BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The Art District in Barangay Mandalagan, Bacolod City not only houses art galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants, but has also become a venue for local filmmakers to showcase their films.
Milton Dionzon, Safehouse Theater curator, said the 30-seater theater opened in February 2019 for local filmmakers to have a venue to show their outputs. However, this was closed when the pandemic started and was re-opened just last June 8.
Before that, Negros had produced many filmmakers who are products of Negros summer workshops and Bacollywood workshops, but could only show their films if invited during festivals like Cinemalaya, and other film festivals in the country, he said.
Dionzon said that as curator, he decides what and whose films will be shown in the theater. Every week, they show different genres of films and there was also a week where they showed films of the life of Negrense visual artists Nunelucio Alvarado and Charlie Co.
They have regular screenings every Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and also accept reservations. They charge a screening fee of P150 per person, he said.
Every Monday, they post what films will be shown for the week on their Facebook page Safehouse Theater. After each screening, an open forum will be held with the film directors to discuss the film and to give the audience a chance to ask questions, Dionzon said.
He said the films to be shown this week are output of Mass Communications students titled “Tangla” directed by Xianelle Pere-ira, “Truly Yours” by Jerianne Panisales, and “Kasama” by Barney Molina.
Dionzon is inviting the public to come and watch films produced by local filmmakers that one cannot see in big theaters. “You will be surprised that we have a lot of storytellers in Negros.”*