Going back six years ago, a small growing community known as the heart of the valley ventured to take a leap in promoting independent films in the year of 2013; with a vision of providing an avenue for filmmakers to share the culture, truths, beliefs, and traditions of people across the regions through film and to embrace diversity, appreciating distinct local colors.
Distinguished filmmakers and individuals doubted for its success, due to the absence of cinema and the geographical location of the municipality. Despite that, the film festival continued to grow and flourish.
With 4 competing films and 1 exhibition film in its initial staging, to 15 competing films and 25 exhibition films in the second year -growing to 27 competing films and 43 exhibition films this year, shows the development and progress of the festival.
Proudly, the film festival is also recognized and supported by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Film Development Center of the Philippines (FDCP) and is recognized as one of the best regional film festivals in the country, with its unique feature, the Open-Air screening.
Rolling with great pride, Nabunturan Independent Film Exhibition celebrates 6 years of producing quality films painstakingly weaved from the minds and experiences of local filmmakers coming from various regions in the Philippines on September 19-21 at the Municipal Plaza, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley.
A roadshow was conducted in various secondary schools (Nabunturan National High School, Manat NHS, Bayabas NHS, Kao NHS, Mainit NHS, and New Sibonga NHS) from September 4 to September 14 as a pre-celebration activity for the Nabunturan Independent Film Exhibition 6.
“It was truly a wonderful experience and going to different schools always excite our team. Our heart melted with every sigh, gasp, and laughter of the students as they watched with excitement… and I believe that we have successfully achieved our objective to extend independent films not just with the film enthusiasts in our municipality, but with the younger generations who are in hard to reach places”, said in an interview with Tres Cartera, one of the Tourism staff.
Nabifilmex 6 graced by illustrious individuals
The film festival was attended by the NCCA Chairman on National Committee on Cinema and Subcommission on the Arts himself, Sir Teddy Co; the Executive Director of Film Development Council of the Philippines, Mr. Wilfred Manalang and his staff; esteemed jurors: Arbi Barbarona, Prof. Edward Cabagnot, and Patrick Campos; guest artists Paulo Paraiso and Maxine Eigenmann; and director Ryanne Murcia.
Filmmakers from Comval and other parts of the Philippines also travelled to witness the annual film festival.
Teddy Co, in his speech expressed his enthusiasm for Nabifilmex 6 and commended the last Cinema Rehiyon held in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley.
“…just one year ago, last 2017 when Nabunturan hosted the 9th Cinema Rehiyon, it was, I tell you, one of the most successful, one of the best organized, and for me, one of the best traditions of Cinema Rehiyon we ever had. And I was very amazed because of the unity shown by the Mindanaoan filmmakers when they all came on their own, from Davao, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Ozamis, Zamboanga, nagtipon-tipon sila dito sa Compostela Valley Nabunturan, together with filmmakers from Visayas, Luzon, and the NCR. It was the biggest Cinema Rehiyon I’ve had…”
After the judging and screening of films, the delegates and guests were also toured in the scenic Cepada Green Park in Brgy. Katipunan where they were fed with a variety of fruits and nutritious cuisines. They also had the chance to unwind and try the Toyozu Hot Spring in Brgy. Bukal.
Amazing High School Students Won Awards
To celebrate the excellence and creativity of various filmmakers, and to mark the end of the film festival, series of activities were laid for an elaborate and meaningful awarding night. Unfortunately, the heavy and continuous rain forced the committee to change venue from Municipal Plaza to Cinematheque.
Despite the cold, everyone was heated and excited to know who will be bringing home the plaques and awards. Especially the distinguished “Gimadyawan Award,” the highest award given to the best film among the competition films submitted in the festival.
Among the 27 competing films, 3 exemplary films from Nabunturan, Compostela Valley obtained the different prestigious award. Age was no hindrance for these young people to realize their dreams as they took part in an art form that requires time, money, and perseverance.
As such, Juvy Ann Clarito, a young director and senior high student of Nabunturan National Comprehensive High School (NNCHS) garnered the highest Gimadyawan Award, as well as the Best Comval Film and Best in Screenplay for her film “Meet-Up”.
A film will not be called a “good film” or it’s a character, a “good character” if roles will not be effectively executed by the actors and actresses that brought the characters to life. And Tom Delos Reyes, a student from NNCHS, has proven that he has effectively portrayed his character in the film Meet-up by winning the Best Actor Award during Nabifilmex 6.
While Gelian Merca, also a young promising director and a senior high student of Assumption College of Nabunturan won Best Director for her debut film Lawud. And Justine Rome Ardepuela, a senior high student from NNCHS, director of the film Pantasma won the illustrious Jury Prize (a prize given to the film that the jurors have distinguished as exemplary).
Indeed, Nabunturan is home for remarkable, creative, talented, and skillful individuals that brings glory and pride to the municipality. Mabuhay, heart of the valley!