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ToFarm Film Festival official entries unveiled

The organizer of ToFarm Film Festival 2018 has announced the seven official entries in the third edition of the advocacy-driven film event that showcases the lives, journeys, trials and triumphs of the Filipino farmers.

With a theme “A Tribute to Life: Parating Na,” this year’s lineup is a good mix of drama, science fiction, romance and comedy chosen out of 119 submissions.

Universal Harvester Inc.'s Dr.Milagros O. How(center) with Joey Romero and Bibeth Orteza during ToFarm Film Festival press conference held at Shangri-la Makati. Sonny Espiritu (File Photo)
The official entries are: 1957, historical drama written and directed by Hubert Tibi;  Alimuom, a science fiction by Keith Sicat; Fasang, a period romance written by Charlson Ong; Isang Kwento ng Gubat (The Leonard Co Story), a biopic written by Rosalie Matilac and directed by Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil, Rosalie Matilac, and Milo Paz; Lola Igna, a cultural drama written and directed by Eduardo Roy, Jr.; Mga Anak ng Kamote, a futuristic drama written by John Carlo Pacala; and Sol Searching, a dark comedy written and directed by Ramon Perez, Jr. 

“We wanted to come up with a lineup of films with box office potential so we can sustain the festival and have another festival next year,” festival director Bibeth Orteza said during the official announcement held on Tuesday at Novotel in Quezon City. 

In 1957, a group of farmers in Bicol are at the mercy of Don Pepe, a strict landlord. Twenty-year-old Lucio, son of a farmer member of the Hukbalahap, pins hopes on arrival of President Ramon Magsaysay in their area, for genuine land reform to take place. But we all know what happened in 1957.

Alimuon is set in a futuristic Philippines with specific sections of the country under individual bio-domes. The OFWs are actually Outerspace Filipino Workers and the song “Bahay Kubo” is a distant memory that makes a young boy ask, “Ano ang singkamas.” 

Meanwhile Fasang is a period romance based on the classic Philippine short story Tanabata’s Wife. Set in 1920s, it revolves around a middle-aged and lonely man who hires a young feisty Bontoc woman, Fasang, as farmland. He falls in love with her. They get married and have a son, but Fasang is attracted to the city lights of Baguio and to someone else.

Isang Kwentong Gubat is a biopic, a homage to the great Filipino botanist slain together with a guide and forest ranger in the forest of Kanannga, Leyte; government troops claimed they were in a crossfire between military and the NPA, but two of the survivors said there was no gunfight and that they were apparently mistaken to be NPAs.

Lola Igna is a cultural drama set in Sagada. The character is a 115-year-old who becomes a tourist attraction to benefit the farming community close to the cliff of the hanging coffins.

Mga Anak ng Kamote, on the other hand, is another futuristic drama set in the 2052 Philippines when the planting of kamote has been outlawed and those caught planting and selling kamote is put in jail.

Lastly, Sol Searching is a dark comedy about a teacher named Sol who cannot be buried because there are no funds. The story asks how will the community come forward to put her to rest , this strict and no-nonsense teacher of grade school students and farmers who need to be taught scientific farming methods.

This year's selection committee is composed of Raquel Villavicencio (chairperson), Krip Yuson, Antoinette Jadaone, Mario Cornejo, and Manny Buising with Dr. Milagros O. How of Universal Harvester, Inc. as Executive Producer. 

The festival will run from Sept. 12 to 19 in select cinemas.

Topics: ToFarm Film Festival 2018 , A Tribute to Life: Parating Na , Bibeth Orteza , Ramon Magsaysay , Outerspace Filipino Workers
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