Benilde becomes film professor at the Bacolod Film Festival


An award-winning filmmaker and long-time faculty member of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) film program has been appointed by the Bacolod City Government as the director of the film festival scheduled to be held in select cinemas in the city in September.

The Bacolod Film Festival Council (BFFC), chaired by Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez and Co-Chairman Councilor Em Ang, has appointed Seymour Sanchez as the Director of the Film Festival pursuant to Section 7 of City Ordinance 1061-2024.

CO 1061-2024, also known as the Bacolod Film Festival Ordinance, was authored by Ang, chair of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) Committee on History, Culture and the Arts, with Councilors Cindy Rojas and Celia Flor as co-authors.

Seymour Sanchez in the film department of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The ordinance also provides that 10 filmmakers, whether producers, directors or writers, who are based in Bacolod City will receive production grants of P300,000 each. Ang clarified that the filmmakers do not have to shoot their entire film in the city.

Sanchez signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the BFFC at Ang's office this month. The SP, whose chairman is Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, confirmed Sanchez's appointment during its 96th regular session on the same day.

Since May 2014, Sanchez has been teaching courses in Film Directing, Film Marketing, Production Management, Film Criticism and Discourse, Film Theories, Masters of Cinematography, Film and Philippine Literature, Pop Culture Studies, Film and Popular Culture, Corporate and Non-Filmmaking, Documentary Filmmaking, World Cinema, Philippine Cinema, Introduction to and Appreciation of Film, Writing for New Media, World Cinema, Philippine Cinema, and Basic Video Production, to name a few.

Aside from his work as an educator (he is now in his 10th year of service with the DLS-CSB and 20th year of service overall), Sanchez also served as the Film Festival Director of the One La Salle Film Festival in 2018 under the Benilde Film Division headed by Jose “Direk Joey” Reyes, Chairman and CEO of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), and as the Director of Public Relations and Promotion of the former Cinemanila International Film Festival from 2004 to 2007 under the late filmmaker Amable “Direk Tikoy” Aguiluz 6th.

Sanchez has also served as a technical advisor to the FDCP for academic liaisons or educational consultant, a juror and one-time jury chair of the Indie Siyensya Science Film Competition organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute, a mentor juror of the SINEliksik Bulacan DocuFest, a jury and selection committee member of the Manila Broadcasting Company Short Film Festival and Sinepiyu, a jury member of Sine Kabataan, CineMascian, Kingwagisnan Film Festival and CineMapúa, and a SELCOM member of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, Cinestudyante and Quisumbing-Escandor Film Festival for Health.

He has also been a judge and speaker at other competitions including the National Schools Press Conference, the National Training of Trainers on Campus Journalism, the Planting Seeds Workshops on Filmmaking and the SanayGuro Trainors' Training.

His short film “Caretaker” won the second prize in the Short Fiction category at the 6th CAM International Festival for Short Films in Cairo, Egypt, the Golden Philippine Eagle Award and the Best Actor Award for Rolando Inocencio at the third Singkuwento International Film Festival, and the Audience Choice Award at the Active Vista International Human Rights Film Festival.

He received the Film Ambassador Award from FDCP for his “creativity and global success of the film”. He also received the Maningning Outstanding Direction for the same film at the CineSB Film Festival: Special Edition. A shorter version of the film titled 'Katiwala' won the People's Choice Award at the Freedom Mov_E Film Festival 2018.

His first short film, “Lababo” (Kitchen Sink), topped the Viva-Pinoy Box Office Digitales in 2007. His other film, “Pagbugtaw” (Waking Up), came second in the first national short film festival and competition, Pambujan Pelikula Para sa Publiko.

Another film, “Short,” won third prize at Viva-PBO Digitales 2. His documentary “Sinulog for Beginners” took second place at the Sinulog Video Documentary Competition 2006.

Another documentary, “Maria Leonor,” won an award for its screenplay at the 3rd Dreamanila International Film Festival. His second feature-length screenplay, “Hiwaga” (Mystery), which he co-wrote with Christian Lacuesta, won the grand prize at the 59th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.