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Sarangani bags gold in International Film Festival in Manhattan

ALABEL, Sarangani (June 4, 2021) – Sarangani got the Gold Excellence Award in the recently concluded 11th International Film Festival in Manhattan (IFFM) in New York City.

The entry was a tourism video called “Sarangani” submitted under the corporate category.

This year’s IFFM Spring edition on May 28-30 via online platform was participated in by 10 countries with 15 entries from the Philippines. The Autumn event will be on October 14-17, 2021.

In the acceptance speech of Michelle Lopez Solon, Region 12 and Sarangani’s provincial tourism council chairperson, she said “truly this is such a blessing to us to participate. And, also, we would really love the world to know that somewhere down in the Philippines, a beautiful place exists, worth visiting and exploring very soon. And, we hope that you do.”

IFFM offers a quality selection of world-class films that will be showcased in a theater in Manhattan, New York City, USA but during the Covid-19 pandemic, organizers shifted to online platform because of the worldwide uncertainty due to the virus and the consequent lockdowns and travel restrictions around the world.

In the website, it said that IFFM covers all different genres of diverse program like narrative features, documentaries, short films, and student films from all over the world. “We also have a focus on social relevance as part of our programming and our goals.”

In an interview, Solon said that joining the IFFM “became an opportunity (for us) to put in an entry for and in behalf of Sarangani so that Sarangani would be seen abroad, would be seen in Manhattan, and also be appreciated by the film community and film advocates in Manhattan.”

“The goal that we really wanted,” Solon said, “is to really bring Sarangani to a level that would be seen by other countries abroad. And, we really wanted people to take a look into the province. That, we are a beautiful province. That it should be one of the bucket lists for them to visit one day.”

During the pandemic, Solon said her desire is “really for everyone to get healed. And, we pray that we get the right protocols in place. All the establishments and resorts get the protocols in place. So that we can get back into tourism once again.”

For the meantime, she said, “we are trying to let everybody around the world to have a foretaste of what it is like to come to our province.”

According to Solon, the raw shots used in the video were a collection from the videographers in the province. Many of them were shots taken for Sarbay purposes.

“It’s really the collective work through the years of different videographers for the tourism that we have. I could say that all our videographers in Sarangani really have a wonderful eye,” Solon said who at the same time directed the film. It was edited by Champ Biala. (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)

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