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.
“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.
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.
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.”
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.”