'Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan' opens CineKasimanwa film festival
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - December 9, 2014 - 3:20pm

MANILA, Philippines - The most anticipated film festival in Region VI, CineKasimanwa, opens with the country's Oscar entry, "Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (Norte, the End of History)" which was screened first at the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival 2013.

It is one of the most awarded films in recent memory and one that has even pushed filmmaker Lav Diaz's reputation as one of the country's top filmmakers. The film is about the lives of three people (Sid Lucero, Archie Alemania, Angeli Bayani) that take an interesting turn when one of them commits a crime and someone else gets accused for it.

CineKasimanwa festival director, programmer and also a filmmaker Elvert de la Cruz Bañares explained that the selection of Norte was more than just the fact that Lav's parents were from Iloilo.

"When we open festivals, we set the tone and mood for the audiences,” he explained. “Norte narrates a humble story that gets complicated and emotionally challenging as it progresses. It is told through visually haunting images that forebodes. How can you ignore something like this one?"

Apart from Norte, there are 10 other full-length films that are part of the festival: "Dapya Sang Paglaum", the new documentary by TM Malones; "My Fake American Accent", a funny take on the lives of call center agents directed by Ned Trespeces; film by Ray Gibraltar, "Wanted: Boarder", a horror film with a kick and "Brod" that explores sensitive themes of brotherhood, sexuality, fraternity and more; "Namets!" by Jay Abello (Pureza) which is a charming story about two lovebirds using Bacolod food as its theme; "Tumbang Preso" a film by Kip Oebanda about human trafficking; "Trabaho" by Ned Trespeces; "T'yanak" by master filmmakers Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes; "Little Azkals" about the path to glory of the little soccer kid players by Baby Ruth Villarama; and "Dagyang" a mystical tour of the Iloilo culture and heritage through the eyes of the child by Joenar Pueblo.

CineKasimanwa's main aim is to support and promote films and filmmakers from the Western Visayas region. Now that the local filmmakers have an annual festival wherein they can showcase their works, a lot of the filmmakers from Iloilo were able to produce new films which shall be making its world premiere.

Some of them are "Gaid", by Tara Illenberger which is about a crime of passion; "Gamhanan" by Joenar Pueblo; "Bantay Salakay" by Reymundo Salao; and Malones' Dapya Sang Paglaum.

This year, CineKasimanwa programming has paired the full-lengths with short films which will be screened at the SM City Iloilo Cinema 1.

Some of the films are “Wowa” by Joebert Casas, winner of 2014 Best Short Film at the Bantayan Film Festival in Guimbal, which will be the Opening Short Film; “Yuhom” by Blessel Toledo; “Sino Si Mel Carreon?” by Mia Reyes; Silong by Steven Asaph Reasol, who was named Best Director of the Summer at the 2014 Bakunawa Film Festival; “Ang Paranublion” by Eden Gilpo; and Bakunawa Film Fest winner “Reverie” by Angelica Pavillar. 

The curated Short Film Programs this year boasts of more than 60 short films all divided into six programs: "Relasyon, Bala, Kulo, Dugo" collects films with domestic relationships, revenge and more; "Bagito Ang Panahon" is a collection of light films - both dramatic and comedy; "Sin-o Gid Bala Sila?" features four documentaries and three narratives about caring for loved ones; "Liwat Liwat" a free screening of twelve films by different student-filmmakers interpreting the same script; "The Best of CineKasimanwa 1" with a selection of some of the best shorts last year; and the annual "Moo-Moo-An Kag Fantasmagoria" the horror, adventure and fantasy program which will give 50 percent discount to people who will watch the films in costume and make-up. 

The film festival closes with the horror drama "Asin" which was beautifully shot in San Joaquin and finely directed by Aimee Apostol Escasa. The film which has a wonderfully-framed cinematography is about motherhood, local folklore and the secrets of the mountains. 

This year, the festival will also bring in actors and film directors who are part of the films programmed in the festival.

“Norte” and “T'yanak” star star Sid Lucero will grace the event, also Alessandra De Rossi who makes a cameo in "T'yanak," Albert Almendralejo, the Ilonggo producer of "Tumbang Preso" and "Little Azkals," actress Tanya Lopez who will be featured in the red carpet launch of Robertine Films during the special screening of “Little Azkals.

Other key personalities who will come the event are Ned Trespeces, director of “Trabaho” and “My Fake American Accent,” Juan Carlo Rosales of OLX, online festival partner and Raymond Lee, producer of “Norte: Hangganan ng Kasaysayan.”

Like last year, the festival donates 25 percent of each ticket to the Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center and Rebuild Project while the rest are equally divided into filmmaker's and/or producer's share, cinema rentals with SM City Iloilo Cinema 1 and the film festival operations.

Tickets are priced at P120 for SM Cinema 1 (except for Norte at P200); P50 for UPV Cinematheque and FDCP Cinematheque. It will happen on December 8-14.

CineKasimanwa: The Western Visayas Film Festival is presented by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Department of Tourism - Region VI, OLX, The Negros Museum and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

It is supported by University of the Philippines in the Visayas Cinematheque, FDCP Iloilo Cinematheque, Globe Telecom, Epson, SM Supermalls, SM Cinema, E Unlimited and MTRCB. Our media partners: Business World, Iloilo Metropolitan Times, High Life, Philstar.com, Inquirer.Net, Business Mirror, Click the City and the Iloilo Media. 

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