Local bookstore helps promote indie films in Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY, Nov. 19 (PIA) – The local bookstore Samtoy has begun raising awareness on independent (indie) films in the first ever ‘Cine Ilocos Norte’ that was offered in a two-day festival here.

A first in Ilocos Norte, the films shown were under the distribution of the Cinemalaya as part of its Film Congress rolling in the different parts of the country.

Gladys Foronda Diaros, Samtoy manager said that the festival seeks to promote indie films to local audience and help local producers.

“This is also like giving back to them because there are indie films which were shot in Ilocos Norte, and in a way it helped in the promotion of tourism in the province,” Diaros said.

The festival’s first offering to Ilocanos is the film “Kasal” which tackles issues about the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) community.

“Since these films are raw or their subjects are more realistic than those shown in the mainstream, it contributes to the public’s social awareness, especially the youth, and through this they may (have) a better involvement in the society” said Diaros.

Samtoy Bookstore and the Cinemalaya are eyeing to make the festival on a monthly basis in Ilocos Norte to widen the public’s appreciation of local talents and artists and to draw awareness on the ‘real-life’ portrayals of emerging issues in the society.

The first showing of the indie film had the Laoag City Auditorium jam-packed with students and teachers on Nov. 12.

The Cinemalaya is the brainchild of the Philippine Independent Film Festival which sets a competition and festival for indie films that aims to encourage the creation of new cinematic works by Filipino filmmakers.

Aside from conducting screenings on cinemas, it also distributes indie films which are shown in the two-day film congress and conducts a forum on film-making.

The provincial government of Ilocos Norte in observing a significant growth in the number of media productions taking place in the province has established its Media Incentives Desk (MID) in 2012 to assist the needed arrangements for a film production in the province. (Cherry Joy D. Garma/PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)