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People and Places

Filmmaker-prof named Bacolod filmfest director

Seymour B. Sanchez
Seymour B. Sanchez at the Benilde film department

An award-winning filmmaker and longtime educator has been recently appointed by the Bacolod City Government as director of its film festival, set to be held this September in select cinemas in the city.

The Bacolod Film Festival Council (BFFC), chaired by Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez with Councilor Em L. Ang as co-chairperson, has designated Seymour B. Sanchez as filmfest director, as per Section 7 of City Ordinance 1061-2024.

Sanchez was recommended by legal consultant and film producer Atty. Josabeth “Joji” V. Alonso to the BFFC as “the best person to oversee and manage the festival.”

Seymour B. Sanchez
Seymour B. Sanchez appointment as Bacolod Film Festival director upheld at the 96th Regular Session of Sangguniang Panlungsod of Bacolod City

C.O. 1061-2024, also known as the Bacolod Film Festival Ordinance, is authored by Councilor Ang, chairperson of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) Committee on History, Culture and Arts, with councilors Cindy Rojas and Celia Flor as co-authors.

The Bacolod Film Festival Ordinance also provides for ten (10) filmmakers, whether producers, directors, or writers, who are bona fide residents of Bacolod City, to be given production grants worth 300,000 pesos each. Councilor Ang clarified the filmmakers do not need to shoot their entire film in the city.

Sanchez signed the memorandum of agreement with the BFFC at the office of Councilor Ang last May 3. The SP, with Vice Mayor El Cid M. Familiaran as presiding officer, has confirmed the appointment of Sanchez during its 96th Regular Session on the same day.

Apart from being an educator, who is now on his 20th year of teaching, Sanchez also served as head of publicity and promotions of the Cinemanila International Film Festival from 2004 to 2007, under the late filmmaker Amable “Direk Tikoy” Aguiluz VI, and filmfest director of the One La Salle Film Festival in 2018, under the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde film department headed by Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairperson and CEO Jose “Direk Joey” Reyes.

Seymour B. Sanchez
Seymour B. Sanchez with fellow film educators at FDCP Academic Film Society meeting

Sanchez has also worked as FDCP’s Technical Consultant for Academic Linkages or education consultant, judge and one-time jury chair of the Indie-Siyensya Science Filmmaking Competition organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute, mentor-judge of the SINEliksik Bulacan DocuFest, jury and selection committee member of the Manila Broadcasting Company Short Film Festival and Sinepiyu, jury of Sine Kabataan, CineMascian, Kingwagisnan Film Festival, and CineMapúa, and SELCOM member of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, Cinestudyante and Quisumbing-Escandor Film Festival for Health. He has also been a judge and speaker in other competitions, including the National Schools Press Conference, National Training of Trainers on Campus Journalism, Planting Seeds Workshops on Filmmaking, and SanayGuro Trainors’ Training.

His short film “Caretaker” won second prize in the short fiction category of the sixth CAM International Festival for Short Films in Cairo, Egypt, the Golden Philippine Eagle award and Best Actor for Rolando Inocencio in the third Singkuwento International Film Festival, and the Audience Choice Award in the Active Vista International Human Rights Film Festival. He was given the Film Ambassador Award by the FDCP for his “creativity and the global achievement of the film.” He also received the Maningning Outstanding Direction for the same film in the CineSB Film Festival: Special Edition. A shorter version of the film entitled “Katiwala” won the People’s Choice Award in the 2018 Freedom Mov_E Film Festival.

Seymour B. Sanchez
Seymour B. Sanchez after a group meeting with interested Bacolod Film Festival participants

His first short film “Lababo” (Kitchen Sink) topped the 2007 Viva-Pinoy Box Office Digitales. His other film “Pagbugtaw” (Waking Up) bagged second place in the First Pambujan Pelikula Para sa Publiko National Short Film Festival and Competition. Another film “Shorts” won third prize in the Viva-PBO Digitales 2. His documentary “Sinulog for Beginners” placed second in the 2006 Sinulog Video Documentary Competition. Another documentary “Maria Leonor” was cited for its screenplay in the 3rd Dreamanila International Film Festival. His second full-length screenplay “Hiwaga” (Mystery), co-written with Christian Lacuesta, bagged the grand prize in the 59th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

Sanchez is one of the fellows of the 17th Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Workshop of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, 21st Iligan National Writers Workshop of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, and 9th Palihang Rogelio Sicat of the UP Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas. He is also a graduate of the 3rd Produire au Sud workshop at the 6th World Film Festival of Bangkok, 14th Ricky Lee scriptwriting workshop, first Brillante Mendoza directing class, and the first Active Vista film and media for human rights advocacy workshop.

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