30 April 2021 – Winners in the first-ever Montañosa film festival were commended in a city council resolution which was approved by Mayor Benjamin Magalong earlier this month.

The Montañosa Film Festival winners as mentioned in Resolution 70, series of 2021 were honored during the flag raising ceremonies Monday, April 26 at the city hall grounds as presented by Councilor Vladimir Cayabas, chair of the committee on Education, Culture, Creativity and Historical Research.

The top ten finalists were: “10,000 Errors,” “14 Days,” “Duron,” “The Highest Point,” “Igem ni Nanang,” “Operation Pukis: Haircut for a Cause,” “Panaginip,” “Pengsasan,” “The Scaffold Farmer,” and “This Day.”

Honors were accorded for the following: Best Fest Film, “This Day,” by Dir. Red Aquino; Kapwa award, “Duron” by Dir. Hendrix Sanchez, and “Pengsasan” by Dir. Lynette Grace Carantes-Bibal; Crossing Borders award, “14 Days” by Dir. Nars Santos; Independent Spirit Award, “Igem ni Nanang” by Dir. Moises Soriano and Amber Macasinag.

The Jury Prize for best performance went to Eros Goze in “Operation Pukis,” by Dir. Angelo Aurelio; Jury Prize for world building is given to “10,000 Errors” by Dir. Giullienne Sanchez; and Jury Prize for Emerging Cinema is awarded to “The Highest Point,” by Dir. Karl Patacsil.

The Montanosa film festival was launched in the culture of Binnadang – Bayanihan- for the city and the region, and is “an avenue for participants to showcase innate creativity and innovative talent.” It serves in expressing “thoughts, views, principles, values and experiences,” and “the people as influenced by rich traditions and culture,” the resolution states.

As the city is designated by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts in Oct 2017, awareness on creativity and innovation needs to be raised, thus projects such as the film festival has been launched and guided towards growth and development.

With the Creative Baguio City Council (CBCC) created through an ordinance, and partnerships between the local government unit, sponsors, support groups and other concerned agencies, other events are expected to evolve and develop.

Partnerships are forged between and among the local government and the Department of Tourism (DOT), Baguio Tourism Council (BTC), Baguio Tourism Promotions Board, Film Development Council of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts. University of the Philippines Baguio and embassies of France, India, Czech Republic and other creative industry groups, event sponsors and support from the community; all for the success of the event. – Julie G. Fianza