March 20, 2023

It’s all systems go for the 2023 staging of the Montañosa Film Festival (MFF) Month in March.

The film fest is part of the avenues for local artists to nurture their craft and seamlessly blend art creations in the metropolitan landscape and creative economy of Baguio being a Creative City in the field of crafts and folk art by the Unesco Creative Cities Network since 2017.

This year’s film fest theme is “Building Bridges” aligned to the city government’s objective to establish an interwoven creative and tourism endeavor of Baguio as a Creative City.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong has issued Executive Order 24, s. 2023, declaring the whole month of March as the Montañosa Film Festival 2023 in the City of Baguio,  a privately driven and government-supported activity.

The Baguio Tourism Council was designated as the co-presenter and lead implementer with the integration of activities under the National Arts Month of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ Cinema Rehiyon 15.

Activities for the film festival include a media launch on Feb. 28 followed by the festival opening night on March 25 at the Baguio Convention Center including the awarding of grants for Montañosa Film Festival 2024 finalists.

March 26 is scheduled for launching of online film screenings while March 27 will be the launching of Cinema Rehiyon Best of the Regions at the University of Baguio and the University of the Cordilleras.

A filmmakers’ forum is scheduled on March 28 followed by workshops and talks from the Film Development Council of the Philippines, MFF 2023 finalists will also get to meet their mentors for film pitching.

Outdoor film screenings are scheduled from March 29 to 31 at the Malcolm Square People’s Park with Sinemusikain (film, food, music fair) at the Rose garden in Burnham Park.

A filmmakers’ night will cap the month-long affair on March 31 followed by a festival closing night with bonfire party on April 1 at the Baguio Convention center grounds.

Pre-event activities started in December last year with the selection of MFF 2023 finalists. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan