The 3rd Cinemagis short film festival recognized outstanding short films produced by Northern Mindanao filmmakers. The screening ran from January 24-27. In 2009, Xavier Science Foundation, Xavier University Culture and Arts Office, and the National Commission for Culture and Arts collaborated and came up with the said festival to celebrate and gather potential filmmakers in the students and professional category.

This year, there were 30 applicants, a great increase in number as compared to the first 2 years. Hobart savior, the Executive Director of Cinemagis said that this is a good indicator that they have achieved their goal. Representatives of the National Committee on Cinema chose 9 from the 30 applicants to be the official entries.

The short films carried the themes gender acceptance, folklore and urban living. Savior emphasized that they did not impose a certain theme this year but only gave suggestions to not limit the filmmakers. As to viewership, Savior said “all components were well attended.” Students, teachers and guests lined up in SM cinema 2 to witness the artistic creations of the Northern Mindanao filmmakers.

One unique aspect of the Cinemagis is its conformity to the trend of social artistry. In lieu of buying tickets for the screening, the viewers brought food and school supplies to be donated to less fortunate communities. Savior said “art is not just for entertainment but also for the promotion of social values.”

The Cinemagis awards night took place at the SM atrium after the last screening date. For the student category, “Gahani,” directed by Lenriel Pons Lagat won the Coveted Best Short Film award. The second-time participant said he was “very proud, I feel like I’m on top.” He and his team also bagged most of the major awards of the night. For the professional category, “Pan de Sal,” directed by Ryan Lao, won Best Short Film. As a first timer in the professional category, Lao said it was “surprising! It makes me feel proud”.  Just like the former, his team also bagged the other major awards.

So where is the next stop for the 2011 Cinemagis entries? Savior said most of the short films have already been chosen to join the Cinema Rehiyon 3 which will be held in Davao this year, the final stop for the winning and outstanding entries.

Savior called on Northern Mindanao filmmakers to participate next year. He urged them to “use stories that are true and real in Mindanao because there’s so much to share. Our experiences are very colored, textured and dynamic”.

The 3rd Cinemagis short film festival is a living proof of the rich culture overflowing in the Mindanao Island with the use of modern media that speaks directly to the people. “Film is a very strong agent for change, education and national identity” said Savior.


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