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Camp 2023 sparks Siquijor's creative community

With the excitement and hope it brings to the creative industry in the Province of Siquijor, the recently-concluded Film Camp 2023, an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Siquijor, was a huge success.

For the first time, the island’s creative sector, which consists of aspiring artists, scriptwriters, photo/videographers, and editors, students, employees and entrepreneurs, were exposed to the world of filmmaking after the country’s renowned directors Avel E. Sunpongco, Neil Daza, Earl Bontuyan, and editor Fausto Barnedo Jr. came to the province to teach them about cinematography.

A crew gets ready for the Short Film Production shoot during the Siquijor Film Camp 2023. (RAC/PIA7 Siquijor)

“It is very humbling to be mentored by the pillars of the Philippine film industry! Thank you Direk Avel, Direk Neil, Direk Earl, and Sir Fausto. We thank DTI Siquijor for giving us the chance to step up in our creative pursuits, this time in film making. Specials thanks to the actors as well. You guys are incredibly promising. Salamat kaayo jud! (Thank you so much)," said Siquijor State College (SSC) instructor Harvie Ligutom in her Facebook post after her group won the Best in Screenplay award for the short film, "xPeanutam-is (Coated with Love)."

The five-day film camp was filled with lectures, sharing of experiences and learnings, and workshops on the Arts and Science of Cinematography on the first two days. Participants were made to develop concepts and scripts on the third day and practical application on the fourth day where they shoot, produce and edit short films using local talents. The last day was screening/viewing the plays with the local audience.

Another group doing their shoot for the Short Film Production for Siquijor Province's Coconut Industry. (RAC/PIA-7 Siquijor with DTI photo)

“It is such an overwhelming yet inspiring experience to be taught and be guided by the legendary directors of the Philippines. Scriptwriting and directing had always been my passion especially in theatre. Call me ambitious, the dreamer in me exists although sometimes hibernating. Right now, it’s been awakened by this opportunity to delve into cinema with the amazing people behind Ang Probinsyano, Darna, Kadenang Ginto, Wansapanataym, Sa Ilalim ng Tuay, Segunda Mano, Feng Shui, Praybeyt Benjamin , Moron 5, The Gifted, Dekada ’70, Maalaala Mo Kaya, Princess and I, Be Careful With My Heart, Fan Girl….would take pages to lay off their list. Thank you so much DTI and the Provincial Government of Siquijor for this experience,” another SSC instructor, Jazzy Lyle Sarmiento, Samson said on her FB post.

Jazzy is the scriptwriter and assistant director of her group’s short film “Buko Choy” produced during the Siquijor Film Camp which won the Best in Directing Award.

The Film Camp is a component of the DTI’s strategies to address the bottlenecks and challenges in the creative industries. This is included in DTI's priority industries under science, technology, and innovation-driven industrialization strategy, which aims to grow globally competitive and innovative industries and create more and better jobs in the country. 

Recognizing its potential as the country's prime catalyst for innovation, DTI Siquijor Provincial Director Juliet Banogon said that with the government’s institutionalized support, the creative industry can accelerate its growth, bringing us closer to the vision of the Philippines becoming one of the top performing creative economies in Asia by 2030. 

"The government is finally investing for the development of the creative industry," said Banogon in her opening statement as she discussed Republic Act 11904, which mandates the promotion and development of the creative industries by protecting and strengthening the rights and capacities of employers, workers, and other stakeholders.

Banogon said the creative industries include the domains such as audio visual media, blogs, films, television, animatronics, broadcast, music, the digital interactive media which includes softwares, mobile apps, video games, digitalized creative content, among others. She also said that after taking a closer look at the province’s creative sector, the DTI took the initiative to address the industrys’ constraints and barriers to growth, formalizing the Siquijor Creatives in November 2022 and holding a series of meetings and trainings, including this year’s Short Film Production.

“We are so proud of our local talents. Indeed, Siquijor Creatives has something to offer. It’s already a feat for first-time filmmakers!” she said while showcasing the four short films including the Best in Editing "#Dirinaka", a short film for  depicting a traveler’s enlightening journey while  confronting her misconceptions about the mystical Island of Siquijor, the "Buko Choy" for Coconut Industry sector which features  how a coconut farmer's life was transformed while featuring the coconut's multi-faceted importance that makes it an invaluable resource for human well-being and sustainable development; the "Peanutam-is (Coated with Love)" for Food Industry to highlight its role in shaping the economy, culture, and individual lives; and the Film Camp’s Best in Cinematography and Best Film  “Hello Stranger” for the Creative Industry sector.  (RAC/PIA7-Siquijor)

Direk Neil Daza (seated, L) demonstrating the application of lighting perspective and camera angles. (RAC/PIA7-Siquijor)

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Rizalie Calibo


Region 7

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