SineMargaha 2023 top winners named

Kent John Desamparado *

A film about a grandfather’s love for his granddaughter expressed through letters and songs is this year’s best picture of the Margaha Film Festival, which was announced during the awarding ceremonies at the Sagay City Public Plaza, Saturday, March 25.

The film entitled “Ang Kining Ambahanon kag Binalaybay ko Para sa Imo” was announced as SineMargaha Best Short Film for 2023 by the five-person panel of jury during the awards night, as it showed “a story that challenges the concept of the family.”

The Jury’s Citation stated that despite the sentimentality and drama inherent in the story, the film avoided romanticizing the adventures of two persons, a decision that renders it even more realistic.

This year’s panel of jury was composed of Film Critic and Anthropologist Tito Valiente, Actress Chai Fonacier, Director Arden Rod Condez, literary artist Kenneth Ian Rivera, and Broadcaster Rod Florentino.

The 20-minute “Ang Kining Ambahanon kag Binalaybay ko Para sa Imo” was directed by Kent John Desamparado and written by Crispel Jhun Ducay, who are both college and senior high school students.

The team also grabbed the awards for Best Director for Desamparado, Best Screenplay for Ducay, Best in Production Design for Nelson Emnace, Best Acting Work in a Leading Role for Dante Macam, Best Musical Score for Brian Ferraro, and Best Original Soundtrack for film’s song “Mingaw nga Oras”, also composed by Ferraro.

During the awarding, Desamparado said that he could not believe he won and dedicated his awards to his mother.

This is the second time that Desamparado has won the best picture and directing award at the festival. In 2021, his film “Ang Pagsalop sang Adlaw” grabbed SineMargaha’s top prize.

Following, “Ang Kining Ambahanon kag Binalaybay ko Para sa Imo” was “Pandayunon”, a film about a grandfather and his relationship with his grandson who has symptoms of autism, which grabbed four awards, including the Margaha Excellence in Film, the second highest prize in the festival.

The film was directed by Jo-ane Pitogo and written by Mery Grace Mission.

The film was also awarded Best Sound for Joshua Genelaso, Best Acting Work in a Support Role for RZ Trudebert Magpusao, and Best in Cinematography for Jessie Soberano.

A special Jury Prize was given to the period film “1942”, directed by Kent Raven Ardeña. He was also awarded for the film’s editing.

Ardeña’s film was also awarded Best Poster and the Nunelucio Alvarado Panublion Award.

Awards were also given to the film “Dumuluaw” by Jun Marl Alconga for Best Trailer, “Lubong” by John Argiel Victor for Special Citation for their child actor Jose Alboro, and “San-o kag Paano?” by Aljean Joulse Tagayong for Special Citation in Production Management.

This year, eight films competed in Margaha Film Festival. Other titles included “Akoya: Ang Perlas sang Isla Ezperanza” by Roger Rochar, and “Tinago” by John Paul Rodriguez.

Margaha Film Festival, which is in its fourth year, is the only city-wide film festival in north Negros in which the city government provides seed money to production teams to produce their films.

Festival Director Helen Cutillar said that she hopes for a bigger film festival next year and will conduct more workshops and story labs for local filmmakers to improve their storytelling.*

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