New category in film festivals to benefit Davao’s culinary art

A new category in film festivals will benefit Davao City, particularly its culinary art.

According to Rudolph Ian Alama, vice president for film festival of the Davao Tourism Association (DATA), organizers of CineKabalen, a Pampanga-based film festival, have plans to establish a culinary category designed to promote the country’s rich and diverse food culture.

Alama said he learned the plan when he attended the closing ceremony of the Cinema Rehiyon Dumaguete held at the Green Foundation University in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental.

Alama said the addition of a culinary cinema section proves that we have a strong and diverse repertoire of world-class regional favourites. 

Multi-awarded filmmaker Carlo Enciso Catu, festival director of Cinekabalen, said the culinary cinema is an initiative to promote the Filipino’s rich food history. The Angeles City and 2018 Cinemalaya’s Best Film winner shared his thoughts to local filmmakers aiming to make a niche in culinary cinema. 

Catu said Cinekabalen will host the special section. 

CineKabalen encourages regional filmmakers across the country to delve into the delicious world of food and dining. The first of its kind, the competition aims to support the promotion and preservation of the rich culinary history of the Philippines. The special Culinary Cinema Section is open to other non-Kapampangan filmmakers. 

Catu, for his part, shared that he was inspired by Berlin’s Culinary Cinema that not only highlights Germany’s contribution to the world of food but more so, allow goers to sample the food as featured on the film. 

It is an initiative to realise, inspire and be inspired that we all have stories appertaining to food”, Catu emphasized. He wants to sway away from the Manila-centric notion that “kapag pagkain, Pampanga kaagad.”

National Commission for the Culture and the Arts Commissioner Teddy Co said that the creation of the special category and competition itself is in line with Proclamation No. 469 declaring the month of April of every year as “Buwan ng Kalutong Pilipino” or “Filipino Food Month.”  

The competition is open to all Filipino filmmakers who have films focused on culinary stories, tradition and culinary treasures. Filmmaker may submit more than one entry and should be made no earlier than Jan. 2018. Maximum running time, inclusive of opening and closing credits, is 15 minutes. Spoken language may be in English or any Philippine language or dialect with subtitles in English. Entries from abroad will be accepted but must be written, directed or produced by filmmakers of Filipino descent.

Music used must be original, licensed or in the public domain. All entries should be submitted on or before March 31, 2019. Filmmakers will have to send their requirements to  

The competition is held in partnership with the Cinema Committee of the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts.