I am Sef Aquino, a former restaurant employee, a startup entrepreneur, part-time teacher, and currently a film student at Film and Media Arts, wished to pursue a series of film projects based on the stories of Mindanao tribes.
Even though I finished a bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management and had worked in the industry, I took a break and went back to my calling - story telling through film. I took up film and media arts in the hopes of bring closer the untold stories of my heritage to people and to showcase not just the culture, but also the natural wonders, historical contribution, music and arts, and the stories of inspiration.
I grew up in Mindanao witnessing the diverse culture interacting simultaneously with love, respect, friendship and tradition. The island of Mindanao has been the home of many tribes with different cultures highly influenced with religion, and with different stories to tell. Be it Islamic, Lumad or Christian, I grew up in a town living with one another in harmony despite the unlikely reputation from the media and history.
Mindanao is like a piece of white paper with a dot in the middle, the dot is the dirt or the distraction. And people usually are too focused on the dot, we tend to forget the vast white areas of the paper around it – the beauty it possess. Yes, there is evil in Mindanao, but who aren’t terrorist? Most Muslims are not, and so as other groups. These people’s stories is what I hoped to shed light, and let Filipinos appreciate Mindanao as a whole.
Our school requires us to prepare film projects, and I have to be very honest that it will take me much to prepare for this financially. I work two jobs during off school to sustain my day-to-day living and other stuff. Being an independent working student is a hard decision that I took risk of. With your support, it will not only bring my vision to life, but also let Mindanao be heard.
My stories would mainly focus not just on one tribe, but on the major groups – Islams, Christians and the Lumads. Our quaint little town is home to all three groups, and the films I wish to produce, write and direct, would showcase underlying layers of stories to bring out emotions in different aspects.
The funds would be used to the following film projects as projected:
Documentary - Kutang Bato (The Stone Fort): Origins of Cotabato | App. 6 min.
Theme: Heritage stories in North Cotabato (Christian Majority), South Cotabato (Lumad Majority) and Cotabato City (Islam Majority) To be released September 2019 | $300
Television Advertisement - Experience Mindanao | App. 30 sec.
Theme: Explore wonders of Mindanao like never before, setting aside the famous Siargao, Samal and Dapitan, Mindanao has a lot more to offer.
To be released September 2019 | $200
Narrative Short Film (History, Family, Drama) - Ang Duwaan ni Sumay (Sumay's Toy) | App. 4-5 min.
Theme: A Bisaya-dialect drama short film about a soldier’s daughter who sought revenge only to realize an unbearable truth.
To be released December 2019 or March 2020 | $1,000
Festive Short Film - Pista na sa Amoa (It's our Hometown's Feast Day) (Musical, Drama, Friendship) |App. 14-16 min.
Theme: Two best friends with conflicting beliefs, test their friendship in a musical short film featuring Islamic and Catholic festivities
To be released June 2020 or September 2020 | $2,000
It would be used to pay for food, transportation, crew, talents, costumes, props and set designs, space and equipment rentals, and other procurement matters. The idea is kind of grand, but rest assured that all aspired funds are just the right amount, and will be used rightfully, with God as our center of our film production. I keep my resourcefulness at peak to save more and utilize more.
Any saved amount along the way will be donated to our hometown's community outreach programs. The films produced will be copyright free for all educational, theatrical or any related rightful uses.
Any amount will do and will be greatly appreciated. If I could do you any favor in the future, I would gladly help.
If you would wish to donate, here is my GoGetFunding campaign. :)
Once again, mabuhay po kayo!