”, while Ca­gayan de Oro Col­lege’s Rodiell Veloso ex­am­ines the cause and ef­fects of sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­ease in “Sore.”

Chuck Labio and Jul­marie El­iza Dela Torre, high school stu­dents from the La­pasan Na­tional High School - Spe­cial Pro­gram in the Arts, and also the youngest among the film­mak­ers this year, pro­vide in­sight about how poverty can turn any­one a vic­tim with “Be­hind the Scene.”

Per­haps the far­thest film­maker among the con­tenders this year comes from the Caraga Re­gion. Along with Tor­dos, Mary Clair Amora, a se­nior high stu­dent from Saint Michael Col­lege of Caraga whose film this year, “Biya­heng Kari­ton”, claims a spot. Her film has also been nom­i­nated in the stu­dent film cat­e­gory of the 16th Min­danao Film Fes­ti­val.

For ten and more years

Fol­low­ing a cel­e­bra­tory mile­stone by reach­ing a decade last year, the Cinemagis Dig­i­tal Short Film Fes­ti­val in North­ern Min­danao looks for­ward to 10 more years in cul­ti­vat­ing and nur­tur­ing the creative scene in the re­gion, par­tic­u­larly in lo­cal cin­ema.

This year, the film fes­ti­val has in­vited no­table names in the field to judge and to pro­vide lec­tures. Among them are the pro­lific Baby Ruth Vil­larama and Jer­rold Tarog.

Vil­larama was fa­mous for di­rect­ing “Sun­day Beauty Queen”, the 2016 doc­u­men­tary which had been rec­og­nized by the Metro Manila Film Fes­ti­val as best film that year. Tarog is also known for

his ed­u­ca­tional and dar­ing biopics about the ar­guable Filipino he­roes with the films, “Hen­eral Luna” in 2015 and its se­quel, “Goyo”, re­leased last year.

Tarog will share about his ex­pe­ri­ences in film di­rect­ing and will ad­vise film­mak­ers on how it works. Vil­larama, on the other hand, will ex­plain the essence and rel­e­vance of doc­u­men­tary film­mak­ing in their joined talks on Jan­uary 25 at the Lit­tle The­ater.

The fol­low­ing day, FDCP will also pro­vide lec­tures at the Lit­tle The­ater with Aped San­tos, known for his set de­signs used by crit­i­cally ac­claimed films like “Batad: Sa paang Palay” in 2006, the MMFF best pic­ture “Baler” in 2008, and “Bam­bati” in 2015. Along with him, Coreen “Mon­ster” Jimenez, known for pro­duc­ing cine­matic hits such as “Re­speto” in 2017, will also be speak­ing about her ex­per­tise in film.

Headed by XCCA di­rec­tor Ho­bart Sav­ior as the fes­ti­val di­rec­tor, the film fes­ti­val will com­mence on the evening of Jan­uary 23 at the Xavier Univer­sity Lit­tle The­ater wherein “Kauya­gan”, a film by CDObased film­maker Juli­enne Ila­gan will be shown. The film is also known for be­ing an of­fi­cial en­try to last year’s ToFarm Film Fes­ti­val.

Film­maker from Davao City, Ba­gane Fi­ola, no­table for his dar­ing “Baboy Halas” film about an in­dige­nous fam­ily en­coun­ter­ing un­usual changes in their en­vi­ron­ment, will also be re­turn­ing as one of the judges.

As an­nu­ally held, the Lit­tle The­ater and SM Cin­ema 1 (up­town) still re­main the venues for the screen­ing of the films from Jan­uary 24 to 26. On the last day, win­ners will be an­nounced and awards will be given at the SM City Event Cen­ter.

With en­tries that ex­em­plify di­ver­sity this year, Cinemagis 2019 is set to hone more tal­ents for the promis­ing and grow­ing film cul­ture in North­ern Min­danao.

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