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ToFarm launches 2017 film festival

ToFarm will be holding its 2nd Film in 2017 with the theme “Planting the seeds of change.” Because of the advent of change and the fast development of modern technology as well as the changes in attitudes, cultures, mores and lifestyle, the farmer needs to open himself up to new visions and perspectives. He is encouraged to look for innovative approaches to farming and agriculture, fishing, and animal husbandry.

These objectives should be incorporated in the film entries. A total of six (6) film scripts will be selected by the screening committee and will each be given grants of P1.5-million for production.

The ToFarm Film Festival aims to uplift the farmers as well as his professional development. It is most worthy and significant since this is the only film festival that showcases the lives, journeys, aspirations, trials and tribulations as well as failures and successes of the farmers and other stewards of agriculture and nature.

The festival gives farmers the acknowledgment, honor, and the respect due them as caretakers of our resources from the Great Creator.

Forty seven (47) per cent of arable lands is devoted to agriculture. Sadly, the average annual income of an agricultural worker is P27,000.  The average age of a Filipino farmer is 59/60 and the number of farmers are dwindling.

Farmers children are among the most malnourished in the country. They prefer to eat canned, processed and/or manufactured food than fresh produce. There are no private sector participation in the affairs/plight of farmers.

The ToFarm Film Festival is the brainchild of Dr. Milagros Ong-How, executive vice-president of Universal Harvester, Inc. It is managed by Filipino film master Maryo de los Reyes, sitting as festival director.

From left: Festival director Maryo de los Reyes; executive VP of Universal Harvester, Inc. Dr. Milagros Ong-How; and project director Rommel Cunanan.

From left: Festival director Maryo de los Reyes; executive VP of Universal Harvester, Inc. Dr. Milagros Ong-How; and project director Rommel Cunanan.

To highlight the aspiration of the Filipino farmers and their respective journeys is the vision of this undertaking. As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), ToFarm wants to promote farming in the youth sector in all regions. It will also revitalize investments and scientific advancements to achieve sustainable food supply.

While ToFarm’s mission is to stimulate the agricultural community with the help of the film medium in promoting awareness of the life of the country’s food producers.

“Actors Joey Marquez and Isabel Rivas are farmers and they want to share their experiences. This festival will create a venue to air stories of farmers and their plight.  Sec. Piñol will sit with farmer groups to listen to their woes.

“We are launching the 2nd film festival. July 20 ended the first one. We are encouraged by the good feedback. In this country, agriculture & farming is not given much notice.

“My track of land will be created as a model farm in Bohol where farmers can see how to plant and raise crops the right way,” shared festival director Maryo de los Reyes.