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12 Filipino films you should not miss this year

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From a two-year research conducted by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to uncover insights on what Filipinos value at present, twelve (12) short films are made to reiterate the importance of these Filipino values while depicting local customs and practices.

The NCCA in partnership with the Negros Cultural Foundation (NCF) launched Sine Halaga, a film festival and educational resource program, that seeks to explore 19 core Filipino values through stories and characters written and directed by some of the country's best and most promising filmmakers with their equally talented actors and production teams. Sine Halaga will soon release teacher and student's study guides for free and will conduct a series of workshops for teachers and students all throughout this year 2021.

Here are the qualitative results of the NCCA study on Filipino Values: 

(1) FAMILY (Pamilya)

(2) EDUCATION (Edukasyon)

(3) FAITH (Pananampalataya)

(4) HEALTH & WELLNESS (Kalusugan)

(5) BASIC NEEDS (Pangunahing Pangangailangan)

(6) SELF (Pagkatao)

(7) WORK & LIVELIHOOD (Kabuhayan)

(8) PEACE & DEVELOPMENT (Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran)

(9) HONESTY & INTEGRITY (Katapatan

(10) RESILIENCE (Katatagan)

(11) LIFE AND PURPOSE (Buhay at Tunguhin)

(12) HUMAN RIGHTS (Karapatang Pantao)

(13) ENVIRONMENT (Kapaligiran)

(14) LOVE FOR COUNTRY (Pagmamahal sa Bayan)

(15) HAPPINESS (Kaligayahan)

(16) KAPWA

(17) CULTURE, ARTS & SCIENCES (Kultura, Sining at Agham)

(18) GOVERNANCE (Pamamahala)

(19) CREATIVE EXCELLENCE (Pagkamalikhain)

It’s what makes Sine Halaga unique from other film fests—the films used as a tool to teach Filipino values,” Film Festival Director Elvert Bañares stated in their release. 

We are organizing a series of webinars and preparing study guides to aid our teachers in discussing the films to their students. With the help of our teachers, we can articulate effectively the values that each film conveys.” Bañares added.

Here are the 12 short films: 

Black Rainbow directed by Zig Dulay

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: Buo na ang pasiya ng mga magulang ni Itan, 12, Sambal Ayta, na hindi na siya magpapatuloy sa pag-aaral. Sapat na raw ang naabot niyang Grade 6 kung saan marunong na siyang magbasa at magsulat, tutulungan na lamang daw niya ang pamilya sa pagkuha ng puso ng saging at pagkakaingin sa kabundukan. Ang pag-aaral ay hindi raw para sa mga kulot na katulad niya, kundi para lamang sa mga unat. Tila ba gumuho at nawalan ng pag-asa ang pangarap ni Itan hanggang sa makapulot siya ng isang sirang keyboard ng computer.

Bakit Ako Sinusundan Ng Buwan? (Moon Under My Feet) directed by Richard Soriano Legaspi

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: Isang tanong ito ni Lino sa kanyang ina noong bata pa siya habang binabaybay nilang mag-ina ang makitid na pilapil isang gabi. Sa kanyang pagbibinata ay mawawala ng unti-unti ang kanilang sakahan ng dahil sa pagkaka-utang ng kanyang ama at katulad ng ilan ay lalakasan niyang mangibang-bayan.

Ang buwan ang magiging paraan para makausap niya ang kanyang ina sa loob ng ilang taong pagkaka-piit at sa kanyang pagbabalik ay muli niyang babalikan ang mga bagay at pangarap na na ninakaw nang kanyang pagkawala – kabilang ang kanyang nobya. Pakiramdam niya ay wala ng natira para sa kanya, nawala ng lahat pati ang kanyang pagkabata. Muling ikukuwento ng kanyang ina ang tungkol sa buwan na walang sawang nagbabantay kay Lino – katulad ng kanyang ina.

13 Feet directed by Carlo Obispo

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: After saving a drowning child 13 feet under the sea, a man has to adapt to living with his developing scales and gills.

Ugbos Ka Bayabas (Tender Leaves Of Guava) directed by Manie Magbanua, Jr.

Genre: Comedy

Synopsis: Ang pagtuli (circumcision) ay mahalagang bahagi ng kultura ng karamihan sa ating mga Pilipino. Ito ay isinasagawa sa iba’t ibang kadahilanan o paniniwala mapa-relihiyon man o kalusugan.

Ang pagtuli ay isa sa pinakamahalagang kaganapan tuwing matapos ang mahal na araw, taon-taon sa Sitio Igbarawan. Ito ang pagkakataong inaabangan ngunit kinakakatukan ng mga kabataan (at iilang matanda) subalit ito rin ang isang malaking hakbang upang sila ay matawag na ganap na binata. Wala pa sa isip ni Kadoy, 9 na taong gulang na magpapatuli sa taong ito. Nananaig pa sa kanya ang takot ngunit isang pangyayari ang nagpahiya at nagpababa ng kanyang pagtingin sa sarili. Ito ang nagtulak sa kanya upang harapin ang malaking pagsubok na ito sa kanyang pagkalalaki. 

