Bangsamoro film competes in World Premieres fest

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FROM LEFT: Gutierrez Manangsakan II, with actresses Fe Gingging Hyde and Bambi Beltan, and producer Liryc de la Cruz.

“This is poetic justice,” said director Gutierrez “Teng” Mangansakan II of his film, “Daughters of the Three Tailed Banner,” being chosen to represent the country in the Main Competition section of this year’s World Premieres Film Festival (WPFF), which opened on June 29.

“The production had to brave a lot of challenges when funders backed out, because they thought it was difficult to talk about the Bangsamoro as a result of the Mamasapano incident last year,” the director told the Inquirer at the after-party of the 2016 WPFF opening ceremony at the Cinematheque Center in Ermita, Manila.

The Mamasapano incident happened during a police operation in January 2015 that led to the deaths of 44 members of the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police in Maguindanao.

“But we’re also glad that despite this, a lot of people helped us make this film, because they had faith in our cinematic intention and the validity of stories from the Bangsamoro,” Mangansakan added.

“Daughters of the Three Tailed Banner” is the first of a two-part film, “moro2mrw.” Set on the eve of the inaugural of the Bangsamoro government, the film delves on the struggles of women in society, from Tonina (who becomes a family commodity to barter for the sake of their future) to Aida (who falls victim to an illegal recruiter).

The film features Fe Gingging Hyde, Evelyn Vargas, Haide Sangkad, Mayka Lintongan, Sue Prado, Mon Confiado, Maria Victoria Beltran, Chona Ongkingco, Sahara Ali, Jen Lyka Cinco and Krigi Hager.

Other films in the Main Competition are “By Accident” (by Camille Fontaine, France), “Love Above All Things” (by Chema de la Peña, Spain) and “Redha” (by Tunku Mona Riza, Malaysia).

The festival’s opening film is the restored version of Ishmael Bernal’s debut film, “Pagdating sa Dulo,” starring Rita Gomez and Vic Vargas. There is also a section called Filipino Classics, which showcases digitally scanned and restored films from the collection of the National Film Archive of the Philippines (NFAP).

Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chair Briccio Santos said the agency has so far restored six films. “Because of our newly acquired technology, we can now scan and partially restore more old movies,” said the FDCP chief, referring to the Golden Eye 4 scanner, along with its Phoenix Refine toolset software, that the NFAP purchased recently. The FDCP is the organizer of the annual WPFF.

The International Film Conference, which focused on the topic, “Behind the Scenes: A 360-degree view of the film industry,” was held on July 1. The festival’s awards ceremony will be held tonight, also at the Cinematheque Center.

Participating films are also being screened in SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, Uptown Mall, Greenbelt Mall and Edsa Shangri-La Mall. The festival ends on July 10.

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