Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Documentary Film Sulu Premieres In Manila Indie Film Fest

"SULU" - 2007 / Documentary

KONTRA-AGOS RESISTANCE FILM FESTIVAL begins on December 5-11, 2007 at Indie Sine, Robinson’s Galleria, Manila


Born of a Muslim mother, young writer Arthur Sakaluran Abasalo decides to visit Sulu despite the perceived strife and presence of Muslim rebels and Abu Sayyaf terrorists. In Sulu, he meets a former Muslim rebel-turned policeman who tells him about his life story and how he got separated from his family for more than a decade. He returns to Sulu to start a new life after being reunited with his family.

Arthur returns to Manila after a short stay in Sulu, bringing with him memorable stories and truths about the island feared by many as a dangerous place to go.

This film, along with six other short films from Mindanao, will have its World Premiere on December 6, 7 p.m. at Indie Sine, Robinson's Galleria, Ortigas Center in Pasig City. A Mindanao Examiner Production. Directed by Al Jacinto



Invited Filmmakers:

JP Carpio,Karl Castro, Joy Domingo, KhavnBon Labora, Teng Mangansakan, Ron Magbuhos Papag, Seymour Sanchez, Sherad Sanchez, Keith Sicat, Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Sine Patriyotiko


1. Adjani Arumpac: WALAI (60 mins/DOCUMENTARY/2007)

WALAI is an exploration of spaces. It prods on thememories of four Muslim women who once lived in theinfamous White House in Cotabato City. The documentaryseeks narratives in “places...we tend to feel withouthistory.” It traces the past through the women'sexperience of what has happened inside the wreckedhome—nostalgia and fear, loss and love, and birth anddeath.

2. Waise Azimi: STANDING UP (155mins/DOCUMENTARY/2007)

STANDING UP follows the lives of the young Afghan mentraining to become part of the first line of defensein the War Against Terror.

The film also follows thelives of the Coalition soldiers charged with helping ready them for that crucial task. Situated at the Kabul Military Training Center 'Standing Up' provides an exclusive window into one of the most important tasks in the stabilization of Afghanistan and the wider region.

3. JP Carpio: HILO (90 mins/NARRATIVE/2007)

Originally conceptualized as a short film shot in 2004 and completed nearly three years later as a full length, the film charts the various emotional courses during a dinner between Emerson, a universityprofessor, and Jenny, a university student.

HILO isa narrative driven not by large, exaggerated silverscreen emotions but by the subtlest of movements; thehint of a smile, the way two lovers eyes meet and loseeach other, the manner in which a person serves foodto the one they care about.

In three parts, Hilo talksabout the big issues a couple faces by using the small movements that make up our everyday lives.

4. Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr: EheM!Plo (DOCUMENTARY/50min/2007)

EheM!Plo shows that indeed corruption is violence. If this is true, then stopping corruption and spreading integrity are now the new ways of working for peace.

5. Teng Mangansakan: THE JIHADIST (75mins/DOCUMENTARY/2007)

THE JIHADIST is an autobiographical documentary that posits the filmmaker as a mujahid (jihadist).


VOICE, TILTED SCREENS AND EXTENDED SCENES OFLONELINESS: FILIPINOS IN HIGH DEFINITION is, at once,a meditation. It is a meta-film that unravels ajourney, a chronicle of stories through foreign regions.

It is a probing letter from outside circles,an honest account of illegitimate views from uneven terrain, and a narrative-driven exploration of the nooks and peripheries of the body, geography, and weather.

As the journey progresses, the film increasingly traverses the countries of revelation,film, and heart to where all journeys are meant to endwith.


1. Elvert de la Cruz Bañares: ang bayan kong payapa, 5 mins/2007/Experimental

This is the state of our nation cycle.

2. Jeck Cogama: PUTOT 2006/Narrative

PUTOT (Visayan for "small") is the heartfelt story ofa young boy growing up at a squatter colony by thesea.

Putot, aged 13, is a taciturn boy who takes careof his mentally-ill father, and ekes out a living by selling mussels. He meets Mayang, a mysterious young girl with secrets of her own. A friendship begins between the two.

3. Gabriela Krista Lluch Dalena: RED SAGA15 mins/b&w, color/2004/Experimental

Children of the Land faithfully guard the last harvestfrom thieves. This poetic film offers a glimpse intothe passion and pain of the people's protracted war in the coutrysides.

4. Sari Raissa Dalena-Sicat: DIVINE WIND (KAMIKAZE)4 mins/b&w/2001/Experimental

A Japanese soldier hides in an island, in the belief that the war has not ended.

5. Apol Dating and Michael Cardoz: MEDALAWNA2007/Documentary

The story of a young girl named “Inday Liit” who helpsher family earn a living by happily sweeping graveyards.

6. Sheron Dayoc: DREAMS2007/Narrative

Nine-year-old Satra has been mute for as long as shecould remember. But her determination to secure a good education reverberates clearly amid the strictures ofher Yakan culture.

7. Emman Dela Cruz: THE SINGH FAMILY HOME VIDEOS2007/Documentary

A documentary work in progress, "The Singh Family Home Videos" charts an intimate look at the family life of the filmmaker's neighbors, a Punjabi Indian family whohas assimilated into the Filipino culture andcommunity.

Is nationality a matter of origin? Is identity a matter of choice? Or is your "home" amatter of where you are or where you'll be?

