Mindanao Film Fest ‘best film’ for 2015 inspires Lumads on their struggles

Dec. 19, 2015

DAVAO CITY – A film depicting struggles of Lumads recently won the ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Production Design’ award during the 11th Mindanao Film Festival held here, on Tuesday night.

The film Pakot runs on the story of a volunteer teacher, Lina, who gave her time to teach Lumads in far-flung community as she also witnessed personally their situation and struggles.

Datu Mintroso Malibato, who was also one of the actors on the film, said that the award given to the film inspired them to further strengthen their struggles for it is based on their situtations on how the state forces are treating them.

Malibato, spokesperson of Karadyawan, an organization of Manobo from Kapalong, Davao del Norte, believed that the film got the award because “they (judges) understood the film.”

He added that “people liked the movie because more and more are asking for copies of it.”

Playing the role of Lina, Angelynne Alapag, a 3rd year student of University of the Philippines Mindanao, said that it is not just an honor to play the role of the main character.

Alapag said that “this movie is a good venue to touch more people as the movie is not a heavy one, it can be easily understood, it is simple.”

But, she added that, “it shows the reality of the situations of lumads, education situation of lumads, and the stories of volunteer teachers who spend their time to teach lumad children.”

“I only knew and heard stories of volunteer teachers thru the news and TV interviews, but on this film, I experienced what they had experienced, the weather, the rough roads, and harassment by state forces they experienced, ” she admitted.

To those who have not watched the film, Mintroso hoped that they would understand the movie.

The movie, according to Malibato, “shows what is really happening in lumad communities, the scenes are not of fiction, but of real stories.”

Alapag, together with Malibato, hoped that the victory of the movie would gain more support on their call to “stop lumad killings” and their call to “pull out military troops” in their communities.

Alapag said that the movie is a “good venue for more people to understand the situation of lumads and for it to reach international viewers.”

“And also, we are hoping that thru this (movie), the government will act upon the issue and will see that the plight of lumads is not a joke,” Alapag said.

Meanwhile, Pakot’s assistant director Christine Lim said that they were elated the moment they received the award, and that all their efforts paid off.

Lim said that filming Pakot is a “new experience” for her as a film maker.

“Aside from being part of conceptualizing the whole film, going to the shooting location is the hardest,” Lim said.

“The way going to the shooting location was hard, we prepare for our food, we harvest for our food,” she added.

She said that, unlike her previous films, “inato lang ning Pakot (this is a simple film).”

She also described filming Pakot as “challenging” given that there are portions on the films are all natural, adding that it took them only five days to finish the film.

Pakot is said to be the sequel of the also award winning film, Pahiyum ni Boye.

Lim said that, “as of now, we are planning for the creation of the sequel of the Pakot.” (davaotoday.com)

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