Two local films shortlisted in MMFF

Bacolod City lone district Rep. Greg Gasataya (3rd from left) with the Mass Communication students of the University of St. La Salle (USLS) and “Tabako” short filmmakers Alfredo Bayon-on (2nd from right), Kent Vincent Ontanieza (right), Alessandra Sophia Diaz (2nd from left); and Rodney Jarder Jr. (left) during their courtesy visit to the congressman’s office in Bacolod City on Tuesday. (Glazyl Y. Masculino photo)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Two local films here and in Negros Occidental were among the eight selected top short films qualified to compete in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival student short film category in December.

These short films are the “Tabako” created by the Mass Communication students of the University of St. La Salle (USLS) in Bacolod City, and “Hipos” made by the students of Sagay National High School in Sagay City.

“Tabako” director Alfredo Bayon-on told the media last Tuesday that out of the 126 scripts submitted nationwide, 16 were selected and were given P20,000 grant for the short films.

From the 16 selected participants, only eight were qualified to screen the short films in the movie theaters nationwide and be part of the MMFF, he added.

Bayon-on said that the short films will run for five minutes and will be screened before the full-length movie entries of the MMFF.

Bayon-on said they were not really serious at first, but when they were already chosen as one of the finalists, they really did their best to create a wonderful fictional film that would tell the legend of Mt. Kanlaon, an active stratovolcano on the island of Negros.

The film is produced by the USLS. It was completed in three weeks.

Bayon-on said it was their first time to join the MMFF, and they were really glad that the film will be screened all over the country.

Meanwhile, Bacolod Representative Greg Gasataya said he is supporting the students in any way, as they represent the city in the film making industry.

“This is a very important development and good news in the film making industry,” he added.

He lauded them for their contribution and vowed to help in the development of the students in the said industry.

“We must be proud of the achievement of these students, and I hope this will encourage them to go further since we also have many good and prominent filmmakers here,” the congressman said.

Moreover, another short film entitled “Hipos” produced by the Anggulo Productions of Sagay National High School, in association with GPS Films and Ark Fx, will also be shown in cinemas nationwide as part of the MMFF.

The film is written by Jo-ane Pitogo and directed by Cyrus Noel Carano-o.

The awards night is scheduled for December 27, 2019. Filmmakers can get P100,000 cash for the best picture award.