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This Day, docu-film, mediaman turned photographer turned actor, winners in 1st MFF

WE DID IT! The trophy of Red Aquino that serves as a foreground to the film This Day’s poster after winning the Best Festival Film during the awards rite of the Montanosa Film Festival last March 28 at the Baguio Convention Center. Photo from Red Aquino’s Facebook Page

A documentary film cum tribute to a father, a story of a farmer’s son studying in the city and a mediaman turned professional photographer and now an actor were some of the big winners during the first Montanosa Film Festival that finally concluded with its awarding ceremony Monday night.

Lynette Carantes Bibal paid tribute to her late father Geoffrey Carantes, a history professor turned La Trinidad, Benguet councilor – with Pengsasan that also explored her perspective as a woman of the Cordilleras and as a daughter of the Ibaloy historian.

Carantes-Bibal, whose mother Rose is of Pangasinan stock and taught high school at the Baguio City High School, described her 10 minute film as touching “on memory and modernity, shattering the illusion of time and crossing the border from the past to the present day.”

Carantes-Bibal went home with the Kapwa award along with Hendrix Sanchez for his film Duron, the story of a merchant and his kariton that “artfully unfolds on the fringes of Baguio City and on the fringes of society itself.”

Red Aquino was the biggest winner as he went home with the Best Festival Film with his This Day about the struggle of a farmer’s son “and the obstacles that everyday life throws at him once he crosses the borders into situations of uncertainty.”

“Guys we did it!” Aquino posted on his Facebook page after getting the top plum in the week-long festival that had University of the Philippines film professor Edward Cabagnot, director Dean Colin Marcial and screenwriters Moira Lang and Emmanuel dela Cruz as members of the jury.

“Legit na akong artist (I am now a legit artist),” Eros Goze posted on his Facebook wall after coming home with the Jury Prize for Best Performance award for his role in Operation Pukis during the ceremonies that was delayed by a day due to the inclement weather.

“I don’t really know how to start cause everything is like a dream…” said the former ABS-CBN Baguio staff, who spent more than a decade in Dubai to pursue his dream as a professional/fashion photographer.

“Isang napagagaling na director [Angelo Aurelio] at alagad ng sining na naniwala na kaya ko[ng] gampanan and role kaya push naman ako (He is one very good director and a member of the art who believed that I can play the role that I was given, so I went for it),” he added.

Operation Pukis sees Carlito Dacanay organize a for a cause event after his bar closes and him contracting Covid-19.

Narciso Santos took the Crossing Borders Award for his movie 14 Days which is about a graduating Philippine National Police trainee Elijah, who is assigned to watch over Arvin, a law student and part-time tour guide who was recently exposed to a Covid-19 positive case.

Moises Soriano and Amber Macasinag, meanwhile, went home winners with their film Igem ni Nanang (In Mother’s Arms). The duo tells the struggles of Elvira in smuggling her daughter into Baguio City under lockdown to gain access for the medical treatment her daughter sorely needs. The film earned the nods of the jury and gave them the Independent Spirit Award.

The other Jury Prizes went to 10,000 Errors by Guilliene Sanchez for Word Building and Emerging Cinema for The Highest Point by Karl Patacsil.

The other entries to the MFF are Clint Tynan’s The Scaffold Farmer and Panaginip of Enrico Laoagan.

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