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No podium finish in Abra filmfest still a win for young Benguet filmmakers

The young filmmakers from Benguet may not have won any award but their trip to Abra was worth all the effort as they gained the needed experience and meet more seasoned filmmakers that may improve their future works.

“We had the opportunity to meet other film makers and artists located in Abra,” said Macush Taynan, producer of the Heroes Wall which was one of the 22 films featured in the Sine Abreno 4th Abrenian Heritage Film Festival (AHFF) 2022 last September 10.

“As the youngest (finalist) I felt honored to experience things and meet people who gave me valuable information,” said the 17 year old son of a photographer, filmmaker and multi-media artist.

The youngest team which has members 16 to 19 years old joined other filmmakers from Abra, Ilocos Norte, Benguet, La Union and even the National Capital Region.

Heroes Wall is a short documentary film on the Heroes Wall of Fame mural project made by artists Gladys Labsan, Ged Alangui and Team Lakay’s Harold Banario. In it, they made murals of 32 Cordillera athletes from the different sports discipline who excelled in international competition and brought home medals to country.

The young team led by Taynan and Jaime Bernabe II, son of former radio broadcaster Jimmy Bernabe, started filming as early as June this year and showed the three artists during their stages of paintings the murals which was launched last June 29.

The young filmmakers tried to convey the story behind the murals –to inspire younger athletes to work harder in the hope of being good enough to compete internationally and excel.

The older Taynan said that his wards hope to improve their skills as they also eye separate scholarship grants from the National Commission for Culture and Arts – Sub-commission on the Arts For cinema.

The two young film makers has already applied for the grant, said the older Taynan, who last year converted his office in La Trinidad as a studio and which is now the base of the young filmmakers. He likewise thanked former SunStar Baguio freelance photojournalist and now photo editor for New Jersey Journal Reena Sibayan for providing the funds to buy some of the equipment which are what they use now.

The older Taynan said the kids have high hopes and have been honed by their apprenticeship in several film making seminars as well as in business as they showed resiliency during the filming of the Heroes Wall where they were able to come out with the film despite their meager resources.

The Heroes Wall as well as the 21 other films are now being shown at the UA/ASIST Social Hall Bangued Campus where the final judgement will be made.

The winners of the filmfest are: Another Year by Timothy Morales for best short film, Dung-aw by Romel Pascua for best documentary film, Pascua also received awards for emerging Ilokano Filmmakers for Timpuyog and won best director for Dung-aw, other winners are Gabriel John Gantala for his film Pili a Pili Makapili’t Takki. Dagiti Mapukpukaw by Kim Angela Santos won the Jury Prize as well as the best in cinematography award, best in production design went to Shem Padua for Anak ti Baybay and best in editing went to Pag-asang Sumibol sa Kawayan by Jomark Bhon Gloria. Pigeon Lobien

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