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The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has released 16 pandemic short films for free online viewing.

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) held a virtual launch on Saturday afternoon to present 16 short films made by regional filmmakers in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The NCCA National Committee on Cinema (NCC) is presenting the Eksena Cinema Quarantine 2: Covid-19 Filmmakers’ Diaries, or ECQ2, in collaboration with the University of St. La Salle (USLS) in Bacolod, as a follow-up project to the ECQ, which was launched during the height of the enhanced community quarantine last year.

“ECQ2 is NCC’s contribution to promoting the long-term viability of filmmaking among regional filmmakers. In a statement, Prof. Rolando Tolentino, chair of the NCC and head of the NCCA-Subcommission on the Arts, said, “It is not just a display of the best of regional filmmaking but, more importantly, a testimonial to Filipino filmmakers’ devotion to film as art and the Philippine society.”

Not A Short Film by Joseph Abello, Pangamut Gayd by Roberto Acusar Jr., Pinitik by Reyan Amacna, Pisti Pandemic by Ara Mina Amor, Palengke Day by Mervine Aquino, Mel by Nathan Bringuer, Things I’ll Tell You by Demie Dangla, and A Ritual of Affliction by Jean Claire Dy are among the feature films.

Agno: Memories of a Forgotten River by Christopher Gozum, Anima Sola by Xavier Axl Roncesvalles, Paris Sa Akong Kasingkasing by Jarell Serencio, See Us Come Together by Alyssa Suico, Van Sulitas’ My Day by Van Sulitas, Mga Handum Nga Nasulat Sa Baras by Kat Sumagaysay and Richard Jeroui Salvadico, Ilog

“We’re giving our kababayans (countrymen) home and overseas free access to quality films from all around the country,” Tolentino explained.

Aside from the limits imposed by the Covid-19 health guidelines, Amor, a Visayan filmmaker, said the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in the middle of December last year was a big setback during filming.

“Most of us planned our shoots around the hurricane or just before it.” It was quite challenging. “Electricity was not available in most regions,” she noted.

The NCCA-NCC, in collaboration with the USLS Bacolod, hopes to contribute to the growth of Philippine cinema through the ECQ: Covid-19 Filmmakers’ Diaries by selecting omnibus feature-length films during Covid-19.

In the midst of a worldwide health crisis, the project also aims to capture the individual and collective experiences of artists, cultural workers, Filipinos, and the Philippines.

Through the primary landing page of ECQ2 vimeo.com/showcase/ecq2, free screenings can be found on the NCC official Vimeo account vimeo.com/showcase/ecq2.

CINEMA 1 (https://bit.ly/ECQ2 Cinema1) and CINEMA 2 (https://bit.ly/ECQ2 Cinema2) are two virtual internet theatres that will run until March 25, 2022.

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