by Ms. Honeylet Dumoran

Frenchlyn Duran (Best Female Performer – UKIT)
Alyson Ting
Alyson Ting (KISS THE RAIN)

After having been acknowledged in the Mindanao Film Festival as a school with a very promising film-making culture, IDS once again sent films in a region-wide film festival, where two student films, Ukit and Kiss the Rain, qualified as official entries. This film festival, called Cinemagis, cruised in its maiden voyage as Northern Mindanao’s first film festival on January 23, 2009. Held in Cagayan de Oro City’s SM Cinema 2 and spearheaded by Prof. Hobart Savior, the director of Xavier University’s Culture and Arts Office, Cinemagis aimed to provide a venue for film-makers to reflect on and express Mindanao experiences and aspirations through their art. This is a fitting choice of a theme, since the Jesuit phrase magis, which translates to “the more”, is the Atenean philosophy of doing more for Christ and for others.

In the twenty plus entries submitted for scrutiny in Cinemagis, six were chosen as the official entries to the contest, with three entries each in the Student and Senior categories. Switch, a film from the College of Science and Mathematics, qualified as an official entry as well, thus completing the three Student Film Category finalists, which, incidentally, were all from IIT.

Ukit’s main actress was recognized as Best Female Performer, having played the tree-turned-human girl whose point of view of life was not only amusing, but also enlightening. Using appropriately witty language, Ukit tells the story of a tree who has seen too little of human life to want to be human too. Now told from this fresh perspective, the film unveils what it is that makes human beings human—their very essence—as the tree-turned-girl learns how it is to love and to sacrifice. Ukit, directed by Deo Charis Mostrales, won as Second Runner-up in the Student Film Category.

Formerly an entry in the Mindanao Film Festival, Kiss the Rain got the spotlight that night, as it was hailed Best Student Short Film, on top of three other major awards (Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Director). Kiss the Rain also won the Audience Choice Award and its lead actress Alyson Ting was recognized as Female Star of the Night. As part of NCCA’s recognition to the film, the group was invited to a screening of Kiss the Rain in the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila this February as an entry to CinemaRehiyon, another prestigious film festival.

             Atinen (REACH)
Psychie Atinen (REACH)

Cinemagis also awarded the NCCA Special Achievement Award for Animated Film to IDS’s 3D animation, Reach. Directed by Helena Josol, Reach tells the familiar human tale of dreaming and failing but ultimately triumphing. This story, however, is not ours, but that of a little ball, whose ultimate dream is to fly. In its attempt to achieve this goal, it falls from a very high tree and “dies”. In an interesting play of irony, the ball, now a ball-spirit, grows a halo and flies, reaching not only the treetops but also, and most significantly, heaven. 

These stories are undying and universal; their conflicts almost proverbial; their resolution anticipated. However, translated to film, they become fresh and uplifting. Their impacts become more significant. It will always be a pride that such creations spring from students of IDS.


Nezcel Macaspac (Cinematographer-UKIT)

Topics : contest  cinemagis  arts & culture  film  ids