Cebu is ready for revival of Cebuano films

“Usa Ka Libo,” a short film by Eli Razo, is the grand prize winner in the Sinulog Film Festival 2019 held on Feb. 2, 2019. | Photo courtesy of Eli Razo


CEBU CITY, Philippines — Is Cebu ready to produce full-length films?

For Ronaldo Tan, chairman of the Sinulog Short Film Festival, Cebu is ready to revive the cinema industry but it is up to the producers to come in.

“I am inviting all of you (to produce.) You have seen the (short) films already. Nindot kaayo. Ready na ta,” he told reporters in a recent interview.

Tan was overwhelmed with the films produced during the Sinulog Short Film Festival 2019.

This year, Eli Razo’s “Usa Ka Libo” won the top prize followed by “Kuwerdas” (Chloe Veloso) and “Harmonica” (Brian Brusas).

Among the challenges seen by Tan in reviving the Cebuano cinema is to strengthen marketing and film distribution, especially that most young people only study filmmaking, scriptwriting, and acting.

“Unsaon man sad ang nindot na mga pelikula kung dili mabaligya?” he added.

Few seemed to know that Cebuano films were popular in the 1950s.

Among popular old Cebuno full-length films were “Badlis sa Kinabuhi” and “Salingsing sa Kasakit,” which were released in the 1950s and 1960s.

Another way to promote Cebuano full-length films is to create a separate award-winning body.

“Actually, I am planning to come up with one but I will still follow the theme of Sinulog Festival,” he said.

He believes that Sinulog Festival is a good theme to follow which can produce positive films.

“That is what we need in the world now, films that are about faith, family, and love,” Tan said. /elb


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