July 17, 2024

An ongoing film production based on the beloved short story of Amador T. Daguio featuring a Cordilleran ensemble is appealing for help to get it made.

“The Wedding Dance” is one of the 10 full-length films chosen by Cinemalaya as part of its 20-year celebration of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2024.

Film director Julius Lumiqued, a Besao, Mountain Province native, said he has purposely chosen the majority of the cast and crew from the Cordillera to give a platform to fellow locals to shine.

“We have been taking the stand for regional film representation in the film industry. This is why we opted for generally all local productions in cast to give the opportunities for the locals to voice and show our story, an advocacy that we have as regional filmmakers,” Lumiqued said.

However, this has proved to be a challenge as production houses did not take interest in their project and “several attempts to pitch (the story) were left in vain.”

“All this time is a struggle to get funding to this endeavor, and this is so far the biggest challenge, way beyond getting through the needle hole of the Cinemalaya selection process,” Lumiqued said.

It was not an easy feat for the Igorot filmmaker to get his movie as part of the lineup of Cinemalaya finalists. For over 250 submissions, which was the highest full-length submissions in the history of Cinemalaya, “The Wedding Dance” entered the top 20 semi-finalists.

Another round of screening was done until the top 10 were announced last year at the close of the Cinemalaya 2023.

The film is a Cordillera love story set in the 1940s, where an Igorot woman struggles over the invitation of her husband, a warrior of the village, to attend a wedding dance.

“The invitation opens memories of love, hate, pain, and their struggles to be with each other, during a time when what will bind a marriage is the pressure of a patriarchal community to expect couples to have children for one’s legacy,” he said.

Lumiqued has been making films depicting regional stories such as the “Dad-aan Na” (Her Walks) which bagged the Department of Interior and Local Government advocacy award in the Cinemarya short film festival in 2020.

For those who would like to extend help in any way message Lumiqued via “The Wedding Dance” Facebook account or via GCash at 0956-443-9980 Julius L.

Any amount sent capped at P1,000 will receive commemorative unframed artworks.

For amounts above P1,000 to P10,000, donors will receive a gift from Dinekkan: Handcrafted By Jules by the filmmaker, who is also an all-around artist. 

He has also set up a crowdfunding page: https://gogetfunding.com/support-for-the-wedding-dance-film/. 

“When I was setting up the crowd funding, I was reminded that the best to tap are friends and families. But sometimes, random people might be there to support,” he said. – Ofelia C. Empian