Jul 11, 2017

Farming is a noble profession. And that is what Tofarm aims to show viewers. Created by Dr. Milagros O. How of Universal Harvester, Inc., the film festival is the only one of its kind in the country. More than uplifting farming, Tofarm also intends to exhibit the difficulties of farmers and present solutions as well.

Tofarm had a successful premiere last year. Paolo Villaluna’s Pauwi Na, an entry last year that featured Northern Living’s Sept. 2016 cover personality Meryll Soriano, even joined international film festivals and eventually won the top prize at the 2017 Shanghai International Film Festival.

With the theme “Planting the seed of change,” the second year of the festival delves into technology and how the Philippine agriculture scene should adapt to these changes. The six finalists will be shown from July 12 to 18 this year.

Aside from the refreshing take on agriculture, the use of dialects in various films also widens our perspective of Philippine cinema with films that use other dialects than Tagalog.

If you’re already planning your cinema schedule for the festival, here’s a quick guide on the entries.

High Tide by Tara Illenberger

High Tide shows the story of island settlers after they were forced to relocate due to the fluctuating tide levels, which can be dangerous when it’s hide tide. One of those settlers is Unyok who moved to the mainland after losing both his parents to a typhoon. With his new friends Dayday and Laila, he catches clams to help their families. When the girls’ mother acquired a serious ailment, Unyok brings them to the restricted island where clams are abundant. However, their lives will be in danger if the high tide catches them.

Kamunggai by Vic Acedillo, Jr. 

Featuring Dulce as the kapitana of a baranggay in the Visayas region, the comedy-drama film follows an Lolo Peping who tends to his vegetable garden eagerly. His neighbors, on the other hand, are too indolent. Instead of growing their own food, they steal the fruits of the old man’s labor.

Baklad by Topel Lee

The drama-dark comedy film tells a fish pen boy’s coming of age. After his sexual awakening with his boss’ new partner, the young boy desires to elope with the woman away from the fish pen. However, this desire will only lead to devastation.

Sinandomeng by Byron Bryant

A comedy film, Sinandomeng discusses the role of women in agriculture. While farming is commonly seen as a man’s work, Sinandomeng dispels that notion. After Sinang’s father died, a real estate company expresses their desire to buy their farming land. While the male farmers and Sinang’s sisters are enticed to sell the farm, Sinang refuses and continues to farm.

What Home Feels Like by Joseph Abello

Starring last year’s Tofarm Best Actor Bembol Roco as Antonio, the film follows him as he returns to his hometown after getting fired as a seafarer. During this period, he buys six hectares of land. Upon his return, however, he realized that he doesn’t know how to be a father to his children and a husband to his wife. This time, his children are the ones who leave and his wife prefers that he is away. As a result, he decided to tend to his farm more.

Instalado by Jason Paul Laxamana

The trailer for Instalado has been making rounds on Facebook after it was released a few weeks ago. The sci-fi film depicts a future where knowledge is easily installed to one’s mind. However, only the privileged ones could avail it. The film follows a farmer’s son named Victor (McCoy de Leon) who’s torn between becoming an instalado or continuing the legacy of his father in farming.

Header image courtesy of Instalado Facebook page

Read more:
Millennial leaves job in Japan for farm life
The reasons why you need to support local farmers
Nicolo Aberasturi is a biodynamic farmer
Why do local films flop?

TAGS: agriculture Baklad Film High Tide Instalado Kamunggai Sinandomeng Tofarm Film Festival What Home Feels Like