To our guests, friends, both from Davao and those coming from other regions, madayaw na pag-abot sa Davao, the participating filmmakers and welcome to the 2017 edition of the Davao Ngilngig Film Festival. For those who are hearing about Ngilngig for the first time, we started this initiative in 2010 with only 5 short films and in 2013 with 12 submissions from Davao. It is the aim of the festival to showcase local films and filmmakers and their stories of “ngilngig”—whether it be town tales, superstitions, and other horror or fantastical stories that embody the word ngilngig.

Now what is ngilngig? In Bisaya, it’s something that connotes horror, something that alludes to the macabre, but it could also be something that elicits a feeling of unease. For this year’s edition, we envision an expanded Ngilngig both in concept and in the films featured. We now have films from other regions, with submissions as far as Kalinga in Luzon and Iloilo in Visayas, as well as other regions from Mindanao, and even ambitious because we also have a showcase of Asian films. Aside from the film screenings, we also have a live art event tomorrow in collaboration with Davao visual artists called Panagtagbo at Morning Light Art Gallery in Quirino. Tomorrow we will also have a talk on translating stories to cinema-from literature to screen and on Monday a talk about the horror genre in the context of Southeast Asia at Cinematheque Davao.

It’s really challenging on our part, the Davao Ngilngig core group and Pasalidahay, but it is also exciting. And this excitement, about exploring the possibilities of regional cinema, this passion to create something that the local audience could experience as their own as well, is what drives us to keep going, despite being close to nothing in terms of resources. With that I would like to thank our volunteers for dedicating their valuable time and presence. To the filmmakers, I hope that this will be a learning experience for you so that you could continue to make better stories about our place, our experience, told through our voices and lenses.

Thank you and I hope you enjoy the films and the festival!

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Festival Director Bagane Fiola officially opens the 2017 Davao Ngilngig Film Festival