Saturday, November 29, 2014

11 Documentaries to screen at Cinematheque Baguio

The eleven celebrated documentaries of the pioneering batch of GMA CineTotoo: International Documentary Film Festival are coming to Baguio on December 2 to 7 for the first leg of The CineTotoo Caravan, a Philippine film screening tour that aims to widen the scope and reach of insightful, socially- conscious forms of media to Filipino audiences all over the country.

Organized by the eleven filmmakers themselves in partnership with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and GMA Network, the films, accompanied by their respective directors, will be screened at Baguio Cinematheque for only 100php per view next week.

Two of the participating film entries, “Agbalbalitok”by Ferdinand L. Balanag, a raw exposé of the unending and growing ever more challenging battles of ordinary Filipino small-scale miners in Itogon, Benguet as they harvest gold, the mythic treasure of the mountains at the cost of their own lives, and “Walang Rape saBontoc” by Carla Samantha-Ocampo and Lester Valle, which follows the story of two young women who, having survived sexual abuse, wish to learn about the rumoured existence of a culture free of the sexual violence against women, have been filmed in notable parts of the Cordillera and deals with some of the most intriguing and controversial issues nagging our society today.

Of special note is Ferdinand Balanag’s“Agbalbalitok”, which portrays man’s propensity towards indifference despite being faced with real, long-term environmental problems if it means getting through the day. The documentary was shot in Brgy. Luneta, Itogon, Benguet, tellingthe harrowing tale of ordinary Filipinos working in perilous, rundown small-scale gold mines.Balanag has worked on several films in the past, such as “Walking the Waking Journey” which reaped international awards.
“It is the interaction and exchange with different people and cultures and exploring new environments that makes me enjoy making documentaries. The ultimate satisfaction comes when I am told by the subject and the community that I was able to tell their story well and also that the documentary effectively stirs social discourse on issues which may result to positive change,” Balanag shared on what he cherished and found most rewarding about making documentaries despite their considerably lesser appeal in the film market.

As a Baguio-native and active community mobilizer,Balanagalso wishes to raise funds through ticket sales and donations to cover for the medical expenses of his film’s case study, Kurt John Guinapon, age 12, who is suffering from a rare blood disease.

CineTotoo Caravan Screening Schedule
1.Agbalbalitok (The Gold Prospector) (dir. FerdieBalanag) What is the true price of gold, and who really pays for it?
Dec 2 (Tuesday) - 3:30 PM
Dec 4 (Thursday) - 11:30 AM
Dec 7 (Sunday) - 3:30 PM

2. Special Jury Mention Walang Rape saBontok (dir. Lester Valle) Two Filipina victims of sexual abuse search for the truth behind the finding of a renowned anthropologist: that merely a few generations ago, the BontokIgorot lived in what seems an unthinkable utopia -- a rape-less society
Dec 3 (Wednesday) - 11:30 AM
Dec 5 (Friday) - 5:30 PM
Dec 6 (Saturday) - 5:30 PM

3. Migkahi e siAmeyte, Uliki pad (Father Said, 'Let's Return Home') (dir. NefLuczon) After the death of a cultural icon and tribal chieftain in Bukidnon, his adopted son takes on his cause to preserve their cultural heritage through music.
Dec 2 (Tuesday) - 11:30 AM
Dec 7 (Sunday) - 1:30

4. AngGitaristang Hindi Marunong Mag-skala (dir. Sig Sanchez) An aging guitarist plays by his heart while dancing on broken glass.
Dec 3 (Wednesday) - 3:30PM
Dec 5 (Friday) - 11:30AM

5. Marciano (dir. Ivy Baldoza) Built around found stories of relatives, acquaintances,and even strangers, this documentary paints a compelling portrait of a gay OFW who lived in Paris for 25 years and died there alone.
Dec 4 (Thursday) - 1:30 PM
Dec 6 (Saturday) - 11:30 AM

6. A Journey to Haifa (dir. NawruzPaguidopon) An openly gay filmmaker goes on a conservative religious pilgrimage to Haifa, Israel with his family.
Dec 2 (Tuesday) - 1:30PM
Dec 7 (Sunday) - 11:30 AM

7. Special Jury Award Mananayaw (dir. Rafael Froilan) When three men dare to dance, they learn that the pursuit of passion comes at a price.
Dec 2 (Tuesday) - 5:30 PM
Dec 5 (Friday) 1:30 PM

8. Best Documentary Audience Choice Award Gusto Nang Umuwini Joy (dir. JT Pandy) Living as an undocumented migrant in the UK for more than six years, a Filipina domestic helper tries to secure a working visa so she can finally fly back home to visit her family.
Dec 4 (Thursday) - 3:30 PM
Dec 6 (Saturday) - 1:30 PM

9. Komikero Chronicles (dir. Keith Sicat) Discover the history of PinoyKomiks starting with Rizal, and find out if his progressive ideas are imbedded in this popular medium.
Dec 4 (Thursday) - 5:30 PM
Dec 6 (Saturday) - 1:30 PM

10. Special Jury Mention Kung GiunsaPagbuhatangBinisayangChopsuey (How To Make A Visayan Chopsuey) (dir. BebsGohetia) In a David-Goliath kind of power struggle, will the smaller Davao tchoukball team be able to beat their archrival, to represent the Philippines in a major competition in Taiwan this year?
Dec 3 (Wednesday) - 5:30 PM
Dec 5 (Friday) - 3:30 PM

11. AngWalangKapagurangPaglalakbayngPulangMaleta (dir. Richard Legaspi) The tradition of close Filipino family ties makes its way to a small, wool-producing town in Italy.
Dec 3 (Wednesday) - 1:30 PM
Dec 7 (Sunday) - 5:30 PM

The filmmakers shall accompany their work and will be present after the screening of their respective films to talk about their experiences in the field and engage in a lively discussion with their audiences on the mirage of social issues boldly undertaken in the series of documentaries. Baguio

Cinematheque is located inside Casa Vallejo right across SM City Baguio. Tickets are now available for early reservation at 100php per viewing. Please contact Ms. Ems Guerrero (+639175681304) for more info. Check out the CineTotoofacebook page ( and Twitter ( accounts for updates!

*This is a press release.