‘ECQ’ Diaries: Negrense filmmaker in NCCA project

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A rising Negrense short-film director is among the 16 moviemakers whose works are featured in “ECQ: Eksena Cinema Quarantine (COVID-19 Filmmakers’ Diaries)”.

“ECQ” is a project under the National Committee on Cinema of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts with the Artist’s Hub of the University of St. La Salle coordinating as conduit and project manager.

MGA BAG-ONG NAWONG… Directed by Mark Raymund Garcia, right photo

“Mga Bag-ong Nawong (Sang Damgo kag Katingalahan)” or The New Faces – of Dreams and Mysteries – by Mark Raymund Garcia of Sagay City is the lone Negrense movie in the 16-film project.

Garcia said his film explores what life looks like during the pandemic. The film uses masks designed from the “Nawong” series created by internationally-acclaimed artist Nunelucio Alvarado, a native of Sagay and features paintings of abstract-looking faces, “which represent the new look under the current situation,” Garcia said, adding that they reflect how people adapt while wearing them, how they breathe and how they have become important part of our daily lives.

The 10-minute film has a cast of 26 members, all Sagaynons, said Garcia, who did its production and editing for about three months.

“I am overwhelmed that I have been invited to be part of ECQ, considering that many of the participating filmmakers have established their names in international and national competitions,” Garcia also said.

The Sagay filmmaker, who is also a journalist, represented Western Visayas late last year in NCCA’s Cinema Rehiyon, which showcased short films that won in local film festivals across the country. His “Buding, Ang Babayi nga Naglutaw” topped the 2019 CineKasimanwa Western Visayas Film Festival.

Two other Western Visayan filmmakers are included in the project. They are Arden Rod Condez of Pandan, Antique and Kyle Fermindoza of Iloilo City.

The NCCA said the 16 short works are compiled into two only omnibus films, which provide viewers with a glimpse and insights of the filmmakers on how they managed their lives during the lockdowns.

“ECQ” will be presented in its worldwide virtual launch at 6 p.m. today and will run for a week until Jan. 28.

The other filmmakers are Adjani Arumpac, Hiyas Baldemor Bagabaldo, Arbi Barbarona, Glenn Barit, Carlo Enciso Catu, Zurich Chan, Arden Rod Condez, Kristian Sendon Cordero, Khavn, Keith Deligero, Bagane Fiola, Julienne Ilagan, Pam Miras and Guillermo Ocampo.

NCCA Cinema Committee Chair Rolando Tolentino said, “It is important to continue the filmmaking process, especially in this time of the pandemic when it is very challenging to do films and art for that matter.” If we do not sustain art and culture, we would not have the testament that the pandemic indeed happened, adding that “these films become testaments that we lived this way now,” he added.

NCCA said four webinars are scheduled for five days, from Jan. 25-28 with clustered filmmakers who will share their experiences in the production of their short films.

The ECQ films may be accessed online after registering for a free account at vimeo.com, or through the vimeo mobile app. Films may be accessed as video on demand until Jan. 28 at 11:59 p.m. for free via the promo code ‘NCCACinema’. – NND