EDSA on my Mind – EDSA FILM FESTIVAL

EDSA on my Mind – The Grantees of EDSAngangdaan: The EDSA Stories Film Festival Who are the filmmakers whose works will be exhibited at EDSAngangdaan: The EDSA Stories Film Festival, on December 7 at the UP Film Center and December 8 at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani auditorium? They make, naturally enough, for a diverse bunch.

Here we have teachers and writers, university students, freelancers and full-fledged professionals. Then, of course, are their films themselves. A smattering of fiction films on this side, a semi-biography on the other. Some works are documentaries, whereas another visibly caricatures the documentary form. A number of productions share the stories of women who were embroiled in the storm and stress of EDSA 1986. Others probe into the lives of haves and have-nots closer to the present time.

Ma. Angela Garrido has been making films professionally since 2004. In the course of her work, she has created videos and films for the international organization Oxfam, the government agency National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Cinemalaya, as well as for business groups such as SM. Since 2005, she has also been the president and organizer of the art film festival of the Philippine Women’s University Independent Film Group. In her film “1985,” a woman loses her husband and is permanently scarred by a hot oil spill amidst the EDSA uprising. Nine years after, having given birth to a son, she tries to come to terms with her losses.

Hubert Tibi, who usually collaborates with Garrido, previously won the Best Screenplay prize in the short film category of the 2006 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival for “Parang Pelikula.” He also directed other Cinemalaya short films like “Maikling Kuwento,” “Si Bok at ang Trumpo,” and “Hay Pinhod Oh Ya Scooter.” For EDSAngangdaan, he directed “Mani,” where two teenage peanut peddlers struggle to make ends meet until they discover that stealing metal railings along EDSA can be more lucrative than their current trades. The biggest catch of all, it seems, is nothing less than pilfering the railings along the historic EDSA Shrine.

Meanwhile, Eva Aurora Callueng is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at the University of the Philippines College of Education. She also teaches at the University of the East and works on various projects related to reproductive health with the Probe Media Foundation, while serving as the editor of the Pinoy LGBT (lesbians, gay, bisexual, and transgender) channel at Philippine Online Chronicles. Her documentary film “Kaba, Takot at Pangamba ng EDSA” narrates the stories and perspectives of the mothers and wives of soldiers in the three EDSA protest movements, and explores the influence of these women throughout the duration of these events.

Representing the youth sector are Andrea Regine Reyes and her teammates JJ Collins, Randy Valdez, Vianca Baliao, Christa Balonkita, Marj Calingo, Dek Carillo, Mia Sinagunian and Ada Umali, all students taking up different courses at Miriam College. In their short film “Bagong Buhay,” a mother and her daughter leave their old home and try to build a new life together. Over the years, however, the mother’s unending pursuit of perfection takes its toll on her daughter, putting their relationship on a collision course.

Then there is the team of producer Eloisa Espino-Sanchez and award-winning filmmaker Richard Soriano Legaspi, who wrote and directed the Cinema One Originals Special Jury Prize and Audience Award winner “Paano Ko Sasabihin?” Espino-Sanchez has already produced a number of award-winning short films and documentaries. Legaspi teaches video production and advertising at the University of the East College of Fine Arts and was a fellow of the 2007 Asian Film Academy in Busan, South Korea. They teamed up again in “Pamatid-Gutom,” (Hunger Pangs), a stark rendition of electoral politics in post-EDSA. Mercedes Cabral plays the role of a mother, desperate to feed her child, who takes part in the feeding program of a city mayor, yet ends up being used by the politician and his wife for his electoral campaign promotions.

Finally, Seymour Sanchez is a director and writer of Red Room Media Productions and a Mass Communication professor. He won the grand prize for his short film “Lababo” (Kitchen Sink) and third place for “Shorts” in two Viva – Pinoy Box Office Digitales short film contests and topped the screenplay category of the 2009 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for “Hiwaga” (Mystery). His “Patron ng Laging Saklolo” (Patron) is a “mockumentary” (mock documentary) of enduring patterns of patronage politics in the Philippines. It chronicles the activities of a barangay throughout typical election season. By examining the fiesta mentality of Filipinos, and their attitudes towards politics, several gripping comparisons will be drawn.

What weaves all of their works together is their unremitting focus on EDSA, and the society that has arisen around EDSA – present-day Philippines. Funded by the EDSA Mo, EDSA Ko! Film Grants extended by Focus on the Global South-Philippines earlier this year, they have been tasked to produce short films on a theme no less ambitious than “Reimagining EDSA” – for a new generation of Filipinos, and according to the experiences of that generation. In EDSAngangdaan: The EDSA Stories Film Festival all these retellings of EDSA will be presented to the general public for the first time ever. Where from and where to with EDSA? – join the filmmakers as they take us to the crossroads, exploring these and other questions. Not to be outdone, Focus is coming out with its own documentary entitled “EDSAngangdaan: Mga Kwento ng Pagtatagpo’t Pagpapasya.” Twenty five years after EDSA, the project follows a farmer, a university student and a laundrywoman as they seek to connect the circumstances of their everyday lives with the broader historical phenomenon of EDSA. The conclusions that they make, and the questions that they raise, are not always flattering or reassuring.

EDSAngangdaan: The EDSA Stories Film Festival officially opens on December 7, 4 p.m. at the University of the Philippines Film Center, as part of its annual Cine Veritas Human Rights Film Festival. Alongside the six short films and Focus’ documentary, in-depth discussions of their content will also take place on the second screening day, December 8, beginning 9:30 a.m., at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani auditorium in Quezon City. For more information about EDSAngangdaan: The EDSA Stories Film Festival please email Jerik Cruz at jerik.cruz@ph.focusweb.org, or call at 4330899 or 4333387. Alternatively, please check the EDSA Stories website for updates at http://edsastories.focusweb.org/.

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