Winners of SalaMindanaw IFF bared

A scene from End of War by Joe Bacus 

   General Santos City, PH - A film about IDPs (internally displaced peoples) won the Golden Durian Prize for best Mindanao short film at the recently concluded second Salamindanaw International Film Festival.

   The End of War, directed by Cagayan de Oro filmmaker Joe Bacus, is a story of a family in Maguindanao province caught in the crossfire of a war between Philippine military and Moro rebel forces in 2008.

   The jury, composed of film writer Jay Rosas and producer Liryc dela Cruz, cited the film for it “exhibits a clear vision that is matched by the courage and skill of its director. There is power to its silences and chaos, giving us an immersive and compelling experience. Despite its familiar subject matter, it doesn't descend into a mere attempt at relevance. Rather, it reminds us of the fragility of our lives and the difficulty of our quest toward a lasting peace.”

   Abakada ni Nanay (Nanay's Aphabet), a documentary about a 78-year-old grandmother who returns to elementary school by Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay native Joni Sarina Mejico, won the jury prize.

   Meanwhile, a Singapore, Taiwan and France co-production bagged the Golden Durian Prize for best Asian short film. Jow Zhi Wei’s After The Winter bested ten other films “for its deliberate, subtle, and clearly cinematic exploration of stark and sublime generational and geographical gaps that separate families in modern Taiwan, which is also representative of a prevalent conflict that is evident in fastly Westernizing and modernizing Asian territories.”

   Filipino film critic Francis Cruz, filmmaker John Torres and South Korean film programmer Ji-hoon Jo composed the Asian short film jury.

   A special mention was awarded to the Indonesian film Sepatu Baru (On Stopping The Rain) by Aditya Ahmad. The jury lauded the film “that charmed us with its voice and humor that is so flavorfully rooted in its community. For combining a more alive Southeast Asian storytelling with enough energy so as not to feel too deliberate and safe. For blending poetry in motion with just the right hint of its politics that rings loudly where it is set.” Ahmad's film won a Special Mention earlier this year at Berlinale. 

   Carl Joseph Papa became the first recipient of PH Next Cinema Filmmaker of the Future Prize for his brave and inventive approach to cinematic storytelling in his film Ang 'Di Paglimot Sa Mga Alaala (The Unforgetting).

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