Bacolod Film Fest 10 finalists named



Ten budding Bacolod filmmakers, four of them women, have been selected to show their “Stories With a Smile” entries during the maiden staging of the Bacolod Film Festival (BFF) this September.

The 10 finalists, out of the initial 33 hopefuls, include Georgia Mari Elardo, Charlene Mae Tupas, Pauline Santos, Chelsea Tasic, Vincent Joseph Entuna, Oscar Villanueva, Willbryan Garcia, Juan Carlo Miguel Araullo, Reginald Amador Zach Versoza, and Banjo Hinolan.

Each of them will receive a production grant of P300,000, with the P240,000 to be released once the grantee comes up with the poster and trailer for his or her entry, BFF director Seymour Sanchez said during the presentation of the 10 finalists June 10 at the Bacolod Government Center lobby.

The 10 finalists to the first Bacolod Film Festival staging in September were presented at a press conference at the Bacolod Government Center June 10. | PIO photo

Elardo’s entry, “Chicken Inasal”, is set in 2222 in the cyberpunk city of Bacolod; Tupas’ “Aninaw” embarks on a journey against a backdrop of an evolving city and of failing memory; Santos’ “Laragway sa Karon” tells of an unexpected friendship full of colors; and Tasic’s “A Flower A Day” is of a young woman finding solace amid the faded charm of a quiet, rundown café, the city said.

Entuna’s “Sa Pwesto ni Pistong (The Barber’s Chair)” is about a humble barber navigating a tumultuous era while serving a diverse array of customers; Villanueva’s “The Mansion” tells of a young artist’s struggle to find inspiration and becoming obsessed with the White Lady legend; and Garcia’s “Puli Na, Diche Lesly” is a bittersweet story of family ties and the things we do for love.

Araullo’s short film “Blind Date”, to be directed by Victor Villanueva, tells of two savvy social media stars getting set up and struggling to meet up; Versoza’s “Glub” is about an outcast, who wants to have someone who understands him and meeting a person who he thinks would be the one; while Hinolan’s entry, “Manokan Country”, to be produced by Maria Althea Rose Mauricio, is about a determined restaurant owner’s faceoff against a ruthless real estate developer in a chicken inasal cooking competition to save his family’s eatery and preserve the heart of his community, the city added.

Councilor Em Ang, main author of the BFF ordinance, said she is “very happy and so pleased” that the film festival “has come to life and is actually happening.”

“Looking at (these) very young grantees, I have so much hope for the future of the creative industry in the city of Bacolod,” she said.

Ang, chairperson of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on History, Culture and Arts, said she is thankful to Mayor Alfredo Benitez for pushing to premiere the BFF this year and in looking for funds, and the Department of Trade and Industry for financial assistance, under the Creative Industries budget.

“Luckily, Bacolod is one of the very first LGUs to receive such grant this year,” she added.

Each short film will run for 15 to 20 minutes, and will be shown in cinemas at SM City Bacolod and Ayala Malls Capitol Central. | CGC