5th Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival 2017 – Films & Schedule

We present the films that will be screened at the 5th Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival that will take place from November 27th – December 1st (2017) in General Santos City, South Cotabato (Philippines).

“Meticulously curated are 42 films out of a total of 927 submissions this year, with only three Golden Durian Prize recipients to be chosen in the Festival’s three sections by jury members: filmmakers Bagane Fiola, Bebs Sabellano Gohetia, and Dempster P. Samarista, actress Evelyn Vargas-Knaebel, and Asian Film Festivals’s Sebastian Nadilo.

Alongside the screening of films, the SAFF organize the 3rd Mindanao Screen Lab which aims to develop new voices in Mindanao cinema; the Forum on Locating the Aesthetics of Regional Cinema in the Philippines with film scholar Paul Grant, film critic Skilty Labastilla, film reviewer Jay Rosas, and film director Sherad Anthony Sanchez as panelists; the talk Directing The Actor with actress Evelyn Vargas-Knaebel and film director Giancarlo Abrahan as guest speakers; and special presentations that intersect cinema with other art forms with Teatro Ambahanon Philippines(Contemporary Dance Company) and Pangandungan Gensan Writers Association, as well as a collaboration with our brother DAVAO NGILNGIG FILMS Festival. We will also launch the 2nd volume of New Durian Cinema special print edition that attempts to expound on the question of the “regional”, the “peripheral”, the “subaltern” in the context of the shaping of a national cinema.”
Teng Mangansakan (Festival Director)


Dapol Tan Payawar Na Tayug 1931 (Ghosts and Ashes of Tayug 1931) by Christopher Gozum
Philippines | 2017 – 90 min.

A filmmaker revisits the town of Tayug, Pangasinan in preparation for a new feature film she is making about the folk hero Pedro Calosa and the Tayug Uprising of 1931. As she revisits the actual sites in Tayug where the infamous uprising had taken place, she imagines scenes in her new film about the subject. As she goes deeper in her research at Tayug, she uncovers the memories of the townspeople about Pedro Calosa and the Tayug Uprising of 1931.




Tsukiji Wonderland by Naotaro Endo – Japan | 2016 – 111 min.

The Tsukiji Market, which is called “Japan’s Lively Kitchen,” is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. The market was built about 80 years ago, when it has moved from Nihonbashi area to Tsukiji area in central Tokyo. It continues to attract people throughout its rich history. Fish and seafood from Tsukiji begins to color the Japanese tables and functions as the core of “Washoku,” the Japanese cuisine which is added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012. This film will show you the passion of people in Tsukiji and the important essence of Japanese traditional cuisine.




Alaalang Walang Malay (Unconscious Memory) by Allan Balberona
Philippines | 2016 – 83 min. | Narrative
Mina, an environmental activist, sets out on a journey to Marinduque province to seek answers to the mining disaster. She joins a secret organization led by Francis who feeds her confidential information regarding people responsible for a mining disaster that has resulted to 200 million tons of toxic mines waste contaminating open water wells and rice fields that forced 59 children to undergo lead detoxification.

Awasarn Soundman (Death of The Sound Man) by Sorayos Prapapan
Thailand | 2017 – 16 min. | Narrative
The voice of the people is often neglected, as is sound in film, which the audience doesn’t care about. Two sound recordists are working on the final mix of a short film. Will their sound be heard by someone?

Between Pudukkottai & Singapore: Poems by N Rengarajan by Vishal Daryanomel
Singapore | 2017 – 19 min. | Documentary
Originally from Pudukkottai, in the province of Tamil Nadu, India, Rengarajan works in Singapore’s construction sector. Featuring three of his poems which subtly elucidate the realities of migrant life, the film also highlights pertinent issues such as employment processes, exorbitant agent fees, financial debt, and commonly held perceptions of migrant workers. The Tamil language and its place in Singapore society, as well as spaces for minority artists, are some of the other areas explored. Through Rengarajan’s perspectives, the film navigates through themes of loss, sacrifice, and the strengths and dreams inherent in all of us, regardless of occupation, nationality, race, and class.

Chor (The Bicycle) by Khanjan Kishore Nath
India | 2017 – 85 min. | Narrative
Chor revolves around the lives of two friends Nipu and Raju, with Raju owning a bicycle and Nipu’s desire for it. Unfortunately by the unstoppable longingness and thrill of riding a bicycle, Nipu one day quietly rides the bicycle without the permission of his friend and unfortunately lose it. The story progresses with twist and turns of emotions between both the friends and the matter spreading to their families. With false accusation and doubt, the story manages to keep the thrill alive throughout.

