Cebuano short films make it to Nabunturan Independent Film Exhibition

By: Michelle Joy Padayhag August 20,2019 - 03:28 PM

Cebu City, Philippines—Three Cebuano short films are in this year’s roster of the Nabunturan Independent Film Exhibition, an annual film festival in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley.

The official Facebook page of Nabunturan Independent Film Exhibition released the final entries on the evening of Monday, August 19, 2019.

Making to the final cut are “Usa Ka Libo” by Eli Razo (Santa Fe, Bantayan Island), “Kwerdas” by Chloe Anne Veloso (Cebu City), and “Naro 626” by Rena Mae Gocotano (Lapu-Lapu City). 

Veloso told CDN Digital that she did not expect that “Kwerdas” will be part of the 27 selections of the film festival.

“My team and I are happy and grateful of the opportunity to reach out to the Mindanao film community,” she said. 

“Kwerdas” is topbilled by award-winning actress Ligaya Rabago, Alden Celis, and Julius Ambrad. 

It is written by Veloso and Altheia Celis.

This will be the third time that “Kwerdas” made it to a film festival in the Philippines. 

The short film was first screened during the Sinulog Short Film Festival 2019 and finished first runner-up for Best Picture and Best Production Design. 

Last week, “Kwerdas” was part of the Gawad Alternatibo, one of the main components of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2019 in Manila.

Meanwhile, Razo is delighted that “Usa Ka Libo” will be screened for the first time outside the Visayas.

“It (Usa Ka Libo) shows them a glimpse of the stories of the island, particularly Bantayan, which I am happy to say was the original intention of the film,” Razo said.

“Usa Ka Libo” is written by Jai Shane Cañete that talks about an island girl with big dreams portrayed by Myrgen Santillan, an 18-year-old native from Santa Fe, Bantayan Island. 

This was first screened during the Sinulog Short Film Festival 2019, where it was named as Best Short Film. 

“Usa Ka Libo” also took home the Best in Sound Engineering and Musical Scoring, Best In Editing, Best in Cinematography, and Best Story and Screenplay. Razo and Santillan also received the Best Director and Best Actress, respectively. 

This will be the third film festival in the country that “Usa Ka Libo” will be part of.

This September, it will also be part of the Cebu International Film Festival.

Completing Cebu’s pride for the Nabunturan Independent Film Exhibition is Gocotano’s “Naro 626.” 

“Our film reminds us of our burning passion to tell stories,” she told CDN Digital. 

“Naro 626” is starred by Clark Jude Suhot and Trixie Maerelle Galaura. 

The short film finished second place in the Short Filmmaking Contest organized by Cebu City Office Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP) as part of Drug Awareness Month in December 2018.

In February 2019, it was also screened during the Oroquieta Film Festival.

The film won second place for Best Picture and Best in Screenplay while Galaura was hailed as Best Actress. /bmjo

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