‘Us from the North’ in Spotlight at the 1st Regional Film Fest

‘Us from the North’ in Spotlight at the 1st Regional Film Fest

Jan Justin C. Rodriguez

WIM Poster

The North Luzon Cinema Guild Inc. is set to host North Luzon’s biggest regional film festival and probably the first: the ‘North Luzon Film Festival’ (NLFF) on March 24-26, 2017 at the Brickstone Cinema in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

The NLFF aims to discover, encourage, and support the North Luzon Region filmmakers to articulate, interpret and express North Luzon’s cultural heritage. This will be participated by aspiring and professional filmmakers from the whole parts of North Luzon particularly the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and the Cordilleras.

This year’s festival theme is “Cinema Padday: Sikamingataga-Norte” (Us from the North) which will highlight the rich cultural heritage of North Luzon especially for the host province, Cagayan North. The word “Padday” is an Ybanag term which means ‘creation’ that pertains to the ‘creation’ of short films with the local taste of the North.

Through the strong collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA), the festival advocates the promotion of regional films to preserve the rich literature, culture and the arts of the people of the North.“This will be a venue for all cultures of the North Luzon to be known,” shares Jerome Dulin, Founding Director of North Luzon Cinema Guild Inc.

Highlighting the festival is a three-day of jam-packed events that include culture, regional film literacy and tourism conference; Regional Film Exhibition and; the North Luzon Film Festival (Short Film Competition), all of which are free admission to the public. Renowned filmmakers such as Armando Bing Lao, Tourism Officials, and policy makers as well as Culture and Arts advocates are expected to grace the event to give relevant discussions to young and aspiring filmmakers. Award-winning regional films are also set to be screened like Armando Lao’s “Dukit,” Gawad Urian Best Shortfilm “Wawa” by Angeline Marie Macalanda, “NangisitngaDarat” by Rommel Ruiz (Cagayan Valley), “Lawas ken Pinabli” by Jerome Dulin, among others. In addition, DOT-02 sponsored the screening of two commemorative films for Women’s Month celebration that will include “GanapnaBabae” by Rica Arevalo, Sarah Roxas and Ellen Ramos and “First ko si Third ko” by Real S. Florido.

At least nine minor and major awards will be given to the lucky filmmakers in the short film competition which are the following: (Major Awards) Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound Design, Best Screenplay, (Minor Awards) Best Production Design, Best Actor and Best Actress. Dulin said that aside from the best NLFF short film, a special Jury Prize will be given to lucky filmmakers representing each region, whose works represent and depict the culture and identity of their respective regions with high regard to quality and relevance. Further, PIA – 02 and GUMIL Filipinas are also expected to give special awards. Winners in the film festival will be invited to participate in the 9th Cinema Rehiyon Film Festival in Compostella Valley on September 22-27, 2017.



SikamingaTaga-Norte: Our stories


The main goal of the festival is to preserve and archive North Luzon’s cultural heritage through film. Also, this will ignite the North Luzonian’spassion to continue cultivating the culture and arts of their own provinces and be inspired by their unique identity and traditions.

“The North Luzon Film Festival – Cinema Padday is not only about the competition,” says Dulin during the NLFF press conference held at PIA Region 2. The festival symbolizes the unity of all regions and provinces in the North in promoting the advocacy of preserving the North Luzon’s culture through film as their medium.

In the history of film archiving, according to NCCA, there is only one film that is archived by the commission in the Cagayan Valley Region, that is “Nangisitngadarag” by Rommel Ruiz, a short film that highlights the issues of black sand mining in the region.

“It’s high time that we, from the North, should tell our stories to the world, outside our borders,” he added.



Culture, Film and Tourism: The Partnering Allies

The organizers, particularly the Department of Tourism (DOT) – 02 believe that regional films are deemed effective in boosting the local tourism of every province in the North especially of Cagayan province. “Regional films are also the perfect tool in promoting the region’s tourist destinations. Look at Cannes, people not only visit that place for the beaches, but also for the film festival,” says Dulin.

The small barrio known as La Preza in Benguet was mainstreamed when a TV network used the place as its shooting location. The Callao Cave in Penablanca, Cagayan was used in the film “The Mistress” starred by John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo. With this, the organizers truly believed that regional films would contribute a lot to the promotion of local tourism as it would attract tourists and spectators for the festival.

“The Cagayan Valley Region” which is the first to host the festival will greatly benefit from this especially in terms of tourism.

The region will be able to showcase their tourist destinations to the visitors and the filmmakers which will be able to gather film inspirations coming from here, furthermore, they may opt to use the locations in the region for their films,” Dulin added.

Aside from the NCCA, the festival partnered with the Department of Tourism – Region 2, Philippine Information Agency – 02, Office of the 3rd District of Cagayan – Hon. Randolph S. Ting, in cooperation with WhenInManila.com, CinemaBravo.com, Vidsee and other campuses, local and regional media.

To know more about North Luzon Film Festival, contact the North Luzon Cinema Guild Inc. at 0926-909-1889/ 0947-348-6153 or email at cinemaguildluzon@gmail.com/cinemapadday@gmail.com.