Makayanan kaya niya ang pagsubok na ito? Mababawi kaya niya bumabang pagtingin sa sarili at ng kayang kinagigiliwang dalagita?

Masalimuot Ya Tiyagew Ed Dayat (Summer Blues) directed by Jan Carlo Natividad

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: Luis, a graduating student from Manila visits his hometown and reunites with his close friends Federico and Levi. Spending time together on the beach stirred Federico which made him confused and anxious since he started to develop feelings for Luis. The isolated environment creates an opportunity for Federico to show his forbidden desire with his longtime friend. 

Both intoxicated from alcohol they started dancing. The music shuffles into a slow song and they hold hands. Federico slowly puts his arm around Luis' waist when the music stops. Luis appears to have been caught off guard by the gesture. To his surprise, he abruptly pushes himself away while Federico out of awkwardness goes swimming to cut the tension. Will Luis allow himself to dive in curiosity and follow Federico’s footsteps?

Now on the cusp of adulthood, their story is a tale of two male friendships that deal with challenging notions of toxic masculinity and reflect on personal struggles of discovering one's true self.

Looking for Rafflesias and Other Fleeting Things directed by James Allen Fajardo

Genre: Drama; Fantasy; Romance

Synopsis: A community fears tikbalang (horse demon) after being blamed for various killings in the mountain. One of the residents, Gubat, a tikbalang who transforms into a teenage boy, searches for the truth in the mountain where he meets Darren, an American botanist looking for rafflesias. His interactions with the American guy unravel his inner desires that he has never faced before. This pushes him to reveal his identity which puts his life at risk.

Dandansoy directed by Rod Arden Condez

Genre: Drama, Comedy, Horror, Fantasy

Synopsis: When they have no one to pass their "mutya"" forward so they can finally die, aging ""aswangs"" in Antique are believed to seek for the mystical lake in Negros where they can just turn into ashes and disappear forever.

This is the story of a 78 year old aswang and the young man who helped her find the lake."

Salog Ning Diklom (Black River) directed by Jordan Jose Dela Cruz

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: A fisherman living along the Bicol River searches for his missing wife. His faith in God is tested when he finally finds her.

Sa Balay Ni Papang (In my Fathers House) directed by Kurt Soberano

Genre: Drama; Comedy

Synopsis: In 1982, a fourteen-year-old movie fanatic from an underprivileged family in the Municipality of Manapla coincidentally witnesses the production shoot of Oro, Plata, Mata in his hometown. Full of determination he approaches the director, Peque Gallaga, in the hopes of landing a job that would help in providing for his family, and feed his passion.

Mina’s Family History directed by Christopher Gozum

Genre: Drama; Supernatural elements

Synopsis: Mina, a pretty and intelligent 18-year-old student in a town, falls victim to a viral sex video the circulated in her school. This forced her mother Rita, an overseas Filipino worker in the Middle East, to go on an emergency leave to take care of her only daughter who was severely affected by the incident.

In the following days, strange things start to happen to Mina at home and at school. Her nose bleeds endlessly, a python appears in their home, and she sees the spirits of her ancestors come to their house. A healer, an old woman from the next barrio, is called to treat Mina’s strange afflictions. The old woman surmises that Mina’s ancestors had come to tell her of an important message but Mina is stubborn and continues to ignore the signs communicated.

Lorna directed by Noel Escondo

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: Lorna, a mother of two, just lost her husband, a fisherman one morning in a tragic sea accident. She was left with no choice but to raise her own family. In a town where women are regarded as inferior, she defies the odds by being the first woman “mangingisda” in order to feed her kids. Will she be able to rule out the ways of the sea? How long till’ the community accepts her defiance?"

Hadlok (Scared) directed by Ralston Jover

Genre: Drama, Fantasy

Synopsis: Hernan, a lowly informal dweller, gets engaged in a trivial property dispute with his neighbor. He is criminally charged with attempted murder after a heated altercation. He brings out a bolo from the kitchen to confront his neighbor. At that time his wife is slaving herself in Dubai as an OFW, and he is left to give unconditional care to her 2 children from her first marriage.

To watch the 12 short films, you may visit  https://vimeo.com/sinehalaga/vod_pages

Just click "Rent", then "Apply Promo Code".

Promo code: sinehalaga

For updates and more information on Sine Halaga, follow @SineHalaga on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Vimeo or send an email to sinehalaga@gmail.com.

(PIA-NCR)

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Alaine Allanigue

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