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Tuguegarao-based film org represents Asia in int’l conference

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan (PIA) -- The North Luzon Cinema Guild (NLCG), a non-profit organization based in this city, was accepted as the sole Filipino and Asian representative in a conference for the global creative sector, which was held in Milan, Italy this October 2023. 

The event is entitled “A Creativity Revival”, an annual worldwide convention organized by the Moleskin Foundation, also a non-profit organization dedicated to creative pursuits based in Milan. The conference is part of the foundation’s Creative Pioneers Fund (CPF), which aims to mobilize a global effort to advance social change and development.

According to the event briefer, the conference serves as a channel where the participants can collaborate and freely exchange ideas and learnings, particularly in uplifting the creative sectors of conflict zones around the world such as Ukraine, Somalia, and the Middle East.

As a recipient of the CPF last year, the NLCG, represented by its founders, Jerome Dulin and Vergel Joseph Arcegono, were invited to share their experiences on how film can become a collective instrument for social change in the Philippines.

According to Dulin, their talk touched on how artists and stakeholders can combine their craft with the advancement of their advocacies–  in their case, film making. 

North Luzon Cinema Guild founder, Jerome Dulin, shares his experiences on how filmmaking can be a channel for social change to an international audience during a conference in Milan, Italy this October. (Photo courtesy of Joseph Arcegono)

The NLCG, as an organization dedicated to establishing an industry for film and cinema in Cagayan Valley, is the first of its kind. Since starting in 2018, the group has organized various activities such as filmmaking seminars and competitions, as well as film shoots and screenings in Tuguegarao City and across northern Luzon, including remote communities. 

The North Luzon Cinema Guild conducts a free film screening for children in a coastal community in Alaminos, Pangasinan. (Photo courtesy of Jerome Dulin)

The organization is also associated with rising independent filmmakers such as Glenn Barit (Cleaners, 2019; Luzonensis Osteoporosis, 2022) and Austin Tan (Ngatta Naddaki y Nuwang, 2022), whose respective films, which feature the life and culture in their hometown, Tuguegarao, have made entry into film festivals in Metro Manila.

The film Ngatta Naddaki y Nuwang is particularly notable in its pioneering use of the Ibanag language in its dialogues, while Luzonensis Osteoporosis pays homage to the species of early humans discovered in Cagayan, Homo luzonensis, which made global headlines in 2019. 

Both films feature and promote the Cagayano identity while countering the decline of indigenous culture, which is in line with the principles of the NLCG in creating art for social change.

It is with this advocacy of cultural promotion and advancement of a young local film industry that the NLCG collaborates frequently with institutions such as the Cagayan Museum and Historical Research Center and other stakeholders in order to build a collective effort to uplift the cultural and creative sectors of society.

As per Dulin, the conference in Milan is expected to be one th ofe first international engagements that will contribute to the nurturing of the young local film industries in Cagayan and elsewhere in northern Luzon through the experiences and knowledge that he and Arcegono have brought home. (JKC/PIA Region 2)

About the Author

Jan Karl Coballes

Regional Editor; Research and Development Officer; Tuguegarao City Information Center Manager

Region 2

Ibanag. Writer. Researcher. Ethnographer. Ethno-historian. Graduate student focusing on linguistic and cultural anthropology.

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