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‘Siglo ng Kalinga’ producer expresses dismay over Summer MMFF snub

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“It is quite disheartening that there seems to be no room for tribute and gratitude from the film industry for the heroes of the pandemic, our nurses,” said Dr. Carl Balita, the executive producer and CEO of Dr. Carl Balita Productions (DCBP) after their film Siglo ng Kalinga was excluded in the inaugural Summer MMFF.

“The recent exclusion of our film from the Magic 8 of the Summer Metro Manila Film Festival is indeed attesting to that value,” he went on. 

Archie Del Mundo, the writer-producer of the film added. “Only movies shot during the pandemic were included, however, the film about the pandemic heroes were left out. Is it about the commercial appeal? 900,000 nursing students are already waiting for us to screen the film. What could be more relevant than a film that exposes and shows the lives of individuals who gave their lives so that we might all live and survive?”

Doctor Carl E. Balita (second from right), the executive producer and CEO of Dr. Carl
Balita Productions

Earlier, Dr. Carl Balita Productions and the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) and Philippine Nurses Association of American Foundation (PNAAF) have set their grand plan to distribute the film Siglo ng Kalinga to the Filipino American communities, hospitals, and screening venues in the United States right after their international festival premieres. 

The idea came during a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed between Dr. Balita and PNAAF, headed by their president Nancy Nolasco-Hoff, at the PNAAF 6th International Collaborative Conference on January 21 and 22, Vigan Convention Center. 

As agreed, part of the proceeds of the US screenings will go to PNAAF to assist with their welfare programs and projects for Filipino nurses abroad.

Dr. Carl Balita Productions’ Siglo ng Kalinga (A Century of Care) is a groundbreaking film with an all-nurse cast that is aimed at celebrating 100 years of the PNA. Produced by Dr. Carl E. Balita, an educator, licensed nurse, midwife, and entrepreneur (and directed by the award-winning filmmaker Lemuel Lorca) said his life and career are devoted to nursing. His dream is to elevate the profession to a higher level of appreciation through this film.

“We wish to inspire the entire nursing communities, in the Philippines and internationally, to see and appreciate the film with the highest pride and gratitude. We created this film to educate everyone about the significance of nurses in national healthcare. We are adhered to promoting the nursing profession to incoming college freshmen and inspire and honor the practicing nurses in the country,“ Dr. Balita expressed during the interview.

Siglo ng Kalinga, the first film with an all-nurses cast, included Joy Ras, Tads Obach, Bambi Rojas, Ellener Cruz, Joel Rey Carcasona, Aldrin Samson, Irma Bustamante, Jewell Alano, Abbey Romero, Anna Illescas, Lorrich Del Castilo, Denmark Mismanos, Aya Sarmiento, Jam Sandiego, Val Ramilo, Jerico Roque, and VJ Mendoza. 

Nursing leaders and luminaries, mostly deans and presidents of nursing schools and PNA officers,  also played vital historical roles, such as Dr. Cora Anonuevo, Mila Llanes, Betty Merritt, Remedios Fernandez, Rita Tamse, Clare Curato, Frances Cuevas, Nerissa Gerial, and PNA National President Melvin Miranda.

Dr. Balita revealed the film has a world premiere in the third week of April. Apart from premiering in festivals abroad.

DCBP takes pride in the films it has produced, like Nars (2007), Maestra (2017), Rebyu (2017), and A Father’s Love (2021).

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