December 6, 2022

A proposed ordinance seeking to institutionalize the recently concluded Montañosa Film Festival has been submitted at the city council.

In the proposal, the Montañosa Film Festival shall take place every third week of March of every year as part of the summer vacation activities of the city.

An amount of P1 million shall be appropriated for the purpose, and a committee to facilitate and oversee the conduct of the annual event shall be created.

The Film Fest Committee shall be headed by the mayor as chair and the vice mayor as vice chair.

Members of the committee include representatives from the Department of Tourism-Cordillera; Tourism and Special Events Division; Office of the Congressman; chair of the sanggunian’s committee on tourism, special events, parks, and playgrounds; City Environment and Parks Management Office; City Buildings and Architecture Office; Baguio City Police Office; Baguio Fire Department; Department of Public Works and Highways Baguio City District Engineering Office; City Engineering Office; City Health Services Office; City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office; Emergency Medical Services; Public Information Office; Workshop for Infinite Media Inc.; Baguio City Chamber of Commerce; and other concerned offices and agencies.

The committee shall regularly convene for logistics planning including the formulation of rules and regulations on food preparation for the delegates from the different participating provinces and on cleanliness and maintenance of security and order in the venue; creation of working plans for the installation of stalls to house participants and other beautification or landscaping ornaments; delegation of security personnel to patrol the area during the conduct of the event; and other necessary preparatory activities.

Organized by the Workshop for Infinite Media, Inc. under the helm of film director Ferdinand Balanag, the film festival aimed to celebrate independent filmmaking and highlight the diverse stories and traditions of the Cordillera showcasing 10 short films that were shortlisted from the 46 entries submitted from across the region.

The 10 budding independent filmmakers were granted funding by the organizers to produce their short films which revolved around the theme “Crossing borders.”

The festival also featured various films from artists in the Cordillera and other regions as well as international films.

The activities of the first Montañosa Film Festival were held at various venues in the city from March 20 to 28. With the approval of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and Loakan Proper Barangay, the Loakan Airport served as the main screening venue of the 10 and other featured films. A portion of the runway was transformed into a drive-in theater accommodating a limited number of vehicles per screening with a maximum of four people in each car.

The first Montañosa Film Festival was in partnership with the city government of Baguio and the DOT and supported by the Council for Baguio Creative City, Baguio Tourism Council, Tourism Promotions Board, Film Development Council of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Cultural Center of the Philippines, University of the Philippines Baguio, and the embassies of France, India and Czech Republic.

The proposed ordinance has been referred to the sanggunian’s committee on tourism, special events, parks, and playgrounds. – Jordan G. Habbiling