It is the farmers who till the land, cultivate the farms, and grow livestock hard enough to feed the families other than theirs. They are the ones who work hard to feed the nation first. However, albeit the nobility due to their role in ensuring the sustenance of their neighbors, they are still considered underappreciated.
This inspired Dr. Milagros Ong-How, the Executive Vice President of the Universal Harvesters, Inc. to initiate TOFARM film festival to be able for the stories of the lives of the hardworking peasants to reach the consciousness of those who benefit most from their yields.
Realizing the need for the hardworking agricultural warriors to be given modest recognition they deserve, the film festival was brought to Davao City in Mindanao in which farming is the predominant livelihood.
ToFarm Film Festival, the film festival about agriculture, the farmers and the bounties of nature, the first of its kind, runs from October 12 to 18.
The festival, pegged on this year’s theme “The Plight of the Farmers: His Trials and Triumphs”, showcases six full-length feature films that depict the life and the struggles of the people in the agricultural sector. They are Zig Dulay’s Paglipay (Crossing), Paolo Villaluna’s Pauwi Na, Jojo Nadela’s Pilapil, Vic Acedillos, Jr.’s Kakampi, Dennis Marasigan’s Free Range, and Maricel Cariaga’s Pitong Kabang Palay.
Festival Director Direk Maryo J. Delos Reyes said in during the opening at the SM City Davao Cinema that the film festival aims to help, popularize and introduce the farmers to a more popular audience.
“We want to give the respect and the professional treatment. We should consider them the heroes who sow the grains we eat every day,” he said.
He added that they are no different from other professions like nurses, and teachers among others.
The film festival has premiered in Manila and had toured around the other provinces with Davao City as their last leg.
As the festival goes on, the organizers of the ToFarm are inviting writers and storytellers to send entries for the festival for 2017 alongside with the songwriting competition. Next year’s theme will focus on “Planting the Seeds of Change”.
“Let us support the agricultural revolution and get inspired with their perseverance, wit and heart of the unsung heroes of the nation, our farmers, and workers in the (agricultural) sector,” said TOFARM in a statement.
Screening schedule at SM City Davao: