Kagay-anon film selected as finalist in FACINE 30

Kagay-anon Filmmaker Joe Bacus’ full-length feature film Markado: The Moon Devourer has been selected as one of the finalists of the F A C I N E 30 (Filipino Arts & Cinema International Festival) to be held in the United States next month.

The landmark film will have its US premiere on October 18, 2023 at San Francisco, California, USA where it will compete for tiered awards (Gold, Silver, Particularly Noteworthy) in various categories: Film, Direction, Writing, Performance (Lead and Secondary roles, Female and Male), Cinematography, Editing, Visual Design and Aural Design.

Lots of led lightning systems, few with color filters, stairs on the foreground in pavilion, movie set

FACINE is the longest-running festival of Filipino films, by and/or about the Filipinos in the homeland or the diaspora, held outside of the Philippines.

Mauro Feria Tumbocon Jr, FACINE Founder/Artistic Director, said in a  Facebook Post that T.m. Malones’ KARGO opens the festival at the Roxie Theater on October 19, Thursday, followed by Roman Perez Jr.‘s horror film, KALUSKOS.

Joel Lamangan’s ORAS DE PELIGRO is FACINE 30’s centerpiece presentation and screens on October 20, Friday, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Screening Room. Lawrence Fajardo’s EROTICA MANILA: FOURSOME closes the festival competition screenings on Saturday, October 21st at a venue to be announced later.


Markado: The Moon Devourer is the first full-length film to be made in Cagayan de Oro after Lorenzo M. de la Serna’s Sa Imong Lawas ug Dugo decades ago.

With live action interspersed with stop motion animation, Markado follows the story of Sab, a drug mule (courier) for ant traders (small time drug dealers). Caught in the crossfire between her superiors, Sab drifts to the dark side to fulfill her dying Lola’s wish to have an apo, despite her barrenness.

Bacus brews a heady mix of illicit drugs, poppets (voodoo dolls), and aswang folklore referencing a smorgasbord of influences from his earlier works: Ika-3 Putahi (2014), The End of War (2014), and his seminal short Happy Fiesta (2014), all of which have won awards and programmed in national and international film festivals such as the QCinema International Film Festival 2018, Fukuoka International Film Festival 2019, Ngilngig Asian Fantastic Film Festival 2019, Binisaya Film Festival 2019, and Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival 2019.

Markado joins seven other films selected  as finalists, currently being screened by a multicultural panel of jury. Among them are Rainerio Yamson II’s ANGKAS, Roman Ronald Espinosa Battalones’ BATSOY, Jun Robles Lana’s ABOUT US BUT NOT ABOUT US.  Announcement of tiered winners will be announced on October 31.

FACINE Festival

The FACINE festival, owes its roots to the 1st Filipino-American Film & Video Festival called Sine! Sine! organized in August 1993 as part of the first-ever Filipino-American Arts Exposition in San Francisco.

The month-long exhibition of about 60 independent short and feature-length films and videos – from the Philippines, the United States and elsewhere was held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Screening Room. Nine Filipino feature films now-considered classics like Ishmael Bernal’s Himala and Eddie Romero’s Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon were screened at the Asian Art Museum, then located at the Golden Gate Park. The first festival is still considered as the largest of its kind ever held in North America.

After three years of being held at different venues, the festival stood on its own in 1996 as separate organization now known as FACINE, which held its own event at the San Francisco Main Library for the next 15 years.

On its 19th year, FACINE spread its wings wider when it brought the festival to three venues in October – the Bayanihan Center and the Manilatown Center in San Francisco and the War Memorial Center in Daly City. Co-presenters included the Filipino American Development Foundation, the Manilatown Heritage Foundation and the City of Daly City.

The FACINE festival became part of Bindlestiff Studio Presenting Program on its 20th year, FACINE XX/bente which ran on December 9-14, 2013 at the Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco.

For the first time, FACINE/21: the 21st annual Filipino International Cine Festival was held in a commercial arthouse theater, the historic Roxie Theater in San Francisco, co-presented by the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center and the Global Filipino Network, on December 11-13, 2014. FACINE also started to honor film artists for their work with the first Gawad Gintong Ani [gold harvest] to Mr. Raymond Red, the first Filipino filmmaker to have received Best Film honors at the Cannes Film Festival.

For the next six years, the Roxie Theater was home to the festival. FACINE 24 restored the competition section in both full-length and short film categories; a tiered awarding began the next year at FACINE 25. The pandemic in 2020 made plans for the 27th year impossible that the Executive Committee decided to cancel the year’s event. FACINE 28 went full online on the festival’s return in 2021.

Among the awards given out by the festival are the GAWAD GINTONG ANI (Old Harvest), a Lifetime Achievement honor given to an individual film artist; GAWAD LINGAP SINING (Art Nurturer), a special award given to an individual or group who/which has contributed to the growth and development of Filipino cinema; GAWAD SULONG, SINE (Forward Film), a special recognition given to an individual or group who/which has contributed to the promotion of Filipino cinema abroad.

Aside from the full-length full length film screenings and competition, FACINE 30 has also selected nineteen short films for competition to vie for tiered citation in various categories – Gold, Silver, Particularly Noteworthy – out of fifty entries that were submitted, from the Philippines, the United States, Australia and Europe.

Mr. Tumbocon Jr. said the finalists will be streamed on the FACINE YouTube channel on October 18-22 during the period of the festival. A panel of three jury members have started screening all finalists and the winners will be announced on October 31st.

City of Flowers is the only film from Mindanao competing in the Short Film Category.

Following is the list of finalists. DOG EATERS based on Leoncio Deriada’s short story, The Dogeaters by Writer/Director: Kevin Pison Piamonte; VELVET SKY, Chapter Four – “Acting Class”,Writer/Director: Charles Gray; PARTY FAVOR, Writer/Director: Yasmine Gomez; BRAND X, Director: Keith Deligero; ANG PAGLILIGTAS SA DALAGANG BUKIDWriter/Director: Jaime Morados; ADOBO, Writer/Director: Mariella Balanquit; GLIMPSE, Writer/Director: Earl Paus; URIMOS [Prayer for the Dead, Director: Joseph Cartago Jr; Writer: Kyla Denise Porras; WAITING SHED, Director: Kevin Piamonte; Writer: Kenneth de la Cruz; HOW TO MAKE AN EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGN AD. Director: Roman Perez, Jr.; Writer: Paul Exequiel de la Cruz; SA DALIPI ARU-ON [in the leper’s cliff], Director: Edgar Jasper Derecho; Writers: Dyn Rose Gicara, Shaima Al Yamsuri; SALOM [dive] Writer/Director: Massah Gonzales-Gamboa; GOLDEN BELLS, Writer/Director: Kurt Soberano; REWIND, Writer/Director: Francis David Bustos; MORE THAN MY HAIR, Director: Nicole Vera Cruz; REDD ROSE, Writer/Director: Massah Gonzales-Gamboa; BOLD EAGLE, Writer/Director; Whammy Alcazaren; CITY OF FLOWERS, Director: Xeph Suarez; Writer: Cenon Obispo Palomares; and,  SUBASKO [squall], Director, writer: Alleison Dimatulac. (By Tito Mike with Rodiell Veloso)


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