Dadyaa (Woodpeckers of Rotha) by Bibhusan Basnet and Pooja Gurung
Nepal | 2016 – 16 min. | Narrative
Atimaley and Devi’s village is haunted by memories. When a dear friend leaves the village without saying “goodbye”, the old couple faces a dilemma; to keep living with the memories or to leave the village for good?

God Bliss Our Home by Nawruz Paguidopon
Philippines | 2017 – 74 min. | Documentary
The animator and filmmaker, Nawruz, an immigrant from Southern Philippinnes, has struggled to find a better place in old housing district, BLISS, for a decade. With a high living cost and unstable jobs in Manila, he gets a financial support from his mother every two months. One day, his mother notices him to pack his luggages and come back hometown. Before he leaves BLISS, he makes all last-ditch efforts to stay more in Manila and starts recording all situation with a selfie sticks and Gopro camera. Will his plan work? Will he get a space of his own in Manila?

Hilom (Still) by Paul Patindol
Philippines | 2016 – 14 min. | Narrative
In a fishing village that’s been ravaged by a strong typhoon, the bond of twin brothers is disrupted by another young boy. Hilom follows the journey of the brothers, Andres and Gael, as they find healing against the harsh landscape of an island that’s also trying to recover.

huSh by Kan Lume and Djenar Maesa Ayu
Singapore, Indonesia | 2016 – 70 min. | Mockumentary
hUSh starring Cinta Ramlan, tells the story of an aspiring singer from Bali who travels to Jakarta to find success. There she encounters the trappings of success; insincere boyfriends, materialistic impulses, fast friendships, empty sexual encounters. When a breakup causes her extreme heartache, she decides to travel back home to take refuge. Her journey becomes the foundation for a discussion about all things pertaining to women’s issues.

Koi to sayonara to Hawai (Love and Goodbye and Hawaii) by Shingo Matsumura
Japan | 2017 – 93 min. | Narrative
Rinko has been living with Isamu, a graduate student, for three years. They have decided to break up, but are still living together. Their current relationship of “more than just friends but not quite lovers” is very comfortable for Rinko, so she hasn’ t moved out yet. However, Rinko has realized that she still loves Isamu… One day, Rinko finds out that a young girl who studies with Isamu has feelings for him. And it seems Isamu is also becoming attracted to her. Now, Rinko is faced with a tough decision.

Listen by Min Min Hein
US, Myanmar | 2017 – 13 min. | Documentary
A documentary portrait of revolutionary artist Chaw Ei Thein. Exiled from her homeland of Myanmar, she uses visually striking and emotionally unsettling performance art and artwork as a means of dissent, both to express her political views and to give voice to her victimized experience and inner struggles.

Nokas by Manuel Alberto Maia
Indonesia | 2016 – 75 min. | Documentary
Even in time of war, people get married. It is no different with Nokas, a 27-year-old man who wishes to marry his beloved Ci, a beautiful girl working in chicken farm in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. It is difficult to marry a Timor girl. The soon-to-be groom needs to prepare a huge amount to pay for the dowry. With an observational approach, this film follows the effort of young Nokas as he tries to make his marriage happens.

The Plague at the Karatas Village by Adilkhan Yerzhanov
Kazakhstan | 2016 – 86 min. | Exp. Narrative
A new mayor comes to the remote village Karatas. A very strange illness reins over here. However somebody is used to live with it and says this is a simple flu.

The Troubled Troubadour by Sebastien Simon and Ian Forest Etsler
South Korea | 2016 – 23 min. | Narrative
Two middle-aged Japanese men, a hubristic musician and his stoic companion, travel aboard a wheeled canoe on abandoned train tracks along the Southern coast of Korea. They fall into an ambush set by a tribe of wild Korean children who mistake the musician for their long-awaited Mountain God.

Turn Left Turn Right by Douglas Seok
Cambodia | 2016 – 68 min. | Narrative
Kanitha, a young, free-spirited Cambodian woman in her 20s, lives in modern-day Phnom Penh, working multiple jobs and choosing to live how she pleases. However, her daydreaming creates tension with her traditional mother, who wants a daughter that will settle down to get married, and Kanitha seems ambivalent to her father’s deteriorating health. The family’s struggle seems immutable, but Kanitha dreams an idea born from memories of her father.

Utsav by Suruchi Sharma
India | 2016 – 27 min. | Documentary
A village fair organized by Jaipur Virasat Foundation in the middle of a small village in Rajasthan becomes a hub for entertainment, education, and fun and is a platform to connect folk entertainment to its true audience. Capturing the essence of the fair in an observational way, the film is made single handedly by the filmmaker with the use of minimal resources.



