‘Magdalena’ to compete in 9th Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Philippine documentary ‘Magdalena’ will have its Asian premiere at the 9th Taiwan International Documentary Festival under the Asian Vision category.

With 432 submissions from all over Asia, fifteen films were selected to compete in this category, namely:

A Dream of Iron by PARK Kelvin Kyung-kun (South Korea/USA)
Bà nôi (grandma) by Khoa LE (Canada/Vietnam)
Barre’s Silence by Mehrdad AHMADPOUR and Morvarid PEYDA (Iran)
The Close Family by YOON Da-hee (South Korea)
Guardians of Times Lost by Diala KACHMAR (Lebanon/UAE)
Death of a Female Artist by HUANG Ming-chuan (Taiwan)
Lady of the Lake by Zaw Naing Oo (Myanmar)
The End of the Special Time We Were Allowed by OTA Shingo (Japan)
Magdalena by Anna Isabelle MATUTINA (Philippines)
Paldang by KAUH Eun-jin  (South Korea)
The Weight of Life by CHU Po-ying and Maggie LIAO (Taiwan)
Spark by HU Jie (China)
Wuchao Gate by LIN Weixin (China)
Trucker and the Fox by Arash LAHOOTI (Iran)
Yumen by John Paul SNIADECKI and  XU Routao (China/USA)

“Asian Vision” emphasizes the filmmakers’ viewpoints and independent spirits, the difference as well as the universality resulting from the different cultural backgrounds.

The festival will run from October 9-19, 2014 and the award ceremony will take place on the evening of October 16.  A cash-prize of NT$400,000 (approx. US$13,500) will be granted to the winning film of the Grand Prize of Asian Vision Competition, and NT$180,000 (approx. US$6,000) to the each winning film of the two Merit Prizes.

Magdalena is scheduled to screen on October 11 ( Sat.) at 21:00 and on October 15 (Wed.) at 20:20 with a Q&A section at SPOT Huashan, Huashan Creative Park.

For more information, visit the TIDF website: http://www.tidf.org.tw/zh-hant
You may also download the festival catalogue here: http://goo.gl/4oTtpU

PH docu competes in Taiwan

Filipino filmmaker Anna Isabelle Matutina’s “Magdalena” is competing in the Asian Vision section of the Taiwan International Film Festival, which will be held from Oct. 9 to 19. The docu, shown at the Wiesbaden (Germany) film fest last year, focuses on a traditional midwife who struggles to make ends meet and care for a pregnant daughter who’s afflicted with leukemia.

4 PH films in Laos

Four Filipino films, products of Cinema One Originals, will be featured at the 5th Luang Prabang Film Festival in Laos, set Dec. 6 to 10: Borgy Torre’s “Kabisera (The Patriarch),” Seige Ledesma’s “Shift,” Kevin Dayrit’s “Catnip” and Keith Deligero’s “Iskalawags.” The fest aims to “showcase the most compelling cinema from across Southeast Asia.” Bayani San Diego Jr.

6 PH films in French fest

Six Filipino films will be shown at the 12th Festival International Signes de Nuit in Paris, set Sept. 15 to 21, according to curator Axel Estein.

In the lineup are three documentaries—Anna Isabelle Matutina’s “Magdalena,” Kiri Dalena’s “Tungkung Langit” and Adjani Arumpac’s “War Is a Tender Thing.”

These docus were produced by the filmmakers in cooperation with Goethe Institut and the French embassy in the Philippines.

The three others are shorts—Mikhail Red’s “Innocence,” Edward Salcedo’s “Kawal” and Adi Bontuyan’s “Taya.”

Estein says he picked the films for their “strong social, political, human rights and environmental” themes. Bayani San Diego Jr.


April 5, 2014

Honey played an important role in early human civilizations. Not only was it a source of sugar, it was also used as medicine and a medium of exchange in the olden times.

The people in the far barangay of Sallapadan, Abra has long practiced harvesting honey from the bounty of their forests. Here, their ancestors have depended on earnings from the sweet golden liquid. And many decades later, honey is still a product that they can depend on.

In this community, brothers Charlie Boy and Edrian Bangngayen have much to look forward to this summer. It marks their graduation from elementary and high school. It also ushers in the honey season. With determination, Charlie Boy lights up his torch and approaches a hive covered with thousands of bees. Without any mask or protective clothing between him and this swarm of bees, the 17-year-old only has the torch’s smoke to defend him from bee stings. But what is all this hard work for?




March 8, 2014

Roads are indicators of a progressive community.  It makes a community more accessible to other areas, thus, providing better opportunities for trading and other exchanges.

In the mountains of Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro, Mangyans are able to reach the market through foot trails. They trek the mountains for hours with their crop baskets strapped to their heads. Here, transporting goods is through their most basic form of transport: their feet. But there is a faster route to reach the market — through the Bongabong River.  Using the river’s wild rapids to their advantage, several Mangyan boys use rubber floaters and bamboo rafts to deliver goods so they can make it on time to market day.

Watch as Kara David joins a group of Mangyan boys on a river adventure, and gets a glimpse into what “all in a day’s work” means for them.



February 8, 2014

They are nimble, they multiply fast and they eat anything. They may be small, but they are feared. They are carriers of disease. Rats: a long-time pest to humans.

The residents of Vitas, Tondo, Manila live with rats. Although these are enemies of every Vitas household, rats roam free in the community. As night sets in, residents feel helpless against the pests.  These rats chew on anything, be it food, trash, even the residents themselves.

It is the opposite in the farming community of Luna, Isabela. It is the rats who fear humans.  Rats run away from people like the Luyon brothers. Quick and unforgiving, they are out to get rats that are destroying their rice fields. As a matter of fact, these rats have become a source of livelihood and a culinary adventure for the locals.


January 13, 2013

The sea is a friend for 12-year-old Joshua Catalan. Every day, he swims into the waters of Anda, Pangasinan. With his nimble body, he collects whatever he could find underwater: sea cucumber, abalone, sea urchins, and shells. The sea can be dangerous for a boy like Joshua  but he knows he can depend on it.

For Abel, Joshua’s older brother, the sea is his workplace. This is his place of toil, through the biting cold, through strong currents and tough winds. There are mouths to feed from his earnings from the sea. Life has been like this since their father passed away. Abel and the rest of his eight siblings are orphans. But more than being an orphan, the young man is now father to his younger brothers and sisters. They have nobody else to depend but Abel.

For Abel and Joshua, the sea is their refuge from life’s hardships. Will these waters continue to be kind to them?