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Mindanao Film Festival successfully holds online edition

December 22, 2020 - Tuesday 3:12 PM by PIA

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DAVAO CITY -- The Mindanao Film Festival successfully held their 18th staging of the annual cinematic event which showcased films from across Mindanao alongside films from Luzon, Visayas and short films from several countries across Asia. 

The 18th Mindanao Film Festival is also the first time the event was held online using the You Tube platform. Previously the MFF was held at the Gaisano Mall Cinema, however the COVID-19 pandemic  forced the organizers to put the screening online. 

The festival which ran from Dec. 7-13  was organized by the Mindanao Film and Television Development Foundation Inc. (MFTDFI) in partnership with  the Film Development Council of the Philippines, sponsored by Japan Foundation, Globe/Touch Mobile, Alchemy of Vision and Light and Southspot. 

“We had to innovate, there are pros and cons in holding the festival online but there is no other way to hold the festival than to bring it on the internet,” says Dax Cañedo, president of the Mindanao Film and Television Development Foundation Inc. (MFTDFI) the organizers behind the MFF which is the country’s longest running regional film festival. 

Cañedo says one advantage is the reach of the internet which connects the films to a much wider audience. He says based on data gathered they had more than 60,000 views for the 84 films screened in the festival. 

The 60,000 plus views is the largest they had comparing this to the previous cinema receipts when the MFF was still screening at the Gaisano Mall movie house. 

Meanwhile the short film “Mael” produced by Bangsamoro filmmaker Prince Nor Anzarrih Matalam was the biggest winner in the festival awards night. 

The film which tells the story of a former Bangsamoro fighter got the awards for Best Sound, Best Original Song (for O Papanok Ako Bo by Datu Khomine Bansuan), Best Musical Score, Best Editing, Best Actor for Mohamad Bolkiah Mamadra, Best Director and Best Film. 

“I want to dedicate this film to the Muhajideen who struggled trying to prove a point. I’m speechless,” Matalam said of the accolades he received during the virtual awards night held on December 12. 

The MFF also premiered the full-length film “Oligase: Demon of Fear” produced by CBN Asia about a Matigsalog lass who battles superstitious beliefs that shackles them in ignorance. 

Oligase won best Marketing and Promotion Award and a Special Recognition Citation. 

“Bullet-Laced Dreams” a documentary about displaced lumad schoolchildren won the Best Documentary award. Dabawenyo filmmaker Conrad dela Cruz tale of macabre “Noche Buena” won the awards for Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Special Jury Recognition for Direction and Special Jury Award. 

 Student filmmaker Francis Arrocena was also one of the big winners as he won Best Student Film and Best Screenplay for his pandemic short drama “Replay” Maria Pelayo his lead actress in “Replay” won Best Actress Award while his other film the 24-hour shot “Unsaved Changes” won the Best Filmathon Film. 

The short animation “Mist in the Desert” created by University of Mindanao students was honored with a Special Jury Recognition for Animated Film. 

The jurors of the 18th Mindanao Film Festival are Film and Television actor Paolo Paraiso, Cagayan de Oro filmmaker Joe Bacus and film and television director Richard Somes. PIA XI/RG Alama

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