The Philippines’ rich cultural diversity increasingly proves advantageous for the development of the nation’s film industry. Our ancient archive of written and oral stories has become a wellspring from which filmmakers draw tales and accounts that they can translate into cinema. These stories, told by various voices and experienced first-hand by other sensibilities definitely excite, if not satisfy, the cinema audience’s hunger for something fresh.
Ngilngig Asian Fantastic Film Festival
Ngilngig Asian Fantastic Film Festival Davao is an annual showcase of films that explores the myriad meanings of the “ngilngig”—a common Bisaya expression for something that is “kuyaw” (fantastic) or for something that elicits horror or alluding to the macabre.
From what used to be a horror-genre festival, Ngilngig Festival has expanded its scope to become the first fantastic film festival of its kind in Southeast Asia, extending the reach to other neighboring countries’ “ngilngig” films that are significant with our ways of telling fantastic stories to promote and preserve our myths, traditions, history and culture into cinematic form.
How It Started
In 2010, the first series of shorts succeeded with an attempt of forging a filmmaking movement that would make a stand for regional cinema. Thus, creating the Davao Ngilngig Films, composing of only then five films that stand on their unifying “ngilngig” factor, and presenting varying themes such as reliving a ghost story from the past, processing an occurring memory from childhood, identifying a town tale from a personal province, interpreting an enigmatic mesh of dreams, and recreating an unforgettable peculiar event.
“Ngilngig” may just be a concept of the mind, but since the mind, like the universe, is constantly expanding, so will the concept of “ngilngig”, and it shall continue to inspire filmmakers, artists and dreamers, to unite under the essence of “ngilngig” factor as a tool to create and develop voices through the different ways of seeing their own experiences, dreams, and imaginations, as well as, of archiving the vanishing oral stories into cinematic and other familiar and unexplored art forms that may anticipate or reflect social developments.
Ngilngig Asian Fantastic Film Festival Davao is organized by Pasalidahay, a Davao-based collective of filmmakers, curators and programmers, that fosters audience development for developing cinema from the Philippine regions. It will take place in Davao City, Philippines, from the 25th to the 31st of October 2019.