Zambo International filmfest features Pinoy, Spanish films PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 February 2012 14:57

The 2012 Zamboanga International Film Festival reels off from February 25 to 27 a the Mindpro Cinema 1 and 3 in the city, under the auspices of the Sineng Pambansa program of the Film Development Council of the Philippines and the city government led by Mayor Celso Lobregat.

Various films brought over from Spain by the Spanish Embassy in Manila will provide the international element in this film festival, and will serve to highlight the Hispanic and Latin heritage of Zamboanga and its people.

This is the second year that the FDCP and the city government are jointly undertaking this film festival, which drew several thousands of movie goers when it was held for the first time also in February last year in conjunction with the Dia de Zamboanga. Again, the film fest this year coincides with the Diamond anniversary of the city’s declaration as Chartered City, which further deepens the significance of this Fil-Hispanic film festival.

Zamboanga was declared a Chartered City on October 12, 1936 by virtue of a presidential proclamation signed by the Philippine Commonwealth’s President Manuel Quezon. However, it was on Feb. 26, 1937 that the first set of appointed city officials headed by Mayor Nicasio Valderozza was installed into office.

Traditionally the celebration of Dia de Zamboanga also commemorates the religious harmony between Christians and Muslims in Zamboanga, which has endured despite isolated flare-ups of violence as an offshoot of the secessionist movement of the southwestern Mindanao. Zamboanga is well-known for the presence of Hispanic elements in its cultural heritage, such as the creole language spoken by many Zamboanguenos, which is Spanish based Chabacano, and the Catholic religion introduced by Spanish missionaries.

According to FDCP chair Briccio Santos, two important guests from the Spanish Embassy- Ambassador Jorge Manuel Domecq and First Secretary Antonio Garcia, will grace the festival’s opening night held at the National Museum courtyard inside the historic Fort Pilar last night.

Ambassador Domecq has been actively promoting cultural relations between Spain and the Philippines since his arrival in the country last year.

Anticipating the same ardent reception accorded last year’s film festival by the Zamboangueños, Chairman Santos remarked: “Tens of thousands watched the films last year, not only because of the quality of the films we showed but also because of the invaluable support, enthusiastic assistance and close coordination provided by local officials headed by no less than Mayor Lobregat. Our continued partnership with Mayor Lobregat and other local officials in Zamboanga is helping us realize our vision of bringing quality Filipino films to Filipino audiences throughout the country and also, from time to time, the best of foreign films, in the spirit of cultural exchange and awareness”.

Five  highly commended films from Spain are being shown in the festival at the Mindpro cinema: the opening film Tambien La Lluvia (“Even the rain”, Icar Bollain, 2010), La Mitad de Oscar (Half an Oscar, Manuel Martin Cuenca, 2010), Yo Tambien (Me Too, Antonio Naharro, 2009), 18 Comidas (18 Meals, Jorge Coira) and Chico y Rita (Chico and Rita, 2010, Jorge Coira).

Undergoing the significance of including the Spanish films in the Festival, Chairman Santos said: “these films will further strengthen the historical and cultural bonds between our two countries, and will go a long way towards building a bridge of understanding between Zamboanga and the international community”.

As with all previous Sineng Pambansa film festivals of the FDCP, there will be two venues for the film showings: movie houses or the Cineplex in malls, and the barangay setting for the Sine ng Masa (People’s Mobile Cinema).

The Filipino films being shown at Cinema 1 and 3 of the Mindpro Cinema are “Biyaheng Lupa (Soliloquy, Armando Lao, 2008), ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (The Dance of two Left Feet), Alvin Yapan, 2011), Iliw (Nostalgia, 1990) and Kimy Dora (Joyce Bernal, 2009).

On the third day of the festival, filmmaker Zurich Chan will hold a workshop on “Indie Filmmaking in One Day” at the WMSU. The workshop aims to introduce participants to the process of filmmaking from concept to post production of a short film.

A short film competition open to budding filmmakers from the provinces of Zamboanga Peninsula forms part of the 2012 International Film Festival, with the theme “Kultural de Zamboanga”. The deadline for submission of short film entries was February 20, 2012. The finalists will be announced on Feb. 27 and the winners will be awarded the following prizes: First Place- P30,000; second place- P20,000 and third place- P10,000 — FDCP Zambo filmfest 2012 press release