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Details of Salamindanaw 2020 unveiled


In adapting to a virtual platform, Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival will stage a special edition for 2020. The Festival has suspended its film competition this year to pave the way for a collaborative project with filmmakers across Asia.

Salamindanaw will migrate online to continue with its thrust of raising awareness and promoting Asian cinema with emphasis on strengthening the cultural ties between Mindanao and its Southeast Asian neighbors, to support the nascent regional film movements in Mindanao and the east ASEAN region; and to engage the public in both popular and critical discourse on art and cinema and their transformative power to shape ideas about society, thus encouraging cultural diversity and the plurality of creative expressions.

With the theme “Reconnecting and Reimagining Asia”, Salamindanaw will attempt to bridge borders — both national and the cinematic medium— that have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Festival recognizes the tremendous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on world affairs including cinema. To safeguard their citizens, countries have imposed national border lockdowns and all film-related activities ground to a halt early this year. Governments have put in place mechanisms to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus from mass testing to mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing and other health protocols, but the steady increase in COVID-19 infections has caused greater alarm.

“Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Salamindanaw hopes to reconnect filmmakers from the region as well as reimagine the future of cinema,” festival director Elreen Bendisula noted.

On its eighth edition this year, the Festival will embark on a collaborative film project and a series of online conversations with film professionals across Asia in seeking to present a picture of how filmmakers and their communities across Asia have been affected by the pandemic, know and determine how the pandemic affects filmmaking practice and emerging aesthetics resulting from technologies that have been utilized during the lockdown, and hear out solutions and mechanisms in place that will address the challenges of filmmaking in Asia in the new normal.

The collaborative project shall invite Asian filmmakers to contribute audio and video clips and footage of themselves, their families or communities that captures the effects of the pandemic as well as their hope in a post-pandemic world. These film materials shall then be assembled and pieced together by renowned arthouse filmmaker John Torres to create an omnibus film that reflects the realities in the region in the period of the pandemic and also pondering on what the future holds for cinema and the people in Asia.

“So far, several filmmakers have agreed to be part of the project such as the documentary filmmaker Daniel Rudi Haryanto from Indonesia, the avant garde Japanese filmmaker Takayuki Yoshida, the emerging voice in Singaporean cinema Gladys Ng and another female filmmaker from Sabah, Putri Purnama Sugua. We also have Filipino filmmakers Bagane Fiola, Ron Gamboa, Mervine Aquino, Edmund Telmo, Mark Lester Valle and Carla Pulido Ocampo whose film “Tokwifi” won in the recent Cinemalaya. We also have emerging Moro filmmaker Hassanodden Hashim from Marawi who can share insights on how his people are struggling with one tragedy after another -from the 2017 Marawi Siege to the pandemic now,” Bendisula added.

The project invites filmmakers all over Asia to contribute by sending footage and clips through a Google Drive link to

The collaborative film shall premiere in November followed by online conference that shall discuss the filmmaking process, the filmmakers’ reflections on the pandemic, how they intend to make films in the future, and how transnational cooperation in the region can be developed further that takes into account the realities and challenges of the new normal. 

Salamindanaw 2020 is made possible with the support of the Film Development Council of the Philippines and Japan Foundation.