Want to know what the kids are up to these days? Give the youth-made films at the week-long Blue Gold Film Festival made possible by the students of St. Mary’s School in Cagayan de Oro city.
There is no question that traditions were well-established during face-to-face classes, and for St. Mary’s School, humble institution of education on top of a hill in Cagayan de Oro city is no stranger to that convention. Known for its mastery in the performing arts, St. Mary’s School has consistently produced well-rounded creatives in theater, music, publishing and media, among many others. Central to its heritage is the renowned annual play, which benefits the Dr. Michael Anthony Costello Foundation for scholars, has been celebrated for many years, a tradition halted only by the COVID-19 crisis that brought devastation to the educational sector of the whole world and by extension, the Philippines.
To fill the artistic void left by this pandemic, the St. Mary’s School High School Student Council brings to you the 2021 Blue Gold Film Festival, a collection of theatrical classics and completely new short films produced by the school’s ever-talented students.
“The arts are so integral to the educational experience. Through the performing arts, we have seen our students grow in confidence and blossom in different ways,” says Margaret Costello, Academic Director for St. Mary’s School and festival juror of the 2021 Blue Gold Film Festival. “What makes this project amazing is that the pandemic did not hinder our students from creating their own avenues for artistic expression. As educators, we want to empower them. This is their moment. Our role here is to direct the spotlight on them.”
Guided by the theme, Bond, the inaugural 2021 Blue Gold Film Festival, allows for the creative depiction of the different connections that tie us all together, be it through forgiveness (Intertwined), friendship (Sana Okay Ka Lang), or a blossoming relationship (Malipayon). Through this festival, students are empowered and encouraged to express themselves in the field of performing arts, specifically through film.
Lights, Camera, Action
The film entries offer a unique point-of-view into the world of these students, which are by all accounts artistic and authentic. Harnessing their potential in the field of film, the entries are available to view on the organization’s official YouTube channel. From competition entries to non-competing ones, the future of Filipino filmmaking is alive and well with the featured films, which include: Malipayon (2021, produced by Grade 10 students), Sana Okay Ka Lang (2021, produced by Grade 9 students), Intertwined (2021, produced by Grade 8 students), Montage (2021, non-competition entry, part of the SMS Classics section), Best Friends (2019, non-competition entry, part of the SMS Classics section), and The Hidden Crisis (2017, non-competition entry, part of the SMS Classics section).
The 2021 Blue Gold Film Festival by St. Mary’s School in Cagayan de Oro debuted on October 25, and will run all the way through November 1. Following its kick-off ceremony, which saw the release of all films and the opening of the People’s Choice Awards, the full festival schedule includes panel discussions and scheduled streamings. And just like any film festival, it will culminate in an awarding ceremony on October 31, which will be streamed live simultaneously on YouTube and Facebook.