5th SineMargaha to premiere seven films in Sagay on Feb. 27

Mananguete by Mery Grace Rama-Mission

An account of a comfort woman during World War II, addiction to action movies, and the losing tradition of coconut winemaking are among the themes explored by filmmakers joining the Margaha Film Festival to open with its iconic premiere on the black sand beach of Brgy. Old Sagay, Sagay City, Negros Occidental, on February 27.

Seven films will be competing in the fifth installment of the SineMargaha which resulted from a series of film workshops, and story development, with funding from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and City Government of Sagay.

The premiere of the short films by the Margaha Beach is a dream of artist Nunelucio Alvarado to celebrate all disciplines of art and to have movies screened with the backdrop of the Sagay Sea, a press release from Sagay City said Thursday, February 22 .

This year’s films are “Aba” directed by Aljean Joulse Tagayong that explores a girl’s psyche on whether to abort a child or not, “Bang Bang Bang Patay ka na Patay ka na!” by Thirdy Macam which tackles the addiction of a kid to watching action movies, “Kalye Bruka” by Joan Honoridez highlights the return of a transgender woman in a community that brought internal ills to her.

Taga-Taga by Trini Garcia
Aba directed by Aljean Tagayong

“Lampitaw (Lady of the Night)” by Kent Raven Ardeña took a turn on the real accounts of a comfort woman who spied against the Japanese during World War II, “Mahanduraw ko Nimo” by Ry Cortez centers on a girl who stole a painting thinking that it was an image of her lost father.

“Mananguete” by Mery Grace Rama-Mission explores the effects of dementia to a person while tackling the dying tuba-making in Sagay, and “Taga-Taga” by Trini Garcia which humanizes the romantic endeavors of two praying mantis.

This year’s theme is “Sine Singko” which is a nod to the “Bidyo Singko” culture in Sagay where a simple coin unlocks the joy of music in videoke machines.

Bang Bang Bang Patay Ka Na Patay Ka Na by Thirdy Macam
Kalye Bruka by Joan Honoridez

“This year, we delve deeper into the significance of ‘Sine Singko,’ transcending its value to symbolize the transformative power of art in the lives of the people of Sagay and beyond”, Festival Director Helen Arguelles-Cutillar said.

About 19 awards will be given this year by the six-person jury that includes film critic and anthropologist Tito Valiente, National Committee on Cinema Chairperson Butch Ibañez, “Nocebo” actress Chai Fonacier, award-winning director Arden Rod Condez, creative writer Kenneth Rivera, and local historian Rod Florentino.

Lampitaw (Lady of the Night) by Raven Ardena
Mahanduraw ko Nimo by Ry Cortez

Apart from the screening of the films, a talk led by the Film Development Council of the Philippines, a fluvial parade of filmmakers during the opening program, online screenings of the films through FDCP’s JuanFlix Channel, and the “Gab-i sang Pagkilala” Awards Night will be held during the two-week film festival from February 26 to March 8.

The festival is one of the landmark programs of Sagay City in partnership with Syano Artlink, Office of Vice Mayor Leo Rafael Cueva, Office of Neg. Occ. 2nd District Rep. Alfredo Marañon III, Negros Occidental Provincial Government, FDCP, NCCA, and the Balhasanay Filmmaking Movement.

It is also one of the activities of the month-long Arts Month celebration in Sagay City which started February 13.*

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