Aliens Ata by Glenn Barit – 2017 | Narrative – 7 min.
Two young brothers deal with the sudden loss of their father. Their overseas-filipino-worker mother goes back home for the funeral but will soon had to depart for work again. For kids, some things are hard to grasp that’s why they look at the sky for answers. Could it be aliens?

Bitoon Sa Syudad (Stars in the City) by Jarell Serencio – 2016 | Narrative – 5 min.
An hour before the bomb explosion at Roxas Night Market, Davao City, two young brothers, Oliver (12) and Mac-Mac (9) went from one table to another to serenade the market goers. The money they earn is used for their day to day school allowances and also their means of helping their father who work as a masseur at the night market. Few minutes later, Mac-Mac discovered that he lost some amount of money. The two brothers immediately traced their steps back hoping to find it. Oliver reassures Mac-Mac that he will help him look for the missing money and told him not to go anywhere until he comes back. Oliver went his way, while Mac-Mac patiently waits. Minutes ticked by and a loud explosion happened. Roxas Market turned into chaos but Mac-Mac was still waiting for his brother to return.

Contestant #4 by Jared Joven and Kaj Palanca – 2016 | Narrative – 18 min.
A young boy frequently visits an old man who lives alone, keeping him always in good company. One night, he chances upon the old man watching a dated clip of himself as a cross-dressing boy. This sparks within the young boy an interest to find out more about the old man’s past. What he ultimately discovers aids both him and the old man towards a richer understanding of how the weight of life and identity should be carried.

Daluhong (Onslaught) by Don Senoc – 2017 | Narrative – 8 min.
Matt, a teenage boy who lives near the shore, makes sense of the disappearance of her best friend, Jess.

Fish Out of Water by Mon Garilao – 2016 | Narrative – 20 min.
Fish Out Of Water tells the story of Min-jae, a Korean-Filipino teenager, who is often discriminated against for being mixed-blood. His utmost desire to belong to the homogeneous and hierarchical Korean society is tested when his single Filipina mother decides to send him to the Philippines one winter day.

In the Middle of the Night by Bryan Brazil – 2017 | Documentary – 29 min.
In July 2016, the newly elected president of the republic Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte made a pronouncement that he will eradicate the perennial drug problems in the country by launching a massive war on drugs campaign that will last for six months. In the pursuit of the campaign, many have surrendered voluntarily but it also resulted to the emergence of vigilante-style killings which victimized thousands of people. Te rampant human rights violation and abuse, consequently viewed by others as one of the most terrifying and harrowing times in the history of the country.

Juana and the Sacred Shores by Antonne Santiago – 2017 | Experimental – 18 min.
Juana is a beautiful maiden living peacefully in her island. While dancing in the middle of the sea, she sees how vast the waters are, and suddenly realizes that she is alone. To satisfy her longing, she does an animistic ritual and prays for a companion. A man arrives.

Nakaw by Arvin Belarmino and Noel Escondo – 2017 | Narrative – 7 min.
Bateng a 10 year old boy stole an elderly woman’s wallet that starts a series of events that will change the lives of five people forever.

Processions by Steven Paul Evangelio – 2017 | Narrative – 15 min.
Kaye, Via and Kat make their own funeral procession for Patche. Uncertain whether or not they would like to go to her wake, they consciously make their travel to the funeral slow. Along their way to the funeral, they reminisce memories of their friendship from their younger days – the moments they fool and play around, recess breaks when they sing their favorite song, group reports, ditching graduation ball to go to the karaoke, their first cigarette hit; only to realize that they have slowly drifted apart. The past makes it harder for them to face the present. Their funeral procession continues. Still uncertain whether or not Kaye, Via and Kat will go to Patche’s wake.

Recurrencia by Carmina Cruz – 2017 | Narrative – 10 min.
In 1945 Japanese soldiers violently attacked civilians in Manila. Many were killed and women were raped and abused in what is now known as the Manila Massacre. A woman who survived the attack at San Juan De Dios Hospital acquires a mental/memory disorder and lives her everyday life reliving the happenings of that day.

Sa Ating Katahimikan (In Our Silence) by Alyssa Suico – 2017 | Experimental – 4 min.
We are most ourselves in the stillest of the night, in our silence. When we are most vulnerable, we are most beautiful. But in this society, no space is sacred anymore. The testimony of Martial Law victim Hilda Narciso, a school teacher during the Marcos dictatorship opens us to see how these moments of solitude can transform into moments trauma. Her words are taken from the heated Supreme Court oral arguments for the burial of the former President Marcos last August 31, 2016.

