The Cinema Rehiyon X screens Habi by Mary Ann Gabisan at De La Salle University
Cinema Rehiyon X showcased films from Nabunturan, Compostela Valley during the celebration of a decade of convening filmmakers from across the regions last February 25-March 1, 2018.
150 delegates from different provinces convened to the annual film festival, a flagship program of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Cinema Committee, to share and screen their films in different universities in Metro Manila.
Former NCCA Cinema Committee Chair Dr. Mike Rapatan said, “We are here to understand culture to share to each other.”
The four Nabunturan films presented unveiled universal truths and some stories of the municipality: Habi by Mary Ann Gabisan, Meet up by Juvy Ann Clarito, Pukaw by Junniel Ardepuela, and one featured film from previous Cinema Rehiyon, Pasuon by Bryan Jimenez.
Habi is about an abaca weaver, who wants to pass on to her daughter her love for weaving. Suddenly, she is unsure if she will continue her passion or find another job to support the needs of her child.
The film by a public school teacher and director Gabisan was produced through a 24-hour filmmaking marathon competition dubbed as Guerilla Filmmathon held during Cinema Rehiyon 9 in Nabunturan. Habi had bagged the Sulyap Kultura award given by the NCCA Cinema Committee back then.
After the screening of Habi at Natividad Fajardo Rosario Gonzales Auditorium in De Lasalle University was a panel interview with the directors whose films were screened under the “Alternativo: Stories from Home.” Gabisan explained about the dying abaca industry in Nabunturan as the focus of her film.
She then emphasized on the importance of passing on the art of weaving to the next generation as she tied up her story with the daughter finally helping her mother weave in the film.
“Let’s use media literacy to preserve culture and tradition,” Gabisan added. Meanwhile, two films both by Nabunturan National Comprehensive High School students made it to the final programming of “Forging Philippine CineDiversity” and were screened at the Far Eastern University Manila on February 27.
Audience members, composed of filmmakers and students of the said university lauded the film Meet up by a Grade 10 student, Clarito. The movie enlightens the people, especially teenagers, on HIV awareness and how unprotected intercourse leads to acquiring sexually transmitted diseases.
Aside from being programmed in Cinema Rehiyon X, this particular film had previously won significant awards during the Commission on Population Film Festival. Another film captured the attention of curators. Pukaw by Junniel Ardepuela, a Grade 11 student of the same school, also found a spot in the national film festival along with other professionally crafted films.
Even as a newbie in the filmmaking, Ardepuela artistically told a story of grief and longing for a brother. He also depicted in the film a refreshing nature trip found in Compostela Valley.
August of last year, Nabunturan hosted this big event. And as the town’s local film festival Nabunturan Independent Film Exhibition continues to grow, more stories of Compostela Valley will be discovered and infiltrate in the national consciousness.
Next year, Cinema Rehiyon is set to be staged in Dumaguete City with bigger and better films to offer.
Filmmakers bravely answer the questions during the panel interview and open forum.