Friday, January 21, 2011

SINENG PAMBANSA Iloilo Film Fest 2011 report

THE SINENG PAMBANSA Iloilo Film Festival 2011 report
by Reymundo Salao

The City of Iloilo and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) have launched, this week, the first major Philippine film festival outside Metro Manila, the Sineng Pambansa Iloilo Film Fest 2011, the first of what is destined to go on as an annual series. This film fest showcases the country's best films made by the "indie" film community. The screenings of the Film Fest is actually FREE ADMISSION, you don’t have to pay a single centavo to watch these movies. Regular audiences would get to watch internationally acclaimed Pinoy movies like Himpapawid, Bakal Boys, Yanggaw, and many more.

According to the chairman of the FDCP, Briccio Santos, there are plans to make this event an annual series, with a wider scope that would include short films and ilonggo films, additionally the next festival will also possibly one that would include international films, and would include workshops and symposiums to go along with it. He is very much happy that the FDCP has this mutual cooperation with the city government to make this event possible.

The event formally opened last Wednesday January 19, 2011, first with a press conference at Hotel Del Rio in the afternoon, then on that evening was a red carpet event and cocktail party which was followed by an opening program that formally launches the event. That program featured a number of impressive musical numbers both locally here in Iloilo, and from Metro Manila as well. The movie that was screened directly after the program was Jim Libiran’s HAPPYLAND. The entire Film Festival will be a series of screenings of various films on SM Cinema 2 and 3, from January 19, 2011 up until January 21, 2011. The Festival closed in the late afternoon of January 21, 2011 with the closing film EMIR by Chito Rono, which was greeted by an overwhelming number of audiences that it literally filled up the SM Cinema 3. It even kinda reminded me of the good old days of moviewatching, when audiences would literally sit on the floor because the moviehouse is really filled up. A fitting ending to what is a milestone event for our city and for Philippine Cinema, of what is destined to be a great film festival that will continue for generations.

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