Young Davao Filmmaker in Full-Length Movie Venture

By
July 21 2006

Filmmaker Sherad Anthony Sanchez (davaotoday.com photo by Barry Ohaylan)

The film’s working title is Huling Baylan ng Buhi (The Last Priestess of Buhi). It is about the conflicts faced by an ethnic family in the 80s in their attempts to keep the tribe’s tradition, which is threatened with extinction by outside influences.

By Cheryll D. Fiel
davaotoday.com

DAVAO CITY A young Davaoeo filmmaker will join the “2nd Annual Cinema One Originals,” with his first ever full-length venture based on a story of the indigenous Mandaya people in the region.

Sherad Anthony Sanchez, the 21-year-old Davaoeo who will direct the film, said the project will not only showcase Davaoeo talent but culture as well.

The film’s working title is Huling Baylan ng Buhi (The Last Priestess of Buhi). It is about the conflicts faced by an ethnic family in the 80s in their attempts to keep the tribe’s tradition, which is threatened with extinction by outside influences.

The story revolves around the character Idang, a baylan (the tribe’s priestess, also known as babaylan in other parts of the Philippines), burdened with keeping the tribe together.

Idang’s responsibility in the tribe is quite immense as even the tribal leader has also become so dependent on her as he himself is busy with the emergent affairs of the tribe, such as fighting those who would want to take away their ancestral land and helping out communist rebels in hiding.

Worried over the fast conversion of their tribesmen to Christianity, Idang would perform miracles as a way of “showing off the mystical forces of their tribe in an attempt to scare away and repulse the converters.

Even a local Catholic priest, who comes to the area not to convert but to help, is not spared. He would encounter Idang in fits of burning holy relics.

But an ailment befalls the baylan one day, a stigmata, and her family is then faced with the conflict of “whether to keep the miracle a secret in an attempt to keep the tribe out of doubting their heritage, culture and religion; or reveal it to others and let things be.”

Sanchez said they would collaborate with a Davao-based digital film and television production outfit, Alchemy of Vision and Light Productions, which has been advocating development and promotion of Mindanao films through several projects on so-called guerilla filmmaking.

Production is slated in mid-July and August.

Although he has been given a grant as a budget, Sanchez said they still need some almost two million pesos more to finance the project.

The final output will be shown in all SM cinemas nationwide in October 2006 and will be released on cable television through the Cinema One channel. (Cheryll D. Fiel/davaotoday.com)

  • mqi

    its nice to see a growing indie film scene in davao. i wish the crew luck. im surprised that they chose a director who is so young. i wish this article gave a hint of his filming background.
    hopefully, this artistic market will keep growing and that they stick to stories not from the mainstream. it would be great to see davao as a strong indie film hub in a few years.

  • http://yahoo.com Ulo’ (a Mandaya)

    not a big deal …

  • bols

    who says its not a big deal? do you have any idea how far behind we are in terms of film arts from other cities like cebu and manila? this is actually a BREAKTHROUGH for us davaoenos. There is a need for us to support this kind of projects since it projects our roots… NOT A BIG DEAL? SHUT UP!!!!!

  • sam-sam

    yes its a big deal and we all your support, thank you

  • sam-sam

    yes its a big deal and we need all your support, we’re doing our best to make this film successful, thank you

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  • http://facebook.com lenard

    wow!great JOB Sherad Anthony Sanchez!
    Job well done! for me, it’s a big deal!!! is there any school in davao offers a filmmaker course?? if yes, what school? any help please..email me at lenz.egonz@yahoo.com. thank you! proud to be davao!

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