fresh no ads
In partial fulfillment of Wish No. 88 |


In partial fulfillment of Wish No. 88

- Jansen Musico -

MANILA, Philippines - Before his untimely passing in September of 2009, noted film enthusiast Alexis Tioseco left behind a manifesto for Philippine cinema titled “Wishful Thinking for the Philippine Cinema.” There were 89 wishes on the list, most of which have yet to be fulfilled by the people and groups he cited. On item no. 46, he wished for the completion of EDSA XXX, a film by his friend, Khavn Dela Cruz. Though this experimental project has yet to see the light of day, Khavn still honored Alexis’s memory with the recently concluded 4th .MOV International Film Festival held last September 1 to 6.

The one-week affair, which happens every three years, showcases some of the most diverse avant-garde collection of films from the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia. This year’s festival kicked off at the Podium with a screening of the 10 finalists for the festival’s Silvershorts competition (won by Jon Lazam’s The Moon Is Not Ours / Hindi sa Atin Ang Buwan). This was then followed by a tribute to Alexis and his girlfriend Nika Bohinc, who were both slain on September 1, exactly two years ago.

“Alexis and Nika were my friends,” Khavn recounted. He met Alexis in 2003 and Nika in Rotterdam in 2005. The pair had actively helped him out with the previous .MOV Fests, with Alexis programming the first three and Nika holding a workshop in 2008. It was natural then for Khavn to have them in mind while organizing this year’s festival, especially with the selection of films. “The primary consideration was that everything was either a favorite of Alexis’s, or Nika’s, or both.”

Three of Alexis’s contemporaries, who were also mentioned in item no. 32 on his list (Francis ‘Oggs’ Cruz, Richard Bolisay, and Dodo Dayao), graced the event together with the couple’s other friends. The opening festivities were accompanied by a string of one-minute movie projections from some of Alexis and Nika’s most supported filmmakers, such as John Torres and Thai director Apichatpong “Joe” Weerasethakul.

The succeeding days were marked with workshops, film showings, and premieres from prominent independent filmmakers, including Lav Diaz and Khavn himself. But what set the 4th .MOV Fest apart from its predecessors was the stronger presence of music and literature.

“Right from the start, .MOV Fest has had music and literature components, albeit subtle. This year, we cranked up its focus on music and literature, giving these two disciplines the same recognition and attention as film. Film, music, and literature are three disciplines that have long walked hand in hand,” Khavn explained. “Alexis and Nika were both big fans of music and of poetry. I’m sure they would’ve approved. Besides, why settle for one party when you can have three? “

Aside from the opening night, there was Under the Storm, a poetry anthology launch at the Ayala Museum held on September 2. Some of the 150 featured contemporary poets showed up at the event, with Radioactive Sago front man Lourd De Veyra, who fulfilled no. 49 in Alexis’s list. Music icons Ely Buendia, Raimund Marasigan, and maestro Ryan Cayabyab headlined Folk U, the September 3 launch party of Songs from the End of the World, a compilation CD with tracks from Filipino singer-songwriters. Though the album launch didn’t go without a hitch (they had to change venues), Khavn said the .MOV team took things in stride.

With this year’s .MOV Fest over, Khavn can breathe easy. 2014 is still a few years away. “It’s frightfully difficult to organize a festival on very limited and limiting resources. If I had to do it every year, I would go mad. At this point, everything is up in the air about the 5th .MOV Fest. I may decide to do it. I may not. Either way, I am absolutely overjoyed by the impact it’s made.”

This leads us to Alexis’s wish no. 88: “I wish we focused our attention more on audience education, development and literacy, than on dumbing down films to pander to them.” With this year’s impressive turnout, increased number of Silvershort entries, and the new audiences reached, the .MOV International Film Festival is certainly a step forward towards realizing that dream.

vuukle comment










Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with