Student filmakers honored in SOU’ Fest


From left, Jerico Montenejo, Jobelle Tabuena, and Casey Drew Huliganga are the top winners in the 2nd Annual Humanities Film Festival with the theme Soudelor and the Winds of Change in the CNMI. Also in photo are Northern Marianas Humanities Council vice chair Frankie Eliptico, right, and Dr. Brady Hammond who were part of the judges panel. (Jon Perez)

Student filmakers were honored last Saturday night during the SOU’ Fest, commemoration of Typhoon Soudelor, at the Marianas Business Plaza parking lot. The event was moved to the former Nauru Building from the Garapan Fishing Base due to inclement weather.

The Film Festival is in cooperation with the Northern Marianas Humanities Council and part of its 2nd Annual Humanities Film Festival with “Soudelor and the Winds of Change in the CNMI” as this year’s theme.

Casey Drew Huliganga and Jerico Montenejo’s entry Typhoon Soudelor: The Documentary and Jobelle Tabuena’s Saipan Strong submissions were the biggest winners after being named co-first placers. The Huliganga-Montenejo team and Tabuena received $500 each.

Huliganga and Montenejo said they worked on their entry in a short amount of time after being informed by their Marianas High School teacher Michelle Taisacan.

“Our teacher, Ms. Taisacan informed us about the contest so we went to work. It only took us one week to finish the documentary. We had two days of shooting and the rest was for editing,” said Montenejo.

“But we learned that they extended the deadlines so we made some minor changes before we submitted the final entry,” added Huliganga.

Despite the short preparation time, the delegation of tasks made for very efficient and effective decisions, the duo earned the nod of the judges—Mt. Carmel School president Galvin Deleon Guerrero, NMHC chair Frankie Eliptico, and Dr. Brady Hammond.

“It’s a collaboration. I’m in charge of the shots and the story that we wanted to present and Jerico is the one who edited the final cut,” says Huliganga, who said that he has a passion for film making and even plans to go to film school in college.

Montenejo, on the other hand, has many talents with editing and dancing among them. Both are incoming juniors at MHS.

Angela Felici M. Cruz (Saipan and the Gales of Typhoon Soudelor), and Agape Christian School students En Hao Feng, Tian Bo Zhang, Bei Bei Chen (Blown Away) were tied for second place. Cruz and the ACS trio went home with $350 each.

The husband-and-wife tandem of Glenn and Sveta Hunter were also big winners. Glenn’s CORE HEAL SAIPAN was the Film Fest’s best in narrative winner, while Sveta’s Soudelor Saipan Strong was best documentary. They won $1,000 each.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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