Bacolod filmfest director: A filmmaker, educator

Seymour B. Sanchez*

An award winning filmmaker and longtime educator is the director of the Bacolod Film Festival set to be held in select cinemas in Bacolod in September.
The Bacolod Film Festival Council (BFFC), chaired by Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez with Councilor Em L. Ang as co-chairperson, designated Seymour B. Sanchez as the filmfest director.

Sanchez was recommended by legal consultant and film producer Josabeth “Joji” V. Alonso to the BFFC as “the best person to oversee and manage the festival”, a press release from the BFFC said.

City Ordinance 1061-2024, also known as the Bacolod Film Festival Ordinance, is authored by Ang, chairperson of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) Committee on History, Culture and Arts, with councilors Cindy Rojas and Celia Flor as co-authors.

The Bacolod Film Festival ordinance also provides ten filmmakers, whether producers, directors, or writers, who are bona fide residents of Bacolod City, production grants of P300,000 each.

Ang clarified the filmmakers do not need to shoot their entire film in Bacolod.

Sanchez signed the memorandum of agreement with the BFFC at the office of Ang on May 3. The SP, with Vice Mayor El Cid M. Familiaran as  presiding officer, confirmed the appointment of Sanchez during its 96th Regular Session on the same day.

Apart from being an educator, who is now on his 20th year of teaching, Sanchez also served as head of publicity and promotions of the Cinemanila International Film Festival from 2004 to 2007, and filmfest director of the One La Salle Film Festival in 2018, under the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde film department, the press release said.

His short film “Caretaker” won second prize in the short fiction category of the sixth CAM International Festival for Short Films in Cairo, Egypt, the Golden Philippine Eagle award and Best Actor for Rolando Inocencio in the third Singkuwento International Film Festival, and the Audience Choice Award in the Active Vista International Human Rights Film Festival, the press release added.

He was given the Film Ambassador Award by the FDCP for his “creativity and the global achievement of the film.” He also received the Maningning Outstanding Direction for the same film in the CineSB Film Festival: Special Edition. A shorter version of the film entitled “Katiwala” won the People’s Choice Award in the 2018 Freedom Mov_E Film Festival, it said.

His first short film “Lababo” (Kitchen Sink) topped the 2007 Viva-Pinoy Box Office Digitales. His other film “Pagbugtaw” (Waking Up) bagged second place in the First Pambujan Pelikula Para sa Publiko National Short Film Festival and Competition. Another film “Shorts” won third prize in the Viva-PBO Digitales 2. His documentary “Sinulog for Beginners” placed second in the 2006 Sinulog Video Documentary Competition.

Another documentary “Maria Leonor” was cited for its screenplay in the 3rd Dreamanila International Film Festival. His second full-length screenplay “Hiwaga” (Mystery), co-written with Christian Lacuesta, bagged the grand prize in the 59th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the press release said.
Sanchez is one of the fellows of the 17th Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Workshop of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, 21st Iligan National Writers Workshop of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, and 9th Palihang Rogelio Sicat of the UP Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas.

He is also a graduate of the 3rd Produire au Sud workshop at the 6th World Film Festival of Bangkok, 14th Ricky Lee scriptwriting workshop, first Brillante Mendoza directing class, and the first Active Vista film and media for human rights advocacy workshop.*

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