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ToFarm producer going commercial

By Ronald Constantino

DEADLINE – Barring lass-minute change, the deadline for submission of screenplays to ToFarm Film Festival is April 20. Heard that to date many entries have been submitted, seven of which will be selected and given R1.5M seed grant.

The week long ToFarm filmfest will run from Sept. 12 to 18 with awards night set for Sept. 15.

As envisioned by the late director Maryo J. de los Reyes and producer Dr. Milagros Ong-How, ToFarm filmfest promotes Philippine agriculture by showcasing movies that tell the struggles of farmers or depict rural families and concerns.

Bibeth Orteza took over Maryo J. as festival director, with Joey Romero as managing director and Laurice Guillen as consultant. Member of the screening committee is Raquel Villavicencio.

The filmfest is in very able hands.

ACCLAIMED – The past two years, some entries ToFarm filmfest were acclaimed here and abroad. To name three, Zig Dulay’s “Paglipay,” Paolo Villaluna’s “Pauwi Na,” and Mariel Cariaga’s “Pitong Kabang Palay.”

Hopefully, this year’s entries will be as successful. As suggested by Maryo J. and followed by Bibeth O, entries this year may not be necessarily directed by the writers…if shown that directors are needed.

“A Tribute to Life: Parating Na” is this year’s theme.

By the way, ToFarm 2018 opens its doors to amateur short filmmakers, with one to 10 minutes per entry, using a cell phone. Theme is “A Slice of Life: Eto Na.”

Submission is July 15 to Aug. 15.

GOING COMMERCIAL – Dr. Ong-How, who is president and CEO of Universal Harvester Inc., is going commercial…meaning producing mainstream movies. Which is, it must be said, separate from ToFarm.

The new production will be called Universal Harvester Films, which will initially bankroll six commercial movies tackling varied genres: rom-com, action, LGBT, those catering to the general public.