A short film about a community organizer from a fishing community in Zamboanga Sibugay emerged as the big winner at the Second Istorya ng Pag-asa Film Festival (INPFF) held last June 8.
“Ka Dodoy,” directed by Meg Serranilla and Mark Aposaga, tells the story of Roberto “Ka Dodoy” Ballon Jr., who chairs a fisherman’s organization based in the municipality of Kabansalan in Zamboanga Sibugay. He helped his barangay switch to sustainable fishing practices while also ensuring the protection of surrounding bodies of water and coastal areas through the planting of mangroves. As a result, their diminishing fish stocks returned, and he started sharing their model with other communities across the country.
Now on its second year, INPFF is a project of the Office of the Vice President, supported by Ayala Foundation and the Film Development Council of the Philippines. The project seeks to highlight extraordinary stories of ordinary Filipinos through the medium of film.
Aside from being named Best Film, “Ka Dodoy” received two special awards—Best Cinematography and the Special Award for Community Development from Ayala Foundation. This special award recognizes the film that shows “a community working closely together for progress, and inspiring other communities to do the same … capturing Ayala Foundation’s vision for communities where people are productive, creative, self-reliant, and proud to be Filipino.”
In second place was “Maglabay ra in Sakit” (This Pain Shall Pass) directed by Mijan Jumalon. This short film features the Tausug rap artist RKJun (Khalid Hamid), who never gave up on his dream of becoming a rapper despite poverty, loss, and the effects of terrorism in Southern Mindanao. The film also received the Best Editing award.
The short film “Litratista” by Allan Lazaro placed third and received the Best Director prize. It features the story of Fely Samonte, who singlehandedly raised her seven kids by working as a photographer. Now in her 80s, Nanay Fely has shown no signs of slowing down.
The Office of the Vice President Special Recognition Award was given to Roy Robert Rusiana’s “Modern Day Hero,” which tells the story of SP04 Bill Felisan, who from being a child in conflict with the law has grown up to become a model police officer.
Winning the Audience Choice Award was Romel Mondragon Lozada’s “Yapak,” which tells the story of the blind brothers Rodrigo and Robinson Rada, who despite their disability live independently—they travel significant distances without a guide, so they can work as coconut harvesters.
The top winners of the film festival have the chance to be shown in all Ayala Cinemas nationwide.