Doc thanks I-Witness during Davao docufest

For Dr. Rizal Aportadera, founder of the Mindanao Burn Center, the recently concluded I-Witness Docufest in Davao City was more than just a chance to watch first rate documentaries from GMA-7’s flagship documentary program. It was a chance for him to personally thank the men and women behind the documentary “Lapnos” by Jay Taruc.

“Lapnos,” which recently brought home the Silver Medal in the 2012 New York Festival, tells of the harrowing tales of burn victims from the Mindanao Burn Center.

It was one of the eight documentaries showcased in the third leg of the I-Witness docufest Regional Tour held last Sunday, August 12, at the Cinema 5 of Gaisano Mall in Davao City.

In the event, Dr. Aportadera explained how people started to take notice of the Center after watching the documentary. He further added how donations started pouring in to help the burn victims. 

This was just one of the many memorable moments during the docufest where all four hosts—Howie Severino, Kara David, Jay Taruc, and Sandra Aguinaldo got the chance to meet and greet documentary enthusiasts from Davao City.

David shares how the presence of Dr. Aportadera serves as an inspiration to her and her fellow documentarists.  and how she is constantly moved by how the program become a means to produce social action: “Nakakataba ng puso namin kapag nalalaman namin na kahit paano nagiging tulay ng malasakit at pagtulong ang I-Witness,” David enthuses.

The Davao docufest kicked off with the first set of documentaries including David’s Gintong Putik, Aguinaldo’s Batch 2012, Severino’s Saplot, and Taruc’s Lapnos. Meanwhile, the much anticipated second set consisted of award-winning documentaries from all four hosts featuring David’s Ambulansyang de Paa, Aguinaldo’s Iskul Ko No. 1, Taruc’s Batang Kalabaw, and Severino’s Huling Hala Bira.

The hosts also got the chance to share their thoughts and techniques in documentary film-making during an open forum held after every screening. The event capped off with a DVD signing session where members of the audience got the chance to have their I-Witness DVD signed by the hosts.

Severino, who is also GMA News Online editor in chief and VP for multimedia journalism, shares how this leg of the tour was different from all the previous legs: “It was in a more intimate venue, with the audience much closer. I was also very pleasantly surprised by the appearance of the inspiring burn doctor whom we just saw in Jay Taruc’s docu Lapnos, and a good friend from high school was there whom I hadn’t seen in years. The audience was smart and enthusiastic.”

Aguinaldo also has her share of memorable experiences during the Davao docufest: “I enjoyed the intelligent questions from the viewers. The Davao docufest is special because it’s another chance to experience Davao again. Davao is special to me because I have been there several times to cover memorable stories. I have feasted on their bounty fruit harvest and I always look forward to doing that again. The best part is interacting with the locals because they are friendly, educated, and I admire that they are proud of their heritage.”

The I-Witness Docufest Regional Tour is part of the program’s celebration of its 13th year on air. I-Witness is set to take its regional tour in Nagal on September 15, in Iligan on September 27, in Pangasinan on October 6, and finally in Bacolod on October 12.

I-Witness airs every Monday night after Saksi on GMA-7.

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