Ilocos Norte "Tan-ok" docus make it to national, international film fests


Jun. 06, 2021 ...

Four months after competing in the first-ever "Tan-ok ni Ilocano" Film Festival of the Provincial Government, three documentary films qualified in various national and international film festivals.

The "Panagwawagi" of Mr. Gabb Gantala that bagged the championship award is an official entry to Rad Fest Short Film Competition 2021, a project by Blackbox Studios founded by Carlo Alvarez. It was also nominated for Viddsee Shortee Award, a "film of the month" award by a Singapore-based video entertainment platform that recognizes and celebrates the most-watched, shared, and talked about Asian short film on Viddsee every month.

Similarly, Mr. Kevin Jay Ayson's "Ang Mga Nawalang Pag-asa at Panlasa" that was awarded 2nd Best Film, is one of the 13 short feature finalists in the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, while Mr. Melver Ritz Gomez's "Iyallatiw" was selected as an official entry to the International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM), and will be screened at the Diwa Filipino Film Showcase of Seattle in Washington, USA. "Iyallatiw" was also chosen as part of Viddsee Juree Awards 2021.

"Panagwawagi" portrays the fundamental concept of brotherhood that could withstand disparate and ageless circumstances and trying times. "Ang Mga Nawalang Pag-asa at Panlasa" narrates the battles and struggles of Ilokano food entrepreneurs amidst the pandemic, while "Iyallatiw" portrays an almost dying oral tradition in the town of Paoay, Ilocos Norte; on how a "manglualo" will transfer or transmit the said tradition to the younger generation.

"We all need platforms to advertise and showcase ourselves and our creativity. We thank the Provincial Government for helping me and my fellow artists through different platforms such as film competitions because these have maximized our potentials to creating pieces for a larger audience," Mr. Gabb Gantala, "Panagwawagi" Director, remarked.

"I am beyond honored and humbled. Cinemalaya is the "Olympics" of Filipino indie films. We've always dreamed of becoming a part of it, and it's actually every Filipino filmmaker's dream. Being a representative of our province is something else. This not only our team's milestone, but we carry all our fellow Ilokanos in this achievement with us. Win or lose, we are forever grateful," Mr. Kevin Jay Ayson, "Ang Mga Nawalang Pag-asa at Panlasa" Director, expressed.

"Iyallatiw" Director, Mr. Melver Ritz Gomez also shared his message of inspiration to his fellow and other aspiring filmmakers:

"Just continue having that burning passion and never give up. As you go along your filmmaking journey, there will be those who will help you. When you reach the top, don't forget these people. Always be patient and humble because our breakthroughs and turning points will come at the right time."