15-year-old female Iliganon becomes Philippines’ youngest indie film director

by Dante Sudaria

Goldstar Daily News | February 26, 2009

NorthMin
             delegates (Shaun, Tzaddi and Hobart) with NCCA’s Vicky
             Belarmino and
             Baguio filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik
Northern Mindanao delegates (Shaun, Tzaddi and Hobart) with NCCA’s Vicky Belarmino and Baguio filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik

TWO representatives from Northern Mindanao won big in the recently-held Cinema Rehiyon.

Shaun Alejandrae Yap Uy (Cagayan de Oro) and Tzaddi Esguerra (Iligan), won several awards including Best Short Film and Best Director for the North Mindanao leg of the festival last January at the SM City CDO cinemas, dubbed as Cinemagis. The Northern Mindanao leg was organized by one of the country’s truer advocates of arts and culture – Hobart Savior. Savior is the Director for Culture and Arts Office of Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan University. He is also a part of the delegation as the curator for the Cinemagis films. Esguerra is the youngest of all the delegates, and perhaps the whole country. At 15, she studies at the MSU-IIT Integrated Developmental School in Iligan City.

Tzaddi talks
             about “Kiss the Rain” at the Tanghalang Manuel
             Conde, CCP
Tzaddi talks about “Kiss the Rain” at the Tanghalang Manuel Conde, CCP

There were three films that formed part of the Northern Mindanao repertoire: Kasing-kasing Amang written and directed by Uy, Kiss the Rain directed by Esguerra and Window of Dreams (Cinemagis – Best Original Sound winner) directed by Rosalie Zerrudo of Camiguin.

This spectrum of films from Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao is unified by the variety of their narratives and techniques. The City of Golden Friendship reveals itself as a diverse community adapting to change and development, stressing its sameness with the other regions of the Philippines. This tendency suggests a plausible future for regional cinema – one which is more Philippine than regional, in which the boundaries are more geographical than aesthetic.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) together with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) celebrate the Philippine International Arts Festival 2009 dubbed as “Ani ng Sining”. The month-long celebration showcases the various cultural art forms of the entire Philippine Islands. One of the components of the celebration is the celebration of regional cinema with the first ever Cinema Rehiyon: Alter Nativo (Films from the other Philippines) from February 18 – 21, 2009 at the Tanghalang Manuel Conde, CCP (also known as the Dream Theater).

cinema-rehiyon

“Cinema Rehiyon is a project that truly embodies the aims of the NCCA: The National Development of Culture and Arts that encourages artistic creation from the grassroots level. This initiative is in line with our vision to democratize the right to culture,” says Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, executive director of NCCA.

“Cinema Rehiyon stitches together a cinematic quilt of the individual experiences and unique cultures of filmmakers from Bacolod, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao and Naga,” adds Nestor Jardin, president and artistic director of CCP.

The series kicked off in Davao last December then moved on to Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Naga, and Baguio.

“In all the festivals, it has been very heartwarming to see and witness the enthusiastic response and support of both the filmmakers and audiences for many have expressed in our various workshops, forums, and discussions their realizations and appreciation for the cultural value of cinema,” says Dr. Mike Rapatan, NCCA chair-committee on cinema.

“Cinema Rehiyon is the first national film festival that aims to showcase the works of emerging filmmakers outside of Metro Manila,” adds Gabby Fernandez, the festival director.

Topics : contest  cinemagis  cinema rehiyon  arts & culture  film  ids