Santa Nena by Tim Rone Villanueva – 2017 | Narrative – 20 min.
Santa Nena, a patron saint statue in a provincial church, springs to life every night. She wishes to become human again to understand the people of the contemporary era. One night, God gives Santa Nena a very special mission. She has to be the child-bearer for the second coming of the Messiah on earth with Manuel, the chosen boy with miraculous glowing balls. In this mission, God forbids Santa Nena to fall in love with Manuel. But what happens when Santa Nena falls in love with the boy with miraculous glowing balls?

Touch Move by Frances Louis Giner – 2017 | Narrative – 14 min.
This film surrealistically depicts the hardship of a relationship, moving on, and alas, independently finding one’s worth. It revolves around the Queen’s world, chess game as it portrays how powerful the Queen is and how her life has been played. With her ultimate goal to protect the King in her world of game, and all along she thought she found her purpose.



Astri Maka Si Tambulah (Astri and Tambulah) by Xeph Suarez – 2017 | Narrative – 18 min.
Astri is a 16-year old transwoman in a relationship with 17-year old Tambulah. Although it’s an unusual sight at the community where they live, nobody bothers them. Subsisting on the coins people throw at them when they perform their traditional dance at the sea, everything is perfect except that Sama Badjao traditions and a pact made long ago require Astri to marry a woman she hardly knows.

Biday by Jemimah Faith Ramos – 2017 | Documentary – 12 min.
Biday is born with a mental handicap who is now a mother after she is raped. The film inquires about the cycle of violence that women endure in society.

Gintong Butil (A Grain of Gold) by Nhia Halcon – Documentary – 14 min.
This film is about the story of a woman, a wife and a mother who has been performing onaw which is considered as a lowest type of mining. Her struggles and aspirations will be revealed as well as the knowledge of the process which in the end will lead us to the realizations of the true value of gold.

Lobo by Kissza Campano and Lance Maravillas – 2017 | Narrative – 3 min.
An 11-year old girl frolics along a bazaar to find a new friend.

Mairum by Marga Mangao – 2017 | Documentary – 24 min.
A coal power plant disrupts the life of an entire community. With the challenges at hand, the community must struggle to survive.

Paglubad (Unravel) by Jean Claire Dy – 2017 | Narrative – 27 min.
Ligaya, a filmmaker, stays with her uncle Primo in Iloilo, to finish a documentary film about her roots. Motivated by the need to understand why her family in Cotabato resists her plan to marry her Muslim boyfriend Malik, Ligaya is determined to find answers from her uncle. Malik is an orphan whose parents were killed in a fire during one of the massacres perpetrated by the Christian militia known as the ilaga during the war in the 1970s in Central Mindanao.

Redempsyon (Redemption) by Edmund Telmo – Narrative – 14 min.
Lena, who is in the early stage pregnancy is challenged by her partner, Chris, to choose whether or not to continue bearing the child in her womb.

Simulacrum by Arjay Toring – 2017 | Narrative – 12 min.
Set a month after the recent Philippine Presidential Election, a teenage son grieves after her mother falls victim to an extrajudicial killing (EJK).

Some Nights I Feel Like Walking by Trishtan Perez – 2016 | Narrative – 14 min.
The UP Academic Oval is hauntingly empty in the wee hours of night. John drifts while strangers pass him by like a blur, searching for someone to spend the night with.

Sore by Rodiell Veloso – 2017 | Narrative – 10 min.
Two schoolboys’ friendship is at test as they wait for an emergency appointment at a clinic.

Walay Nidanguynguy (No One Came To Weep) by Glorypearl Dy – 2017 | Experimental – 12 min.
This film is based on Pagsalop sa Adlaw, inspired by the photographs of the late Gene Boyd Lumawag, a photography in motion theater production with UP Mindanao Ensemble Dance Ensemble 2016 under Artistic Director Gloryrose Dy Metilla.


FESTIVAL SCHEDULE (Click to Enlarge)



MAP OF VENUES (Click to Enlarge)



For more information please visit the official Facebook Page of the festival:


About the Festival:
SalamindanawAFF is the only international film festival in Mindanao that is committed to raise awareness and promote international cinema, as well as strengthen the cultural ties between The Festival, held annually in General Santos since 2013, has been championing Southeast Asian cinema by becoming a platform for emerging talents in the region. This year it celebrates films that express cross-cultural collaboration in Asia especially at a time when ASEAN is marking its fiftieth founding anniversary.

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