No doubt an unconventional national film festival, Cinema Rehiyon —showcasing the harvest of the best films from the regions and a flagship program of National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) supported by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP)—was a success with the holding of the ninth edition in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley.
Themed “No Walls, No Ceiling,” the limitation of not having a venue or a production house in the municipality, locals strived and supported the festival than ran on August 22 to 27.
Through the help of Open Air Cinema Foundation, an international organization created to assist in bringing educational media to marginalized communities across the globe through screening media in open-air settings, Nabunturan was able to acquire a 20-foot inflatable cinema located in front of the municipal hall which the community uses during the screenings for the Nabunturan International Film Exhibition (Nabifilmex).
The local film festival has run for four years and has been adopted as one of the municipality’s official festivals where local filmmakers, other regional and international filmmakers, screen their works.
“Five years ago when I was first invited to the Nabifilmex the first thing that came to mind was where is Nabunturan?” NCCA Commissioner Teddy Co shared during the opening salvo for Cinema Rehiyon 9.
One of the main objectives of the Nabunturan in hosting the Cinema Rehiyon is to put the municipality in the filmmaking map. This may well be a dream come-true with the historic groundbreaking of a new cinematheque sponsored by the FDCP.
“This is the first cinematheque in my term so we are very very proud that we are able to make it happen,” shared FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño who personally came to attend the ceremonies. Diño highlighted the challenges that FDCP faced need to give importance to arts and culture especially in the communities.
Festival director Karen Santiago-Malaki also shared the road toward the eventful conduct of the Cinema Rehiyon in their humble town and the challenges they faced in lobbying for the Cinematheque to be established in their municipality.
“Cinema Rehiyon 9 will be hard to beat,” Co said during the closing ceremonies of the festival.
The ninth annual non-competition film festival was hosted by the Nabunturan Municipal Tourism Council, Inc. and the municipal government.
The film festival of regional films will be celebrating its 10th year in 2018, with the Dakila Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism and Active Vista International Human Rights Film Festival hosting it in Metro Manila where it started in 2008.