The first BenildeFilm Human Rights Film Festival, featuring critically acclaimed and independently produced films, was held at the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) School of Design and Arts (SDA) Cinema from July 11 to 14.
“Bayani Ba ‘To: Heroism x Pag-Ibig,” a talk and screening organized by the DLS-CSB Digital Filmmaking Program and DAKILA – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, opened the event. DAKILA is a group of artists, students and individuals committed to working together to creatively spark social consciousness formation towards social change.
Director Gil Portes gave a glimpse of his latest work, Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli, a biopic based on the life of 19th century religious revolutionary leader Apolinario dela Cruz.
Historian John Ray Ramos also talked about heroism during the forum. They were joined by DAKILA education officer Ralph Eya, scriptwriter Eric Ramos and associate director Armand Reyes in the panel discussion.
The film, which top bills Aljur Abrenica as Hermano Puli, is set to open in cinemas in September 2016.
The Act of Killing, a 2012 documentary that focuses on the 1965 Indonesian massacres, was screened on July 12. It won the European Film Award for Best Documentary, Asia Pacific Screen Award, and was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards. Its 2014 companion piece, The Look of Silence, also directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, was shown on the same day. The documentary, which revolves around a middle-aged Indonesian man and his confrontation with his brother’s murderers, was nominated at the 88th Academy Awards for the same award.
The German film The Lives of Others, Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006, was shown on the third day of the festival.
The seductive political thriller, directed by Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck, is set before the fall of the Berlin Wall and deals with an ambitious spy from East Germany’s State Secret Police and his personal involvement with the couple he keeps tabs on, a renowned pro-Socialist playwright and his stunning actress-girlfriend.
The screening of the Oscar-winning film was followed by Adolph Alix Jr.’s Whistleblower, a complex tale of corruption where journalists run an expose on government officials’ dubious transactions. The film stars Nora Aunor, Cherry Pie Picache and Angelica Panganiban, among others.
Batas Militar: A Documentary on Martial Law in the Philippines closed the festival with a special screening last July 14, 3 p.m. The documentary is a narrative of the Martial Law years, made alive by exclusive interviews, numerous photographs, and rare film and video recordings of the era. The critically acclaimed account highlights that particular period in the country’s history and the lessons Filipinos learned and need to learn again. Producer Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, a broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker, graced the event.
Two-week indie film festival at CSB
The Digital Filmmaking Program of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) presents the Sixth CineSB Independent Film Festival (CineSB6) until July 29 at the college’s School of Design and Arts (SDA) Theater.
The event highlights the finest works not only of Benildean filmmakers, but of students and artists from all over the country. It likewise screens local films from foreign competitions to encourage young producers and directors to explore unique ideas and offer fresh perspectives.
This year’s celebration opened the The Benilde Film Mavericks 7 p.m. last night. Featured movies were by the college’s graduates, such as Carl Chavez (Yes Mami), Robert Martesano (Sa Pagtunod It Adlaw), Martin Mayuga (Babuyan), Cheska Salangsang (Saan Man Ngunit Dito), Ogie Tiglao (Luntiang Paraiso), and Anya Zulueta (Ang Di Masabi).
As in the past, a variety of activities are lined up, to include: The Chair, a competition of thesis works from Benilde film students; Harvest Moon, an exhibition of short film projects from undergraduates; Twenty Quatro, an inter-school 24-hour guerrilla filmmaking contest; Indie Ani, a show of outstanding short films coming from different schools in Metro Manila; and Cinema Rehiyon, a showcase of works filmmakers from the rest of the archipelago.
In addition to screenings, competitions, and exhibitions, there are scheduled fora which cover documentary filmmaking, independent film funding, cinematography, and production management with film professionals delve into the different aspects of being a filmmaker, whether indie or mainstream.
Coreen “Monster” Jimenez, director of Kano: An American and His Harem and writer of Apocalypse Child, will speak on the challenges and opportunities for Filipino documentary filmmakers on Thursday, July 21. QCinema Festival Director Ed Lejano, Cinema One Originals Festival Director Ronald Arguelles, and Tuko Film Productions, Inc., Buchi Boy Entertainment, Inc., Artikulo Uno Productions, Inc. (TBA) producers Fernando Ortigas, E.A. Rocha and Vincent Nebrida will discuss funding films in the Philippines on Monday, July 25. Award-winning cinematographers Neil Daza and Lee Briones will conduct a master class on cinematography on Wednesday, July 27. Finally, producer Bianca Balbuena, well known for producing Lav Diaz’s Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis and Antoinette Jadaone’s That Thing Called Tadhana, will have a production management lecture on July 28.
Classic indie film favorites are featured in Pinoy Espesyals. To be screened are Mario Cornejo and Coreen Jimenez’s Apocalypse Child (today), Jun Lana’s Anino sa Likod ng Buwan (Wednesday, July 20), Carlo Encisco Catu’s Ari (Thursday, July 21), Randolph Longjas’ Star na si Van Damme Stallone (Friday, July 22), Lawrence Fajardo’s Imbisibol (Monday, July 25), Carl Joseph Papa’s Manang Biring (Tuesday, July 26), Pepe Diokno’s Kapatiran (Wednesday, July 27), and Chuck Gutierrez’s Iisa (Thursday, July 28). All shows will be at 7 p.m at the SDA Theater.
Admission is free to all daytime screenings and film fora. Seats are on a first-come, first-served basis. Prior registration is required. Visit the festival’s Facebook page at CineSB for details. Pinoy Espesyals tickets are P150.00, with a discounted price of P100.00 for students and senior citizens.
For more information, contact Hann Marcelino, CineSB6 Advertisement and Promotions Officer, at [email protected] or 0905-5809446.