SINE CEBU: Creating Spaces for Artistic Expression through Cebuano Short Films

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We have seen a thrust of creative professionals in Cebu from artists, graphic designers, content creators, and most especially, filmmakers. These rising creatives reflect UNESCO’s recognition of Cebu City as the ‘Creative City of Design’. Similarly, the Cebuano film industry is well on its way to entering another heyday for Cebuano films. We have seen amazing films with the recent release of Cinemalaya entries featuring Cebuano entries like Januar Yap’s “Ang Sibuyas ni Perfecto”, winners of the Sinulog Film Festival, and our fair share of film screening events in our own universities. To contribute to the rich history of Cebuano cinema, we came up with Sine Cebu as our love letter to the local filmmakers who want to showcase their hard work to enthusiasts who share their love and passion for films.

The Company CEBU has proved that it is one of its goals to foster passion in shared spaces where people from different backgrounds meet to celebrate both their differences and similarities. To reignite the fire and people’s interest in Cebuano films, it is important to make spaces for events that enable us to gather and realize that there is a place where people can express themselves and be their most authentic selves through the medium of their own choosing. In this case, film and cinema as a medium have highlighted how art consistently subverts anything that stands in its way. Films stand the test of time and will remain etched in the memories of the people who resonate with their message. The Company CEBU pushes for this noble act through the efforts of Sine Cebu.

 

SINE CEBU: The Company CEBU’s Short Film Screening

Sine Cebu is a Cebuano short film screening event launched last August 5, 2023, from 1 PM to 5 PM. It was produced by The Company CEBU, organized by The Company CEBU interns (Hannah Llenos, Alykka Almazan, Veronica Paglinawan, and Joseph Jumao-as). The whole event was led by Hannah Llenos and hosted by Joseph Jumao-as. Sine Cebu was initially conceptualized as a relaxing movie night that ƹƵ coworkers could easily access if they ever wanted to take a break from their work for a few minutes. They could just enter the event space and participate in the film showing. But this makeshift version of Netflix and Chill could disrupt the productivity and focus of the clients in the coworking space. In addition, the event space at the IT Park branch would have already started its renovations, converting it into office spaces. As such, the event was moved to a weekend at the Mandaue Branch.

Sine Cebu eventually turned into a full-blown film screening since the interns wanted to showcase original Cebuano short films and documentaries which were created by fresh graduates and college students. The interns canvassed for available local filmmakers and asked them if they would like to feature their films in our event. With this, Sine Cebu opened its doors to all of the interested Cebuanos with an affordable ₱50 entrance fee—80% of which would be given to the directors and cinematographers as a well-deserved compensation for their art. As a  token for the audience, the interns also included mini-game segments such as Bring Me! and The Wheel of Fortune to giveaway freebies for The Company CEBU such as a 1 Day Pass at the IT Park Branch, 2 Day Passes here at the Mandaue Branch, and 30% off on your first visit to any of the branches of The Company CEBU.

🔌 PLUG!

The Company CEBU just recently launched a residency program for Cebuano artists and creatives called the “Artist-in-Residence Program” for those who want to unleash their artistry, leave a creative legacy in Cebu, and connect with like-minded local artists through ƹƵ’s vision of collaboration and coworking. Open to all artistic mediums. Applications are ongoing!

 

In Retrospect: The Cebuano Film Industry

The Cebuano film industry has shown significant growth and development over the years. Beginning with its humble origins, the industry initially struggled to gain recognition and resources, often overshadowed by the dominant Manila-based Philippine film industry. However, Cebuano filmmakers, driven by their unique cultural identity and stories, gradually gained momentum and started producing films that reflected the local culture and experiences. 

In the early 2000s, the industry witnessed a notable shift with the emergence of independent filmmakers and production companies. These independent filmmakers often explored diverse themes and experimental storytelling techniques, contributing to a more vibrant and dynamic cinematic landscape. Furthermore, film festivals such as the Cebu International Film Festival provided platforms for Cebuano filmmakers to showcase their works to a broader audience, fostering creativity and encouraging collaboration.

Despite the challenges of limited budgets and resources, the Cebuano film industry continued to evolve, nurturing talents and producing films that resonated with both local and international audiences. Currently, the Cebuano film industry is seeing a prominent rise of creatives and filmmakers who want to continue the legacy and produce more Cebuano films that capture much more contemporary storytelling and highly-improved techniques of storytelling to its broad audience. They are now much more invested in making impactful films that demand change and expose the roots of systemic abuse in society.

Keep An Eye Out!

Good coffee begets good company! Let’s go to where all coffee lovers stay to immerse themselves in a discussion that will surely grip their attention. Join us as we engage in a productive talk with coffee businesses and shop owners to share with us how they started and how they grew. You will also get a chance to taste their coffee’s luscious flavor and tantalizing aroma with people who enjoy coffee as much as you do. 

Get, set, palpitate! Catch “Good Coffee, Good Company” this coming August 19, 2023, at The Company CEBU Mandaue Branch from 1:30 PM to 6:00 PM. The event is brought to you by The Company CEBU. And chiefly organized by ƹƵ intern, Ms. Ruth Maranan. Please register if you want to join. See you there!

Moving Forward

The short films and documentaries that were shown at the event embody the potential and growth of the Cebuano film industry. We hope that our local filmmakers and film creatives continue to use film and cinema as a medium for storytelling and a medium of telling the truth in an era where lies are easily sensationalized. We need your stories as persevering humans to show us the triumphs and downfalls of our humanity. Those films could be a looking glass to the fleeting human experience, a speculative eye to the possibilities that could make and break us, and even a subversive move to critique or go against the status quo. We live off stories to keep us going.

The Company CEBU hopes that our love and knowledge of Cebuano films have been deeply enriched by the various themes that were shown through each of the films. It is high time that we realize that our local industries can compete with that of foreign films because Filipinos are natural-born storytellers. Unfortunately, they are struggling to find ways to share with the rest of the world. However, if we just open our minds to its potential, we can create a booming industry. We challenge you to support the Cebuano filmmakers community to show them that there are eyes who are ready to receive their artistic work. We leave this heavy yet essential responsibility to you.

Explore the limits of your creativity and potential in our growing coworking community! At The Company CEBU, we value what you aspire to create. We understand the rigorous creative process that goes into creating art that reflects one’s vision for the world. In line with our call on creating artistic spaces, we are now accepting applications for our Artist-in-Residency Program at The Company CEBU. Contact us today for the full details.

 

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