Ilonggo documentary ‘Land from God’ joins Busan International Film Festival

Film bares plight of Ati community in idyllic Boracay

Ati children playing at the beachfront of Brgy Manok-Manok in Boracay.

“LAND FROM GOD” (Lugta Ke Tamama) has been officially selected by the Busan International Film Festival to have its world premiere this October in Busan, South Korea.

This documentary written and directed by Kevin Pison Piamonte, together with his directors of photography Ruperto Quitag and Emmanual Lerona, all come from the University of the Philippines Visayas. This highly regarded achievement is a pride for the Ilonggos in the field of documentary filmmaking since the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) is the biggest film festival in Asia.

The full-length documentary tackles the struggles of the Ati tribe in its quest to preserve its culture in world-renowned Boracay, an island that underwent rapid modernization, commercialization, and environmental exploitation. It also underscores the challenges that the Atis are confronting to acquire education in order to attain recognition and inclusion in modern society.

Filmed in the paradise island just months before it was closed to the public as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, the subject matter of the documentary rises up to the relevance and timeliness of the discussion on the current state of Boracay and the indigenous people (IPs) that have been marginalized there. This film was shown to a select audience mostly composed of high school and college students back in March of 2018 at the UPV Auditorium. The film received critical acclaim as reviewed by film critics and scholars who also served as reactors in the IP Conference which followed the film launch.

(From left) Emmanuel Lerona, Kevin Pison Piamonte, and Ruperto Quitag

The filmmakers hope that this groundbreaking entry to the BIFF will give the film more opportunity to get its message across particularly in the campaign for awareness about the situation of our Ati brothers and sisters in Boracay. This film is also made possible through the collective talents of the production team, headed by the Executive Producer, Susan Mila Alvarez-Tosalem, Producers Robert Rodriguez and Maria Regina Madrid-Montevirgen, Editor is Ruperto Quitag, Musical Scoring by Maria Christine Muyco, Production Assistance by Martin Trompeta and Interpreter Kyara Michelle Vlahov. The production is also funded by the Commission on Higher Education.

“Land from God” has been selected by the BIFF under the Wide Angle Category which is a section dedicated to showing outstanding short films, animations, documentaries, and experimental films that offer broad cinematic viewpoints and a distinct vision. (Robert L. Rodriguez/PN)


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