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At least three foreign movies will be shown for free during the 2nd Iloilo International Film Festival of Sineng Pambansa at SM City Cinema 2 and 3 on Jan. 19-21.

Kolja and Bobule from Czech Republic, Claire’s Knee from France and Papaerdolls from Israel will be a treat to moviegoers.

Filipino indie films with Ilonggo touch that will take the spotlight are Local Girls (shot in Iloilo) – Edward Trespeces; Brutus – Ilongga Director Tara Illenberger; Revolutions Happen Like Refrain in a Song – Ilonggo Director Nick Deocampo and Sandino Nartea; and Wanted Border – Ilonggo Director Ray Defante Gibraltar.

Other Pinoy films in the list are Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa – Alvin Yapan and Alemberg Ang; Biyaheng Lupa – Director Armando Lao; Kadin – Director Adolfo Alix, Jr; Thelma – Director Paul Soriano; Sanglaan – Director Milo Sogueco; Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank – Director Marlon Rivera; Bahay Bata – Director Eduardo Roy, Jr.; and Oro Plata Mata – Director Peque Gallaga.

At least four European Ambassadors will be gracing the film fest as one of the special events of Dinagyang.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said that Ambassadors of France, Italy, Czech Republic and Greece were expected to grace the Sineng Pambansa (National Cinema) of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in partnership with the City Government.

French Ambassador Thierry Borja de Mozota, Italian Ambassador Luca Fornari, Czech Republic Ambassador Joseph Rychtar and Greek Ambassador George Chrysostomos Nikolaidis will visit the city as guests to the film fest.

Mabilog said he reserved VIP seats for the foreign dignitaries because they might want to witness Dinagyang performances at the Freedom Grandstand.

“The big event will further firm up the city’s claim as ideal location for foreign and locally produced movies and source of potential talents in the film industry,” he stressed.

A memorandum of agreement was earlier signed between the city government and FDCP chairman Briccio Santos, to jointly hold the event.

The mayor created the Iloilo Film Festival Task Force to actively collaborate and work with FDCP in the conduct of this year’s Sineng Pambansa.

Mabilog heads the honorary committee with Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III as vice chairperson, and councilor Nielex Tupas as member.

The steering and working committees are composed of individuals from the government and private sector.

“We are once again showcasing how public-private partnership has been instrumental in the successful operation of the film fest,” Mabilog said.

The steering committee co-chairpersons are Joe Marie Agriam of the Iloilo City Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Benito Jimena, city tourism officer.