Unspoken stories from faraway regions of the Philippines once again reigned at the annual Cinema Rehiyon, taking their films one step closer to movie mainstream. Lauched eight years ago, the festival gives local filmmakers a platform to exhibit their work to wider audiences.
“Cinema Rehiyon, now on its eighth edition, has become a great venue for filmmakers from the different region to showcase their works. It has encouraged and supported the growth of film communities all over the archipelago,” said filmmaker Remton Zuasola.
He stressed, “Through the years, Cinema Rehiyon has grown exponentially, and with its rapid growth has carried with it the numerous regional filmmakers who now have become important players in creating a true Philippine national cinema.”
Zuasola’s film Swap caught the attention of stakeholders at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain in 2015, and was the only Filipino film that qualified on “the most varied, surprising and attractive film proposals” section. The movie revolves around the story of a young couple who struggle to find their lost child.
Zuasola said Cinema Rehiyon served as his springboard as a filmmaker, which is why he is devoted to supporting and promoting the festival.
With the theme “Creating Cinema Communities, Celebrating Cultural Legacies,” over 80 films from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were showcased in local languages and culturally-rooted narratives for this year’s Cinema Rehiyon.
Held in Cavite from November 28 to December 2, the festival was organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ (NCCA) National Committee on Cinema, in partnership with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas and University of the Philippines Los Baños Foundation.
At the closing ceremony, Cinema Rehiyon 8 paid tribute to Caviteño Ramon Revilla Sr., popularly known in the movie world as “Hari Ng Agimat” or “King of Amulets” for his remarkable contributions to Philippine cinema. His family received the award on his behalf.
“Sadya pong nakakataba ng puso ang pagkilala sa mga nagawa ng pamilya. We are overjoyed to see that the films started by our patriarch, Sen. Ramon Revilla, Sr., and proudly continued by our family’s outfit Imus Productions, which showcase local cultures, beliefs and folklore, are being recognized,” Congressman Strike Revilla said.
The former senator’s film Hulihin Si Tiagong Akyat was screened for the occasion, as well as a video tribute highlighting his career in the movies.
Two other Caviteños were likewise recognized for their extraordinary achievements in the Philippine movie industry – Leopoldo Salcedo, “The Great Profile” and Edna Luna, the first Dyesebel.
Blake Jones, grandson of Salcedo, and Miles Santiago, Luna’s son, respectively received their awards.