3rd Istorya ng Pag-asa Film Festival – Finalists 2019

We present the finalists of the Istorya Ng Pag-asa Film Festival which will be screened between June and October 2019 in Ayala Cinemas around the Philippines.

The Istorya Ng Pag-asa Film Festivals (INPFF) is a nationwide, all-digital film competition for original short documentaries featuring extraordinary stories of ordinary Filipinos. Its aim is to give a platform for Filipino filmmakers showcasing true and inspiring stories of hope.

The INPFF is a project of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in partnership with the Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI) and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).

We remind readers that the 3rd Istorya Ng Pag-asa Film Festival Gala Night and Award Ceremony will take place on June 8th, 2019 and the awarded films will be screen nationwide at the Ayala Cinemas from June to October 2019.

Jury Members: Dan Villegas, Shamaine Buencamino, Doy Del Mundo, Mary Liza Diño Seguerra, Quark Henares, Dingdong Dantes and Iza Calzado



Breaking Through the Darkness by Ronald James Baculo
Anthony “Lamaroc” Lawang is an Australian-born, Filipino B-Boy who has competed and judged at various locally and internationally hip-hop dance competitions. He currently teaches breakdancing to children and youth in his community in Melbourne. “Breaking Through the Darkness” shares the unique story of dealing with depression through breakdancing, and about finding hope in the most unconventional ways.

Hijabs and Hopes in Quiapo by Demie Dangla
Amanah Busran Lao was born in Marawi City, but moved to Manila in 2008. She works for the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos and is a Sharia’h counselor-at-law. Aside from being an advocate of human rights and passionately defending women’s rights, Amanah is also involved in a cultural tour of the Muslim Town in Quiapo — which is her way of helping make the Muslim community less of a mystery to others. At its heart, “Hijabs and Hopes in Quiapo” aims to show that despite cultural and religious differences, we are all still part of one nation.

Maestro ng Pag(b)asa by Immaculate Estepa
“Maestro ng Pag(b)asa” tells the inspiring story of Ryan Habitan Homan, a public school teacher whose passion and drive for literacy has changed the lives of children in his community. He launched the Balsa-Basa initiative in a remote village in Sorsogon, a reading crusade that has now reached the whole province of Donsol. The film shows one man’s perseverance and willingness to go the distance to give children the education they deserve.

Litratista by Allan Lazaro
When Nanay Fely’s husband died, she was left alone to fend for their seven children. In the ‘60s, she became a sales agent for a studio, knocking on doors in Metro Manila and nearby provinces to offer her photography services. Eventually, Nanay Fely’s curiosity led her to learning professional photography for special occasions. This became her career, landing her a job as the official photographer of public elementary schools in Manila. “Litratista” tells the story of Nanay Fely who has worked as a photographer for four decades and who continues to make people smile even until today.

Yapak by Romel Lozada
Rodrigo and Robinson Rada are blind brothers from Maasim, Saragani who work in the field harvesting and dehusking coconuts, sunup to sundown. Separated from their parents, everyday is a struggle to support themselves. Their disability, however, has not hindered them from making a living.



Obra by Geneva Malit
“Obra” is a film about Alexander Quizon, an artist who was once consumed by drugs but eventually found his life’s purpose: making art. His story is not just a story of hope but a real life testimony of how God is working in each and every one of us. This film aims to both inspire those who lost their way to never give up, and to encourage local artists to hone and showcase their craft.

Maglabay Ra In Sakit by Mijan Jumalon
Maglabay ra in sakit” tells the story of Khalid Hamid (RkJun), a 23-year-old Tausug rap artist who was born in Jolo, Sulu and raised in Zamboanga City. A dream that began when he was still young, he is determined to pursue a career in rap music even as he is beset by the challenges of poverty, loss, and the effects of terrorism in Southern Mindanao.

White Helmet Rescuers by Ana Puod
“White Helmet Rescuers” is a collaborative effort with International Alert Philippines, with the purpose of championing the heroes of Marawi. Aside from our brave soldiers, there were many unsung courageous souls that helped the city defend itself against the terrorists. This is one of those stories.

Modern Day Hero by Roy Robert Rusiana
“Modern Day Hero” is about SPO4 Bill Felisan, who was a street child in the 1980s. At 13, he was apprehended for a petty crime, and was turned over to Cebu City’s Community Scouts Youth Guidance Center, a facility where street children are given a fresh start. Now, Kuya Bill is a high-ranking policeman and is a story of hope for others like him who struggled to find their way. This film hopes to inspire people, and shed light on the cases of children in conflict with the law who deserve a second chance.

Ka Dodoy by Meg Serranilla and Mark Aposaga
Overfishing is a critical threat to Philippine seas, one of the most biodiverse waters in the world. Since the 1970s, this has led to the sharp and steady decline in fish stocks and has lost many marine species, here and around the world. Roberto “Ka Dodoy” Ballon, Jr. is the beloved chairman of the Kapunungan sa mga Gagmay’ng Mangingisda sa Concepcion (KGMC) – a fisherfolk organization in the municipality of Kabasalan, Province of Zamboanga Sibugay. His leadership, compassion, and sense of duty was instrumental in saving his barangay’s fish stock from collapsing and helping their community regain their fish by inspiring and educating people in cooperation and conservation. “Ka Dodoy” hopes to let more people know about this issue, and to understand that something has to be done to save our oceans before it’s too late.

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