Cine Totoo unveils 7 entries for Southeast Asian competition; docu film fest to kick off on September 24

Seven films will compete in the Southeast Asian Section of 1st Cine Totoo Philippine International Documentary Film Festival. This docu film fest will take place in Trinoma, SM Megamall and SM Manila from September 24 to September 30, 2014. (To view the complete schedule, CLICK HERE)

Beginning September 24, film enthusiasts will be treated to a slew of never before seen local documentaries as GMA News TV marks another milestone with the inauguration of its first-ever documentary fest: Cine Totoo Philippine International Documentary Film Festival.

Cine Totoo, which is divided into Philippine and Southeast Asian sections, unveils a total of 18 documentaries that will be screened in competition in select cinemas in Trinoma, SM Megamall and SM Manila from September 24 to September 30.

“We hope to meet the next generation of documentary directors and producers through Cine Totoo. We look forward to powerful stories as well as personal stories, documentaries with a unique point of view--beyond what we have been accustomed to seeing locally,” says GMA News TV Channel Head Nessa Valdellon.

Despite receiving a limited grant of P150,000 each, the finalists, who are independent filmmakers from all over the country, still managed to produce impressive, ingenious and inspiring documentaries for the first-ever Cine Totoo Philippine International Documentary Film Festival.

Among these films are Agbalbalitok (The Gold Prospector) by Ferdinand Balanag, A Journey to Haifa by Nawruz Paguidopon, Ang Gitaristang Hindi Marunong Magskala by Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez, Ang Walang Kapagurang Paglalakbay ng Pulang Maleta by Richard Legaspi, Gusto Nang Umuwi ni Joy by Jan Tristan Pandy, Kung Giunsa Pagbuhat ang Binsayang Chopsuey (How to Make a Visayan Chopsuey) by Charliebebs Gohetia, Komikero Chronicles by Keith Sicat, Mananayaw by Rafael Froilan, Marciano by Ivy Rose Universe Baldoza, Migkahi e si Amey te, Uli ki pad (Father Said, Let’s Return Home) by Nef Luczon, and Walang Rape sa Bontok by Carla Samantha Ocampo.

Aside from these 11 documentaries in competition for the Philippine Section, 7 films were also chosen to compete in the festival’s Southeast Asian Section.

Among these are Tan Pin Pin’s controversial documentary To Singapore With Love, which was recently banned in its home country by the Media Development Authority of Singapore because it allegedly “undermined national security." It was part of Berlin Film Festival's Forum Section and it won Best Director at the Muhr Asia Africa Documentary section of the 10th Dubai International Film Festival.

Also in competition is Misha Anissimov’s documentary Once in a Lifetime: A Russian Song for Guiuan, which tells the story of famous Russian folk singer Nikolai Massenkoff who as a child became a refugee in Tubabao, Guiuan, Samar. It follows Massenkoff as he returned for the first time to Tubabao to help out and organize a concert after super typhoon Yolanda devastated the province.

The others films competing in the Southeast Asian section are Nontawat Numbenchapol’s By The River and Boundary (Thailand), Dwi Sujanti Nugraheni’s Denok and Gareng (Indonesia), Adjani Arumpac’s War is a Tender Thing (Philippines), and Uruphong Raksasad’s The Songs of Rice (Thailand).

Documentaries under the Philippine Section are vying to win the top three awards namely Best Documentary Film, Special Jury Prize and Audience Choice Award. The winners will receive trophies and cash prizes. The three winning films will be aired on GMA News TV. Meanwhile, only one among the seven participants in the Southeast Asian section will be awarded as Best Southeast Asian Documentary.

“We are excited to share the films of this talented batch of filmmakers. They each offer a unique and interesting insight into the contemporary Filipino experience,” says Cine Totoo Festival Director Joseph Israel Laban. Laban, an award-winning independent filmmaker, is also the executive producer of Front Row, a GMA News and Public Affairs’ documentary program that has received numerous awards from prestigious award-giving bodies that include the New York Festivals, US International Film and Video Festival, UNICEF Child Rights Awards, and URTI Grand Prix for Author's Documentary.

Cine Totoo Philippine International Documentary Film Festival is a special project of GMA News TV Channel 11. For updates about CINE TOTOO, follow the festival's Facebook ( and Twitter ( accounts.

(To view the complete schedule, CLICK HERE)



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