Five years in the making

Bantayan Island’s BaMaSa Film Festival set 

By: Michelle Joy Padayhag - CDN Digital | February 11,2020 - 11:58 AM

Cebu City, Philippines—It’s five years in the making. 

Bantayan Island will now have its own film festival as the BaMaSa Festival will take place from May 21 to May 23, 2020. 

Award-winning Cebuano director Eli Razo, the festival director and founder, confirmed this with CDN Digital after the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines (NCCA) approved a P200,000 grant under the Cinema Section – Cinemas in the Region. 

“Very, very excited. Not only me but also my peers in the film community especially in Central Visayas,” Razo said when asked for his reaction. 

The term BaMaSa was derived from the names of the three towns on Bantayan Island in Northern Cebu. These are Bantayan, Madridejos, and Santa Fe. 

The film festival aims to expose the local community to films outside the mainstream. 

Razo is now working for the activities in this three-day film festival that will include film screening, workshops, talks, and film competition. 

For the submission of entries, the  categories are still being discussed but they will consider films that will tackle on the island life. 

With BaMaSa, Razo hopes to have more filmmakers from Bantayan Island shine in the film industry.

“I hope this inspire the young filmmakers,” said Razo, who is also a filmmaker from Santa Fe known for his films “Usa Ka Libo” and “Panihapon,” which made it to Sinulog Film Festival 2019 and CineSpectra 2019 Short Film Festival, respectively. 

At present, BaMaSa is the only island-based film festival in the province.

Other film festivals in Cebu are Sinulog Short Film Festival, Binisaya Film Festival, Sinegugma Short Film Festival, and Cebu International Film Festival. /bmjo

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