We've gone on at length about Jerrold Tarog's Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral, which is still in theaters now and is definitely a must-see for fans of Filipino cinema. But don't let your appreciation for this big-budget blockbuster overshadow the rise of other Filipino films hitting the screen this month. As Goyo reaches the end of its first week, the third annual Tofarm Film Festival launches in select theaters nationwide, featuring a line-up of films with agricultural themes.
This year's Tofarm Film Festival has a robust roster, including six full-length finalists with some truly interesting takes on agriculture. Notably, the sci-fi and historical drama genres are prominently featured. Here's the line-up:
Mga Anak ng Kamote by Carlo Enciso Catu
Katrina Halili and Alex Medina star in this futuristic film by director Carlo Enciso Catu, whom you may remember for Kung Paano Hinihintay ang Dapithapon, his entry to last month's Cinemalaya. Kamote tells a story set in 2048, when the cultivation of the humble sweet potato has been outlawed as part of the government's campaign against illegal drugs.
Tanabata's Wife by Lito Casaje and Charlson Ong
Based on the short story by Sinai Hamada, Tanabata's Wife is about a Japanese immigrant to the Philippines who went on to become a successful farmer in the Mountain Province. There, he meets Fasang, a maiden farmhand with whom he falls in love. But after their marriage, Fasang is slowly drawn to Baguio's rising city lights.
1957 by Hubert Tibi
Lucio, a 20-year-old farmer and the son of a former Hukbalahap member, is part of a group of farmers in Bicol, who are all at the mercy of their strict landlord, Don Jose. All their hopes for land reform rest on the arrival of President Magsaysay—who, history reminds us, died in a plane crash in March of 1957.
Alimuom by Keith Sicat
Alimuom tells the story of a distant future, in which Earth has become nearly uninhabitable, and all farming and agriculture has been outlawed and outsourced to other planets. A family of Filipino scientists sets out to discover crops that can still grow in this harsh environment despite the government’s ban.
Kaugayan by Julienne Ilagan
Kaugayan, which literally means "way of life," Piyo refuses to accept the responsibilities of being the only son of a Datu from the Talaandig Tribe of Bukidnon. He runs away from home to pursue his dreams, only to find himself behind bars when he is mistaken as a rebel.
Sol Searching by Roman Perez Jr.
The story of the death of Sol, a farmer-teacher of a community in the outskirts of Nueva Ecija. With no immediate family in the area, her burial is left to be arranged by friends and students who must come together to put their beloved teacher to rest.
The Tofarm Film Festival runs from September 12 to 18 at select cinemas nationwide, including Trinoma, Greenbelt 1, Gateway, SM Megamall, SM Manila, Robinsons Galleria, Gaisano Davao, and Ayala Mall Legazpi. For updates and screening schedules, visit the Tofarm Film Festival Facebook page.