Davao filmmaker brings home Famas trophy

Jun. 04, 2019

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Local filmmakers continue to bring home honor to the city as another Dabawenyo bags an award in the 2019 Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) awards for directing the short film Siyudad sa Bulawan (City of Gold).

Jarell M. Serencio, a homegrown Dabawenyo filmmaker bagged the Best Short Film last April 2019 in the Famas Awards, the highest Filipino award to a filmmaker or artisan.

‘Syudad sa Bulawan’, shot in Mt. Diwalwal in Compostela Valley tells the story of three brothers who work in the gold mines despite life-threatening conditions, a realism faced by child laborers in Mindanao. The film gives a glimpse of how the gold in Diwalwal is produced at a horrifying expense of innocent lives.

Only 37 years old, Serencio took four years to make a 15-minute film as he immerses himself to the day to day event of the lives of his subject for his film. He told reporters here that several revisions have been done with the script as he spends time in Diwalwal seeking the right material “that could send the story” that he wants to tell.

“Despite all the hardship, challenges and struggles we have gone through in making the film, we remain hopeful to finish it because we have a very important message that we want to send out to the world,” said Serencio in his speech in the regular session of the City Council.

The Famas award is not Serencio’s first. He has brought numerous awards for Davao City, including the Balanghai Trophy in the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival in 2012 for his film ‘Victor’ as Best Short Film, and the Best Director award for the short film category in the Metro Manila Film Festival in 2016 for his film, ‘Mga bitoon sa Siyudad’ (Stars in the City).

His film ‘Syudad sa Bulawan’ also won Best Film at the 1st Palawan International Film Festival and bagged the first runner up in the open category of Cine Filipino Film Fest.

Serencio joins another award-winning film director Arbi Barbarona who also bagged numerous awards for his film ‘Tu Pug Imatuy’ (The Right to kill), a story of two lumad Obunay and Dawin who are uprooted from their traditional way of life after a military encounter. The story tackles how the two were unwillingly used for counter-guerrilla operations of the military in the hinterland.

Both of them have batted for support to the local film industry to hone creative and talented Dabawenyos.

“As a Dabawenyo,I dreamed that the local government would have a lot of programs in honing the knowledge and capacity of our local artists, and that the government would give us a permanent space like the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay where we can exhibit our crafts and talent as dabawenyos” said Serencio.

On Tuesday’s regular session, a resolution commending Serencio was filed by Councilor Leah Librado- Yap.

In her privileged speech, Councilor Librado-Yap laud the remarkable achievements of Serencio saying, “he is setting the standard for aspiring filmmakers in the locality”.

She also lauded the significant contribution of the award-winning director in its significant contribution to the arts, “particularly in the film making industry”

“The Famas Award won by Direk Jarell is noteworthy as we endeavor to put quality films and produce directors who can seamlessly weave our local stories, particularly that of Mindanao, onscreen”, Librado- Yap said. (davaotoday.com)

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