8. Moises Charles Hollite: GEORGE'S TOWN2007/Documentary

George Sabandal is one of about 2,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have sought refuge in thetown of Buluan, Maguindanao as a result of the“all-out war” in 2000. Refusing to go back to the place of his origin, he has created a new life forhimself and his family in their ideal town.

9. Noriel Jarito: BINGO18 mins/2007/Documentary

Bingo reveals life’s monotony of rural existence.People embrace almost anything: dull, inspiring, tame,untamed, reputable, and even deceptive.

To play “Bingo” inside a church is never questioned and is licensed by some Catholic Church leaders. Christianity is the largest religion but many of its followers are destitute enough to consider “Bingo” inside their church as a source of momentary abundance.

10. Kodao Productions: PUSHING THE PARAMETERS:LAWYERING FOR THE PEOPLE, 27 mins/2007/Documentary/2007

2006 was the worst year for the members of the bar,with seven lawyers and judges reportedly killed within the year. A significant number of these lawyers aredirectly involved in human rights advocacy.

Under the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, 19 lawyers and 12 judges were killed. And this can be seen in the light of more than 850 victims of extra-judicial killings from 2001 to 2007.

11. Loren Hallilah I. Lao: TRANQUIL TIMES 2007/Documentary

The documentary delves on the good governance effortsof the private sector, civil society and the local government unit of Wao, Lanao del Sur working together to erase remnants of the religious and ethnic clashes of the 1970s.

It explores how peace has been achieved in this multi-ethnic town, propelling the once-turbulent municipality into its present agricultural renaissance.

12. Mona Labado: STEP FOR MY DREAM 2007/Narrative

Seven-year-old Abdul dreams of becoming a leader of his town. He has natural charisma and easily becomes friends with people even if he hasn’t known them for long. But his grandmother reminds him of their peasant roots which is no match to the traditional ruling family.

Undaunted, Abdul sees it as a challenge envisions his future.

13. Ruelo Lozendo: SIMULA 10 mins/2006/Experimental

A worm enters a man’s ear and lives inside his body. As the worm’s metamorphosis unfolds, the man experiences his own transformation.

14. RJ Mabilin: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF GLORIA ARROVO, 1 min/2005/Animation

A satire on the different political and economic issues the country faces under the Arroyo administration.

15. Ana Isabelle Matutina: UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE 30 min/2005/Documentary

This documentary contextualizes the issue of US military presence in the country within the long and bitter history of conflict in the south.

Countering the reductionist frame set by the narrative of the“global war against terror,” it examines the historical conditions that led to the emergence of the Moro separatist movement and the subsequent rise of the Abu Sayyaf.

It dissects the government’s contradictory attempts to downplay its threat while atthe same time justifying escalating military operations in the region. Against this backdrop, the documentary then probes allegations of US military involvement in the war.

16. McRobert Nacario: BINITON 2007/Narrative

A story depicting the process of preparation and cooking of a dish called Biniton that is particular to the community of Saniag, Ampatuan.

The process of cooking, in the eyes of an old woman, brings to lifethe hardships they experienced amidst armed conflict at the same time the process of preparation, through the experience of Amel, her grandson walks us through the current situation of their community.

How amidst the hardships and diversity in culture they had all managed to bounce back and become united.

17. Nick Olanka: LUNES NG HAPIS 2006/Narrative

18. Mikhail Red: THRESHOLD 2007/Experimental

19. Sine Patriyotiko: MENDIOLA 31 mins/2006/Documentary

Through the First Quarter Storm to Mendiola Massacre to Calibrated Preemptive Response: from the very start, Mendiola houses the eye of conflict. Fact is,the road from Mendiola to the Palace is several hundred meters away.

Nevertheless, this still is agreat risk: to look directly at the center is to showthe strength to confront those in power. On the roadto mendiola, one can tread across the history of our continuous struggle for change.

20. Mariami Tanangco: BINYAG 2002/Narrative

One night, two tragedies are about to take place. In an abandoned warehouse, rookie policeman is tasked to execute a suspected drug pusher. In the quiet suburbs,a mother is worriedly waiting for her son to comehome.

A social commentary on police-instigated “salvaging” that was prevalent in the late 80s, thefilm is intended as a personal elegy on lost innocence.

21. Tudla Productions: SA NGALAN NG TUBO 2005/Documentary

A video documentary that chronicles what happened on November 16, 2004 when seven people died at the picketlines of the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac. Mill workers and farm workers of the sugar refinery and plantation owned by the Cojuangcos, one of the wealthiest, landed families in the Philippines, went on strike.

Their demands were met with a volley of gunfire from military and police. Beginning with the history and background of the land issue, the film builds the tension gradually, leading up to the actual footage ofthe Hacienda Luisita incident, when even the filmmaker holding the camera has to run for his life.

22. Eduardo C. Vazquez, JR: ME’GUYAYA2007/Documentary

Me’guyaya is a Te’duray term for merry-making orthanksgiving. In 2003, an active and concerned groupof people in Upi, Shariff Kabunsuan initiated afestival that would unite all residents in thankingGod for the abundant harvest.

Since then, it has become a big town event that celebrates the richness and diversity of the Muslim, Christian and Lumad peoples of Upi.

The documentary delves on how theMe’guyaya serves as a catalyst for cultural unity as everyone gets involved in the festivities.




*KONTRA-AGOS RESISTANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2007 is an Initiative of ST Exposure and Digital Cheese in cooperation with UP Sining at Lipunan, Sine Tres Marias and the Independent Filmmakers Cooperative.

www.kontra-agos.blogspot.com for updates.

No comments: