After the demise of the multi-awarded international film and TV master filmmaker—Maryo J. delos Reyes in January of this year, the agriculture-based film festival named as ‘ToFarm’ continues to pick up where the beloved former festival director had left off and with Bibeth Orteza as the newly-named festival director during its press launch on Wednesday, March 14 at the Makati Shangri-La Manila Rizal Ballroom C.
Today, ToFarm promises to bring more meaningful stories to tell and presented via the silver screen. After two years since its launch in 2016, the said festival has produced 12 inspiring and unique stories transformed into screenplays and have not captivated the hearts of local moviegoers even the international audiences as well. Zig Dulay’s ‘Paglipay’, Paulo Villaluna’s ‘Pauwi Na’, Tara Illenberger’s ‘High Tide’, Joseph Abello’s ‘What Home Feels Like’, and Vic Acedillo Jr.’s ‘Kamunggay’—are just some of those considered to be the most well-remembered films that were produced by United Harvesters Incorporated, headed by its ToFarm’s matriarch—Dr. Milagros O. How.
“Direk Maryo can never be replaced. I was told I was chosen because I’m maternal. Direk Maryo, was in a way, maternal to the point that he would meet with the filmmakers to discuss what the problem with the script was… it was that quality they found in me.
“But I am here also because I am a daughter of a farmer. I am very thankful for this opportunity and privilege to serve the farming community. We are nothing if we don’t have the farmers,” shared Direk Bibeth.
Dr, How on the other hand expressed how she was deeply saddened with the untimely passing of Direk Maryo J., “He gave so much of himself for TFF. When he suddenly left us, we found ourselves at a crossroad. Should we go on with the project or not? But after a lot of thinking, I personally thought it’s best to carry on what Direk Maryo started. The festival would be a continuation of his vision for the farmers and for our film industry. This is our tribute to him.”
The theme for this year’s festival is ‘A Tribute to Life: Parating Na’, which will highlight the aspirations of the Filipino farmers and their journeys to success. There will be seven films that will be selected by the TFF committee and will be given grants for production. Also, for the first time, seven short films will also be selected for a new category, shot entirely on a cell phone, no less than one-minute and no more than 10 minutes each. These will be screened along with the seven feature films during the film festival proper on September 12-18. Awards Night is set on the 15th.
TOFARM will accept entries from July 15 to August 15 to be emailed to: [email protected] The deadline for submission of the completed full-length film, with English subtitles, is on August 17; while for the Short Film category, entries are accepted from July 15 to August 15, respectively.
The seven full-length finalists are to be announced on May 23 via a in a press conference. Each of the seven finalists will receive a seed production grant in the amount of PhP 1,500,000.00 to be released in three tranches at PhP 500,000 each.
The following major winners will be chosen and will be awarded as follows: Best ToFarn Film 2018 with PhP 500,000 + Trophy; 2nd Best ToFarm Film with PhP 400,000 + Trophy; and Maryo J. Delos Reyes Special Award with PhP 300,000 + Trophy as prizes.
To know about the festival, click here.