Kapampangan films take part in film festival

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Kapampangan films took part in this year’s 4th Cinema Rehiyon Film Festival in Negros Oriental, joining other films by independent filmmakers from different provinces of the country.
The event that ran from February 7 to 12 is an annual non-competition film festival. Cinema Rehiyon is a project of the Cinema Committee of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) during the National Arts Month.
Three Kapampangan films represented Pampanga this year. These include “Ing Babaing Mapamalit SIM” (The Switcher) by Kragi Garcia of Macabebe; “Sumangid” (Other Side) by Jason Paul Laxamana of Angeles City; and “Aliwa Mu Aku” (Not Alone) by first-time filmmaker Kirby Araullo of the City of San Fernando, now based in Davis, California.
The works of the filmmakers of the province are screened continuously for free in a public venue, such as Gaisano Mall in Davao City in last year’s edition, and Robinsons Bacolod this year. The screenings are followed by an open forum with the directors and, if present, actors.
Laxamana, who has been participating in Cinema Rehiyon since the first year it was held, expressed his envy with other provinces like Cebu, Davao, and Negros.
“During the first Cinema Rehiyon, only one Kapampangan short film represented Pampanga, even though there was really no Pampanga category then. ‘Ing Bangkeru’ (The Boatman) was placed in the category ‘Other Parts of Luzon.’ During the second year, five Kapampangan films were programmed in the festival,” Laxamana said.
Laxamana said Pampanga enjoyed a powerful presence through the two best pictures of the first Sinukwan Kapampangan Film Competition: “Balikbalen” (Homecoming) by Kragi Garcia and “Ing Magdarame” (The Penitent) by JV Trinidad.
“Pupul” (Harvest) by former Bb. Pilipinas candidate Nicolette Henson was also part of the festival, along with “Ding Musa ning Minalin” (The Muses of Minalin) by Diego Dobles and his own short film “Dusing” (Dirt).
Brillante Mendoza also graced the event to support the Kapampangan filmmakers.
The first Sinukwan Kapampangan Film Competition did not have a sequel. As a result, only one Kapampangan film, albeit a star-laden, full-length one, made it to the third Cinema Rehiyon held in Davao City. The film was “Astro Mayabang” (Astro the Proud) by Laxamana, which was a finalist in the 2010 Cinema One Originals Film Festival.
“Astro Mayabang” starred Arron Villaflor, Megan Young, John Lapus, Hermes Bautista, Marco Morales, and Crystal Herrera, and was shot mainly in Angeles City in the Kapampangan language.
Laxamana said next year’s Cinema Rehiyon will be held in Los Baños, Laguna.
“By then, hopefully there will be more Kapampangan films to represent Pampanga.
Laxamana, who happens to be the Luzon representative of the NCCA Cinema Committee, looks forward to Angeles City hosting a future edition of Cinema Rehiyon.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 16, 2012.

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