.MOV closes with “Mapang Akit”

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

This year the .MOV film fest decided to honor, the late film critic and festival programmers Alexis Tioseco and Nika Bohinc. Perhaps no other day in the fest reflected this more than the last which spanned a week of varying activities including music and poetry. Tioseco and Bohinc were killed in what the police suspect to be a robbery in September 1, 2009 and the case has yet to be solved.

The closing film was by the couple’s friend John Torres entitled “Mapang Akit.” The film with a running time of 40 minutes was put together from out takes of a documentary entitled, “Hudas, Hudas” based on the Holy Week festival in Antique. “Hudas, Hudas” was produced from the DOX:LAB program where European film makers are partnered with non European film makers to produce films in places like Asia, Africa andSouth America. Immediately after “Mapang Akit” Torres included a short behind the scenes footage of Lav Diaz’ “Agunistes”.  The behind the scenes footage was shot by Torres’ partner in the DOX:Lab program, Frosti Runolfsson of Iceland. “Agunistes” stars Marife Necesito and Evelyn Vargas.

From left: .Mov Programmer Richard Bolisay, film maker John Torres talks about Mapang Akit and .Mov Festival director Khavn Dela Cruz at the U.P. Film Insitute. Photo by Jude Bautista

A scene from “Mapang Akit” by John Torres, closing film of the .MOV film fest held at the U.P. Film Institute.

“Mapang Akit” is a story of a woman who is suspected to be a mangkukulam (witch) or even an aswang (supernatural being) by her neighbors. A lot of it shows the daily lives of a small rural village and the strong beliefs that persist. Torres made use of English subtitles to shape the dialogue of the film and confessed that it was not a faithful translation.

A scene from “Mapang Akit” by John Torres, closing film of the .MOV film fest held at the U.P. Film Institute.

The films screened at the U.P. Film Institute were all connected to the couple. “Correspdence” by Jonas Mekas and Jose Luis Guerin is a collection of film footages exchanged between two film makers as a letter responding to each other. Mekas is a Lithuanian immigrant to New York who is considered as the Father of the Film diary.

A scene from “Mapang Akit” by John Torres, closing film of the .MOV film fest held at the U.P. Film Institute.

Cristina Tioseco is presented with the posters and tarp of the .Mov fest Tioseco at the screening of “Mapang Akit”, U.P. Film Insitute. Photo by Jude Bautista

 “Hindi Satin Ang Buwan” by Jon Lazam, grand winner of the Silver Shorts competition also in .MOV was screened before the closing film along with Torres’ two short films “Muse” and “Silent film.”

Silver Shorts winner Jon Lazam (Hindi Sati Ang Buwan) at the U.P. Film institute before screening of “Mapang Akit.” Photo by Jude Bautista

The event tarpaulin and poster was also presented to Alexis’ aunt Cristina Tioseco. She said, “In behalf of the Tioseco family we’d like to thank .MOV. We’d like to thank all the poets, singers and film makers who dedicated their work to them. We’d like to request that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Hopefully soon we can obtain justice for their untimely deaths.”

.MOV Festival director Khavn Dela Cruz and Cristina Tioseco at the screening of “Mapang Akit”, U.P. Film Insitute. Photo by Jude Bautista

Cruz also explained that the activities will not end with the closing film. There will be an “Epoch Collection” of writings dedicated to Alexis and Nika by Filipino and foreign writers. The book is about the couple and world cinema. In a speech he said, “.MOV is made with the help of friends and is still here with the help of friends. .MOV fest will not be .MOV fest without you Alexis and Nika. They may no longer be with us for this year’s festival. But in many ways they still are. For as long as they have friends continuing what they started they will always live on.”

.MOV Festival director Khavn Dela Cruz, Cristina Tioseco and film maker John Torres at the screening of “Mapang Akit”, U.P. Film Insitute. Photo by Jude Bautista

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