6th Cinema Rehiyon features top 2014 Cinemagis films

Following the recent success of the sixth installment of Cinemagis Digital Short Film Festival in Northern Mindanao, its top winners will take another height in the upcoming national film festival, Cinema Rehiyon.

The festival dubbed as “a detour from the Manila-centric films” will transpire in Cagayan de Oro City on Feb 18-22 with the theme, “Filming the Frontiers.”

Under the auspices of this year’s host of Cinema Rehiyon, Xavier University’s Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts (XCCA), 11 Cinemagis films will be featured in three different programs— 5 for the Northern Mindanao Collective, 5 for Cinemagis Fresh and one for Mindanao Cinemulat.

Aside from giving Cinemagis films national exposure, Cinema Rehiyon targets to promote local culture, talents and languages. It also forms part of the National Arts Month (NAM) celebration spearheaded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

NorthMin films

The 2014 Cinemagis Best Student Short Film, “Wa Ko Kakita” (I Haven’t Seen It) by Eastine Charles Taneo from Liceo de Cagayan University (LdeCU) frontlines the Northern Mindanao Collective on Feb 19, 1-3p.m. at SM City Cagayan de Oro Cinema 3.

“Wa Ko Kakita” is a story about a young gay who keeps on complaining whenever his older sister asks him to do some household chores.

“[The film] was patterned after the legend of the pineapple with some interesting twists and it teaches us that laziness has a price to pay,” said Taneo, a fourth year AB in Mass Communication student.

Along with Taneo’s film in the NorthMin Collective are “Lugdang” (Drowned) by Gray-em Erezo, “Unawa” (Understanding) by Krystel Hypa Magallanes from Iligan City, “Kaon Ta” (Let’s Eat) by Richard Mars Caberte from XU and “The Perfect Girl” by Janine Banday, also from XU.

For tackling the aftermath of Typhoon Sendong, “Lugdang” received the Cinemagis Special Jury Award for Social Responsibility on Climate Change.

Meanwhile, a special screening was mounted by XCCA to feature 5 films for the segment, Cinemagis Fresh. Most entries in this program were produced by first-time filmmakers.

The list includes “Binibining Cancer” by John Solomon Legara from XU, “Hello” by Kevin Nico Surposa from Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), “Panamilit” (Farewell) by Tat Soriano, “Ceasefire” by Jamela Bato from Iligan City and the only entry from the high school, “Perla” by Angel Frances Borres from Xavier University High School (XUHS).

Obscenity and art

The film which garnered 7 awards during the 6th Cinemagis Festival, including the Best Short Film – Professional Category, “Ika-3 Putahi” (Recipe No. 3) by Joeromer Bacus frontlines the Mindanao Cinemulat program of Cinema Rehiyon 6.

This particular part of the festival exhibits the ‘controversial’ films from various regions and joining Bacus’ film for Mindanao Cinemulat is “Afterdark” by Aidx Paredes from Davao City.

“Ika-3 Putahi” also reaped a rundown of nominations during the 2013 Mindanao Film Festival in Davao City and SalaMindanaw in General Santos City.

As a psycho-thriller, the film depicts the consequences of an unrequited affection and tells a journey to the limitation of one’s sanity.

Although there are ‘obscene scenes’ in the movie, their writer Orpheus Nery explained: “It’s art and it should be free. Like any other art pieces, a film’s outcome is based upon the viewer and how he interprets it.”

The said two films will be shown at Xavier University Little Theater (XULT) on Feb 19, 5-6p.m.

Admission to the screening venues only requires personal care items such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, sanitary napkins and infant diapers, which will be donated to Yolanda-ravaged communities in the Visayas.

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Stepping stone

Cinemagis only serves as a springboard for filmmakers from Region 10 to showcase their artworks. Since its birth in 2009, a number of films have already gone to other national independent film festivals and even in the international scene.

One of them is the film, “Carmen” by Jasmine Limas, the Best Student Short Film during the 4th Cinemagis, which had its international debut at Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco, California, USA.

“Joel Shepard, a curator from San Francisco was invited during the 4th Cinema Rehiyon in Bacolod and he saw my film there. Later on, he decided to make my film a part of his program called the New Filipino Cinema in San Francisco,” she recalled.

“My dreams are made possible because of Cinemagis. It served as a venue for us to showcase our talent. A US premier won’t be possible and I won’t be able to meet filmmakers nationwide through Cinema Rehiyon if Cinemagis did not open its door for me,” Limas narrated.

Limas, a senior Development Communication student at XU, knows that she still has a lot to learn but it was Cinemagis that provided her the spirit to continue exploring the realm of independent filmmaking.

Limas continued: “Cinemagis gave me the confirmation I needed to convince myself that I am indeed a filmmaker.”