Culion, a Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2019 official entry, received a boost recently from province and city officials.

Written by Ricky Lee and directed by Alvin Yapan, Culion was chosen to be among the eight official MMFF entries. Its inclusion was announced by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson Danilo Lim.

Board member Ryan Maminta on Tuesday said that the provincial board is set to pass a resolution endorsing Culion movie for MMFF inclusion in December. The resolution draft will be presented in next week’s plenary session.

“Actually, pinapanood namin kagabi ang teaser tapos nabasa ko sa online na mayroon na palang apat na pumasok sa MMFF. Ngayon we are drafting the resolution baka sakaling makapasok,” he said.

In a separate interview, board member Juan Antonio Alvarez said that he will also look into other alternatives to help the movie’s MMFF bid.

“Ang alam ko they have submitted na [ang movie for screening] siguro hintayin na lang natin ang resulta. Pero actually may mga kilala ako [movie screening board] at kung sabihin nila na kailangan ng action from the board, why not ‘di ba?,” he said.

Alvarez also said that the movie has a big impact in promoting the province of Palawan as it showcases the past life inside the leper colony.

“Dapat proud tayo kasi malaking tulong ito to promote our province, anything that would help this movie ay willing tayo,” he said.

In addition, board member Albert Rama said that all members of the board will watch and attend the premiere night of the movie.

“Titingnan natin ang puwede magawa pero ang sigurado doon ay lahat kami ay manunood sa premiere night,” he said.

Provincial information officer Winston Arzaga said that they are excited about the movie as it further promotes tourism in Palawan.

“It’s high time that people will know na hindi lang El Nido, San Vicente, or Puerto Princesa ang meron tayo. This will prove that our province has a lot to offer in historical and cultural tourism,” Arzaga said.

Meanwhile, the City Tourism Office (CTO), though holding off their official endorsement, says that they are in support of the movie’s quest for an MMFF inclusion.

“Wala pa kaming official statement, pero, of course, happy and excited kami dahil dala-dala nila yung Culion town. Most people think kasi na it’s only just a former leper colony, pero with this movie, marerealize nila it has a lot to offer pala,” city tourism officer Michie Hitosis said.

The story of Culion, a small island in the province of Palawan – a community who rose with hope amidst despair which is also a direct example of the triumph of science in the world medical history and this is the story that the film “Culion” wants to share.

Set between 1940 and 1941, it revolves around three women—Anna (Iza Calzado), Ditas (Meryll Soriano) and Doris (Jasmine Curtis-Smith)—who are all afflicted with Hansen’s disease and were either born or brought to the prison-like leprosarium in Culion.