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.

Davao Ngilngig Films (DNF) is a showcase of films and filmmakers that aims to immortalize Philippine town tales and superstitious beliefs in its unique form through cinema. It started in 2010 with only 5 short films and had its very first festival in 2013 that screened 12 submissions from Davao and other regions.

Ngilngig, or its derivative “ngiga” (from ngilngiga) has been more commonly used (especially among Cebuanos) to refer to something that is “kuyaw” (awesome). But the word originally refers to something that elicits horror or ghastliness, something that alludes to the macabre.