With the theme “The Plight of the Farmer: His Trials and Triumphs” which highlights the Filipino farmer, the first ToFarm Film Festival rolls out on July 13, 2016 in SM Megamall and SM North Edsa cinemas.
The film festival is the culmination of the scriptwriting contest launched earlier this year under the aegis of Universal Harvester, Inc. It is a tribute to outstanding farmers of the country in recognition of their contribution as food producers. The film festival also aims to stir awareness on the importance of the farmer and the farm since the average age of farmers indicate that the young generation seem to have lost interest in farming.
The scriptwriting contest winners each received a grant of P1.5 million as seed money in producing the winning scripts into movies. The production of the movie was under the direct supervision of the ToFarm production team which made sure that schedules are met in time for the date of the film festival.
The film festival is a brainchild of Dr. Milagros How, vice president of Universal Harvester, Inc. She is confident that the film festival will be a game changer that would somehow contribute in the uplift of the plight of the Filipino farmers. She also promised to make the ToFarm film festival an annual affair.
Overall in-charge of the festival is Director Maryo J. Delos Reyes who seconded the statement of Dr. How that the farmer is now in the center stage. For his part as a film director, it is about time for the movie industry to pitch in. “Dapat silang bigyan ng pansin,” Direk Maryo J said referring to the farmers, “hindi yung puro salita lang tayo.”
The 6 films to be showcased in the unique film festival are:
Pilapil – written and directed by Jojo Nadela, a story about a man wanting to escape farm life and a boy who considers the farm as a paradise. The dramatic encounter of the man and the boy shows the contrast of ideals that would lead to a positive resolution. Leading the cast is James Blanco and David Remo. Also starring Pancho Magno, Diva Montelaba, Bonbon Lantejas and Rez Cortez.
Pitong Kabang Palay – written and directed by Maricel Cariaga, the story revolves around the dreams of a little boy who gets inspiration from the sacks of rice that they have. The film shows how members of a poor family can survive and live to reach their dreams. It stars Arnold Reyes, Sue Prado, Mickol Laurente, Alfonso Ynigo Delen and Precious Miel J. Espinosa.
Free Range – written and directed by Dennis Marasigan, tells of the egg shortage in Coron, Palawan, which tests the capability of a resort owner named Chito on how to adapt to the situation. The resort and the egg become partners in the life of Chito.
Kakampi – written and directed by Victor Acedillo, Jr, is a true story of a cab driver who went out of his way to revive the ritual that would make the fruit trees bear fruits again. The indigenous farming ritual in Camiguin is the centerpoint of the film. Starring Neil Ryan Sese with Gloria Sevilla, Felix Roco, Suzette Ranillo, Kate Brio and Perry Dizon.
Pauwi Na – written and directed by Paolo Villaluna, is a travelogue of a family who decides to leave Manila and embark on a trip via a pedicab in going back to their province in Bicol. Along the way, the family meets not only people that would give them unusual adventures. The film stars Bembol Roco, Cherry Pie Picache, Meryll Soriano, Chai Fonacier, Jess Mendoza, Jack the Dog, Boots Anson Roa, Gio Alvarez and Tessie Tomas.
Paglipay – written and directed by Zig Dulay, is the story of an Aeta from Zambales who encounters a dilemma in life brought about by the cultural divide of his tradition and the modern life. A love story that started with the need for the traditional dowry. Gerry Cabalig plays the lead role with support from Anna Luna, Joan dela Cruz, Manuel Sevidal, Natasha Cabrera, Norman King, Gigi Locsin, Joel Saracho, Upeng Fernandez, Ken Ken Nuyad and JC Santos.
Like any film festival, the ToFarm film festival will also have an awards night. The 6 movies will be judged according to criteria set by the festival committee.
The 6 festival entries will vie for the cash prize of P500,000 for the best film, with the second best getting P400,000 and the third best will receive P300,000. Aside from the said awards, there will also be a special jury prize. The awarding will be on July 19, the culmination of the ToFarm Film Festival 2016.
After the film festival, the 6 films will also have a run in the provinces and in schools as well particularly for the benefit of public school students in the rural areas.
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