The Montañosa Film Festival (MFF) held its media launch and press conference at the Grand Sierra Pines, Baguio City last March 10.


MFF 2024 is gearing up with its lineup from different categories such as narrative, documentary, and mobile phone category. Each meticulously crafted film that reached the MFF 2024 finals underwent thorough evaluation. During the selection process, each category had three mentors. The chosen stories not only had key points that could significantly benefit the local community but were also feasible for production, with committed filmmakers ready to bring their concepts to life. 


With its fourth edition, this year’s theme is about fostering connections, understanding, and cooperation across various cultures and communities.


“Yung goal ng mga regional film festivals is really to put up an opportunity or a platform for those na hindi makapasok sa mga bigger screens but they have the talents kasi ilan lang ba naman ang mga mainstream film festivals and kung sumali lahat ‘don, pano na yung iba.” Raymond Sakiwat, MFF’s Lead Organizer expressed during an interview.


One of the Montañosa Film Festival’s (MFF) primary goals is to propel local filmmakers into the national spotlight, enabling them to secure prestigious national awards for their culturally rich cinematic creations.


Illustrating this achievement is Julius Lumiqued, a Cordilleran and Montañosa filmmaker. His film, “The Wedding Dance”, has earned him a spot as a finalist in Cinemalaya 2024. The movie portrays the story of a Kalinga woman wedded to a tribal warrior. Additionally, Lumiqued serves as one of the panelists at the MFF 2024 Media Launch.


“Thank you po for Montañosa Film Festival for giving us this platform for Cordillerans… To be able to showcase stories from the inside and then, I’m taking this next step which is being the first Cordilleran to be a finalist in the full feature ng Cinemalaya..” Lumiqued shared during the press conference.


“Those voices na pinili ang isang Montañosa film fest, they were able to present the films that they want, they were able to discover the skills in filmmaking, and now, nagagawa nilang makagawa ng sarili nilang pangalan so whether you go mainstream, you go regional film festival it doesn’t matter as long as you target that platform for you to give your voices and Montañosa will stay to make sure that all voices would be heard.”, Sakiwat added.


Furthermore, Sakiwat added that this year, more pitched stories were sent, with more than 30 submissions for the mobile film category, with the majority of the submissions being high school students. Sakiwat stated, ”We see the potential of mobile in capturing stories, in making sure that we give immediate stories to people. Walang nagbago when it comes to the content, andon pa rin.”


The Montañosa Film Festival will hold its events starting on March 16th until the 24th. They are also extending a warm invitation to young filmmakers, including students, through their MFF Cine Circle Club. This exclusive club provides a platform for both seasoned professionals and budding talents. Its mission is to foster creative collaborations by facilitating resource-sharing and mutual learning. Esteemed mentors associated with the Montañosa Film Festival will guide and inspire club members.


~Izl Jem Rabanillo~




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