Lepanto Mine rolls out first CineMina Fest

MANKAYAN, Benguet – Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMC) is taking its promotion of responsible mining to a whole new level as it launches the first-ever short filmmaking contest in the Philippine mining industry, dubbed CineMina Fest, with this year’s theme “Empowering Communities.”

LCMC Communications Head Butch Mendizabal said the event’s theme will focus on #LepantoCares, the company’s rebranded corporate social responsibility programs, which have been empowering its surrounding communities for over eight decades.

CineMina Fest kicked off with a two-day filmmaking workshop held on July 13 and 14 at the University of the Philippines-Baguio, participated in by around 70 filmmakers, including professionals, film students, and enthusiasts from Benguet, Baguio, La Union, Pangasinan and Metro Manila.

During the two-day training, esteemed Baguio-based film director Ferdie Balanag, known for his critically acclaimed “Waking the Walking Journey” documentary, led a panel of filmmakers and writers who delivered talks, conducted breakout session workshops, and mentored the participants. Part of the panel were Abby Lara, one of Probe Team’s former video editors; Baguio’s filmmaker couple Kidlat de Guia- an award-winning filmmaker like his father Kidlat Tahimik – and Lissa Romero de Guia, a stage actress and writer.

At the end of the workshop, the participants were in for a big treat– the Father of Philippine Independent Film, Kidlat Tahimik, himself made a surprise appearance to inspire the young filmmakers. He left the group with a thought for everyone to ponder on; “We all have our own way of framing the world. When I’m making my film, I’m just a storyteller expressing my sariling dwende. We all have our own dwende, you just have to listen to them.”

LCMC Vice President for HR and Administration Knestor Jose Y. Godino, who also oversees the company’s Corporate Social Responsiblity programs, expressed his high hopes that the short filmmaking competition will be an effective platform not only for helping the country’s professional and budding filmmakers but also for for allowing the public to see and understand responsible mining.

“There’s an abundance of inspiring stories in mining communities that need to be captured. Through the CineMina Fest, these real-life stories will be told not only by the industry but also by   artists, millennials, students, and professionals who have seen first-hand that responsible and sustainable mining is possible,” Godino remarked.

The participants were divided into groups that travelled to the Lepanto Mine Division (LMD) in Mankayan, Benguet in three batches to shoot for three days. The short films that portrayed the company’s CSR programs will be posted on Lepanto’s official Facebook page, making it accessible to the public around the world.

The winners will be announced at LCMC’s 82nd anniversary celebration on September 21 at the Carlos Palanca Jr. Theater, in LMD, Mankayan, Benguet.

By Salvador ‘Butch’ Mendizabal Jr.

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