2017 TOFARM filmfest, songwriting tilt finalists announced

TOFARM ushers 2017 with two grand events that celebrate the lives of farmers in a non-conventional yet highly artistic way.

The 2nd TOFARM Film Festival is set to light up the silver screen once more with a new batch of entries. Following its successful debut in July 2016, this year’s edition of the TOFARM Film Festival promises to be another bountiful harvest of cinematic excellence.

The following are the finalists of TOFARM Film Festival 2017:

BAKLAD by Topel Lee
HIGH TIDE by Tara Illenberger
INSTALADO by Jason Paul Laxamana
KAMUNGGAY by Vic Acedillo Jr
SINANDOMENG by Byron Bryant
WHAT HOME FEELS LIKE by Joseph Abello

A seventh entry is likely to be added once the selection committee has finalized this inclusion.

“We were overwhelmed with the turnout of last year’s festival,” says Festival Director Maryo J. De Los Reyes. “The festival was warmly received by the movie industry, and a lot of independent producers and directors expressed their interest to join this year.”

He also notes that the number of script submitted doubled this year.

“This only proves that filmmakers are tremendously interested to participate in a festival that revolves around the farming industry and, at the same time, provides a venue for them to showcase their craft,” adds the award-winning television and film director.

With this year’s theme “Planting the Seeds of Change,” a total of six films were chosen to be this year’s official entries.

Music from the Farm

In addition to the film festival, TOFARM also announces the list of entries that qualified for the first ever TOFARM Songwriting Competition.

Launched in May 2016, the competition is open to both amateur and professional songwriters whose task is to come up with an original composition about agriculture, with the central theme “Planting the Seeds of Change.”

Noted musical director Ria Villena-Osorio is at the helm of the competition, together with the selection panel composed of Josefino Chino Toledo, Luchie Roque, Olivier Ochanine and Jed Balsamo.

“I am excited to work on this new project under TOFARM. This is the first time I will be heading a competition that celebrates farmers and farming,” Osorio enthuses.

Again with this year’s theme “Planting the Seeds of Change,” a total of ten songs were chosen to be this year’s official entries.

The finals night is slated on April 9 at the Samsung Hall in SM Aura Premier.

A Patron of the Arts

Both TOFARM Film Festival and Songwriting Competition are under the patronage of Dr. Milagros O. How, TOFARM Chief Advocate and Executive Vice-President of Universal Harvester, Inc. Her vision is to give due recognition to the selfless contribution of farmers to the nation.

“Our farmers have been diligently working in the field to make sure we all have food on our tables. It is high time that we celebrate their hard work through popular media so that more people can appreciate their valuable roles in our lives,” explains Dr. How.

Aside from these undertakings, TOFARM is also behind the Search and Award for Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines, an internationally acclaied award-giving body that recognizes the achievements of farmers, fisherfolk, livestock raisers, cooperatives, and local government units in the advancement of the agricultural sector.

“We are greatly indebted to our farmers, and we at TOFARM can only do so much to make them feel that all their efforts are sincerely appreciated,” says Dr. How.

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