A short documentary film about Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s “pare” (friend) was shortlisted and screened at the 13th Signes de Nuit International Film Fest held in Paris, France.
The film helmed by Albert Egot Jr. joins seven other films from the Philippines, which is currently being shown in the annual film festival that showcases multi-genre cinematic works from across the world. The festival started last November 26 and will run to December 6.
“Ang Baril ni Polding na Walay Pulbura” or The Gun of Polding without Gunpowder tells the story of John Michael Exel alias Polding, a paraplegic living in the streets of San Pedro and Claveria in downtown Davao City who despite being jobless and homeless still finds hope and beauty in his everyday’s life.
According to Egot, Polding is a well-known figure in the city’s downtown area, where he moves around in a customized wheelchair contraption which is often parked near the city hall.
Mayor Duterte calls him ‘pare’ (friend) whenever they meet and acted as Polding’s savior when he was rushed to the hospital ICU two years ago due to a serious lung illness. The local chief executive and current Presidential candidate visited Polding in the hospital and provided him with a doctor, an act which Polding is forever grateful.
The documentary follows the colorful journey of Polding who lost his twin brother last year. The twins had chosen to live in the streets in contrast to their older brother and sister who have settled with their respective families.
“People will see him as poor and lonely, but thru the film you will pick so many lessons from Polding.” Egot said.
The film was screened in the 10th Mindanao Film Festival last year, which won the festival’s best documentary prize, it was also shown in the 2015 Cinemarehiyon Film Festival of the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) where foreign programmers took notice of the documentary.
“I was surprised because I thought my film would never be chosen after they initially contacted me. When they informed me that it would be programmed, I felt really proud because not all are given the opportunity to have their films shown abroad.” Albert Egot said.
Egot currently a real estate marketing officer, makes it a point to produce a film for the annual Mindanao Film Festival. His next film about a 26-year old obese man titled “The Little Me.” Will be shown in this year’s Mindanao Film Festival slated to run from December 9-15. | PR