Lilas Binisaya Film Festival: New Home of Cebuano Filmmakers

The long wait of the Cebuano filmakers is over. They have found a new home to showcase their films.

The inauguration of the three day Lilas Binisaya Film Festival, from November 28-30, was held last Friday at the historic Cine Oriente, Colonnade Mall.

Festival director Maria Victoria “ Bambi” Beltran and veteran actress Ms. Pilar Pilapil spearheaded the ribbon cutting ceremony. To the delight of the crowd, Ms. Pilar Pilapil also gave an inspirational message.

In her speech, Pilapil said Cebuano talents such as singers, actors, writers, musicians, and many others have always made it big wherever they go.  “If people in the international scene can recognize us, why can’t we not recognize that? I believe it’s our time, it’s God’s time,”  she added.

Pilapil revealed that they are cooking up a television show that will talk about Cebuanos .

Meanwhile, an arnis exibition by the grandmaster himself, Prudencio “Ondo” Caburnay and Master Instructor Jun Igpit amazed the crowd. Two young arnis proteges from the Lapunti Arnis de Abanico joined the exhibition This original Cebuano martial art is exceptional in its movements and striking combinations using rattan sticks and a dagger.

The film “Ang Manok ni San Pedro” was screened on the opening of the festival followed by a forum with Provincial Board Member Julian Daan and the film’s other cast members.

Young filmmakers, students, film enthusiasts and film-goers came to support the event. The film showing was free for the public. Asked on the goal of the event   Beltran said “the festival is to harvest the best Cebuano films so we could bring it to a national festival which is Cinema Rehiyon”.

Aside from their short-term goal, it is also organizers’ way to promote appreciation of Cebuano films.

Film Showing      

On the second day, the best of Cebuano short films such as Saranghae My Tutuor, Doktora, and To Siomai Love were screened.

The highlight of the festival was the short film competition. Different short films from 13 production teams vied for the grand prize of 10,000 pesos and a one-year film grant from the Film and Media Arts International Academy.

Short films in competetion were: Handumanan sa Usa ka Salida (Ivan Karol Martinez), Mga Hunahuna ni Erlinda Bayonita (Sheree Tampus), Ang Pagpangita (Aprillice Alvez), Damgo ni Magdalena (Kier Belleza),Silingan (Daniel Bautista), Hipalgan (Patricia Joy Martinez), Dream On Bai! (Hanz Florentino), Halok (Hanz Florentino), Handurawan (Jaylou Dari), Kulto  (Dulcelyn Insong), Mga Patay Nga Bitoon (Andrei Karoly Hernandez), Urom (James Arthur More Oliva), and Mugna  (Kristiana Sayson).

Last but not the least

Director, writer and pitching director Emmanuel de la Cruz held a filmmaking workshop at UP Arts and Sciences Lobby on the last day of the festival.

The film “Mula sa Kung Ano Ang Noon” directed by award-winning Lav Diaz was shown in the afternoon as the closing film. The five-hour film won the grand prize in the 2014  Locarno International Film Festival.

Winners of the festival:

GRAND WINNER for BEST PICTURE – “Handurawan” Directed by Jaylou Dari

2nd BEST PICTURE – “Hipalgan” Directed by Patricia Joy Martinez
3rd BEST PICTURE – “Dream On Bai” Directed by Hanz Florentino

SPECIAL AWARD: “LILAS BINISAYA BISIBIS AWARD” – “Handumanan Sa Usa Ka Salida” Directed by Ivan Martinez

BEST DIRECTOR – Jaylou Dari, Director of “Handurawan”
BEST ACTRESS – Mary Grace Remo of “Halok”
BEST ACTOR – Romeo Bantugan, Jr. of “Dream On Bai”


A. Jaylou Dari of “Handurawan”
B. Shannon D. Ranin of “Hipalgan”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Jaylou Dari of “Handurawan”
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – Patricia Joy Martinez of “Hipalgan”
BEST EDITING – Ivan Martinez of “Handumanan Sa Usa Ka Salida”
BEST SOUND ENGINEERING – Dani Bautista of “Silingan”

Cris Lanie Delos Reyes