GUIDE: SalaMindanaw International Film Festival 2015

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The third edition of SalaMindanaw International Film Festival will be organized from November 18 to December 2, 2015 in the cities of General Santos and Cotabato, Philippines.

The full festival schedule can be downloaded here.

The Festival will open with an exhibit at SM City Gensan on November 18 called Fluid Boundaries – Bridging Central Mindanao and Southeast Asia Through Cinema which shall feature a photo exhibit of films made in Central Mindanao in the last ten years as well as in neighboring Southeast Asian countries that share common images and issues forming a unique film iconography and discourse. The exhibit is co-presented by the Department of Tourism XII.

Six films will vie in the Festival’s Asian full-length competition. These are Chasing Waves (Charliebebs Gohetia, Philippines),Under Construction (Rubaiyat Hossain, Bangladesh), Jalanan (Daniel Ziv, Indonesia), Snakeskin (Daniel Hui, Singapore), River of Exploding Durians (Edmund Yeo, Malaysia) and Crescent Moon (Ismail Basbeth, Indonesia).

‘River of Exploding Durians’ competed at the 2015 Tokyo International Film Festival.

Meanwhile, seven films will compete in the Asian short film section. These are Elegy (Yousef Kargar, Iran), When The Boats Come In (Khin Maung Kyaw, Myanmar), Man in The Cinema House (Bernard Jay Mercado, Philippines), The Cat and The Orange Seeds (Nguyen Le Hoang Viet, Vietnam), November (Shane Lim, Singapore), Following Diana (Kamila Andini, Indonesia) and The Young Man Who Came From The Chee River (Wichanon Somumjarn, Thailand).

With the exception of Bangladesh and Iran, all films in the line up are from Southeast Asia.

'Following Diana' was screened at the 2015 Toronto IFF.
‘Following Diana’ was screened at the 2015 Toronto IFF.

“On our third year, the Festival’s programming is closer the vision of SalaMindanaw, which is to make the Festival a platform for Southeast Asian cinema,” festival director Teng Mangansakan revealed.

“This year (2015) marks the start of ASEAN Integration. General Santos and Cotabato are strategic locations for regional cinemas across the east ASEAN region due to its proximity to other regional film hubs such as Davao and Zamboanga in the Philippines, and Palu and Makassar in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Cotabato is also the seat of the regional government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Cinema can bridge Southeast Asia and bring its people closer,” Mangansakan noted.

This year, SalaMindanaw is also organizing the inaugural Mindanao Screen Lab. In partnership with forumZFD, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Mindanao State University Gensan – Graduate School, the Screen Lab is designed as an intensive learning program that provides emerging Mindanao filmmakers hands on training as well as project development sessions that will transform ideas into films. Aside from skills development, the Screen Lab is also aimed at developing young filmmakers who can serve as ambassadors of peace and cultural diversity by instilling a critical appreciation of the issues and challenges to peace in Mindanao. Mentors include award winning Filipino filmmakers John Torres and Sherad Anthony Sanchez and Singaporean auteur Kan Lume.

SalaMindanaw is the first and only international film festival in Mindanao. It is organized by the Mindanao Center for the Cinematographic Arts (Mindanao Cinematografica).

River of Exploding Durians was in the international competition in Tokyo IFF last year while Crescent Moon was in the same section in Tokyo IFF this year. The Young Man Who Came From The Chee River competed at the Orizzonti section of Venice IFF this year. Elegy was in Cannes 2015 and is being considered for Oscars 2016 best shorts nomination. Following Diana screened in Toronto IFF last September.

The Festival is anchored on its mission to be a mirror (salamin) of peace (salam) in Mindanao, hence the name SalaMindanaw.

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