Today’s world is highly influenced by media. The strong power it has on people is undeniable. It is our daily medium of communication, education and expression. It has become the voice of the people and the mirror of social injustices and realities. Armed with an outstanding belief in the media’s significance particularly in documentary films, a group of Cebuano professionals took a challenging leap to bring Cebu International Documentary Film Festival to life. I used to think such festivals were only possible in the world’s biggest and brightest cities like New York, London, Cannes, Venice and the list goes on. It is a great privilege to have our very own festival here in the Queen City of the South! This is indeed another milestone for Filipinos especially for Cebuanos!

The festival which will be held annually aims to place Cebu in the global map of film industry.  Through this, a whole new world of opportunities will open up to many local talents, film enthusiasts and artists who were not yet given the chance to showcase their work and talents. This is set to bring the international spotlight to Cebu and garner further recognition.

Documentary films are perfect instruments of storytelling. We all know that we Filipinos pride ourselves with heart-warming, interesting and at times depressing stories to tell. These are stories that portray the reality of our society. These are stories aimed at inspiring people to bring about positive change. CIDFF is proof that we have world class talents and we can produce world class films.

The first CIDFF was held last Aug 15-18, 2012 and was a real success! The participating countries included Haiti, Spain, Venezuela, Congo, Bulgaria, Bangladesh, France, Taiwan and Guinea Bissau. I must say it’s quite an impressive list considering that it’s the first. The trophy for the festival winner was made of wood and resin with images portraying Cebu like the Lapu-Lapu shrine, Magellan’s cross and even our favourite “puso” was there. The trophy was handmade by a student from UP Cebu. Now, that’s what you call creative!

The event has marked the beginning of many more years of meaningful storytelling and gathering of talented artists. Thumbs up to the five outstanding individuals headed by Ms. April Dequito (President) and her team. The members of the board include Ms. Marie Ernestine Denise Fajatin-Pegarido (Board Secretary), Mr. Joseph Michael Espina (Dean, USC- CAFA; Board Member), Mr. Zen Estanislao Pastoriza (Managing Director, Campaigns & Grey Cebu; Board Member) and Ms. Lilu I. Alino (Board Member). We should all look forward to the next Cebu International Documentary Film Festival! Expect it to be bigger, brighter and bolder! Experience an incredible film event right here in 032!

If you want to know more about CIDFF and their projects, visit their website at www.cidff.org  and like them on facebook: www.fb.com/cidff.org

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