‘Sine Halaga Film Festival’ opens worldwide

Published August 25, 2021, 12:54 PM

by Joe Priela

An ode to deep-rooted Filipino Values

Today, Aug. 25, 2021, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), in partnership with the Negros Cultural Foundation (NCF), is launching “Sine Halaga Film Festival.” It showcases 12 Filipino films that highlight our very own cultural values through the visions of the participating directors.

‘Sine Halaga Film Festival’ goes worldwide

When the clock hits 6 p.m., the online film festival will kick off and will be available for everyone around the world to view through a live broadcast on Facebook. This will mark the premiere of the 12 films on Vimeo OnDemand and the NCCA Learning Resources Hub website.

According to Elvert Bañares, the film festival’s director, these 12 features are made for every Filipino across the globe and will be made available to the public for free. He emphasized that each film was written to reiterate the importance of Filipino values while depicting local customs and practices.

“Sine Halaga” will focus on 19 Filipino values identified in a two-year research conducted by the NCCA to shed light and insight as to which of these Filipinos hold dear at present. These include personal values such as resilience, happiness, life and purpose, as well as social values like good governance, love for country, honesty, and integrity.

A still from ‘Bakit ako Sinusundan ng Buwan’ by Director Richard Legaspi

Clearly, “Sine Halaga Film Festival” is taking an educational route as the featured films will also be used for classroom education. “It’s what makes ‘Sine Halaga’ unique from other film fests—the films used as a tool to teach Filipino values,” Bañares says.

“We are organizing a series of webinars and preparing study guides to aid our teachers in discussing the films to their students,” he adds. “With the help of our teachers, we can articulate effectively the values that each film conveys.”

Actor Lester Llangsang in Ralston Jover’s ‘Hadlok’

Out of at least 100 entries from hopeful filmmakers, only 12 were selected by the “Sine Halaga” jury, which include NCCA Committee on Cinema Chairperson Rolando Tolentino, film critic and educator Tito Valiente, together with award-winning Filipino filmmakers Jeffrey Jeturian, Roy Iglesias, Sari Dalena, as well as National Study on Filipino Values author and lead researcher Arvin Villalon and co-author Jose Soliman, Jr.

The 12 films that were chosen and were awarded funds for production are “Bakit ako Sinusundan ng Buwan” by Richard Legaspi, “Black Rainbow” by Zig Madamba Dulay, “Dandansoy” by Rod Arden Condez, “Hadlok” by Ralston Jover, “Looking for Rafflesias and other Fleeting Things” by James Allen Fajardo, “Lorna” by Noel Escondo, “Masalimuut Ya Tiyagew Ed Dayat” by Jan Carlo Natividad, “Mina’s Family History” by Christopher Gozum, “Sa Balay ni Papang” by Kurt Steven Soberano, “Salog ning Diklom” by Jordan Jose Dela Cruz, “Ugbos ka Bayabas” by Manie Magbanua Jr., and “13 Feet” by Carlo Obispo.

“Sine Halaga” organizers believe that streaming the films online is an effective way of reaching the younger generation to empower them with values that are positively Filipino—a film festival that marries entertainment and education.