The long-standing conflict between the military forces and the rebel group Abu Sayaff has severely ravaged the poor town of Patikul in Sulu. Residents have become so accustomed to the armed clashes, that reports of kidnappings and recruitment of young Tausugs to join the rebel groups already became normal news to them. However, Amman, a 33 year old coffee farmer in Sitio Kan-Ague, continues to believe that there is still hope for their town. Amman believes that educating his children would change their present situation. His 9-year old son Fahad is one of Kan-Ague Elementary School’s top students. Fahad’s brilliance and perseverance have led him to represent his school in the annual regional quiz bee. Joined by his best friend Alelie, Fahad goes through rigorous training under Michael Balmes, the principal of Kan-Ague Elementary School. Michael is one of the few volunteer teachers who walk daily through a dangerous path just to get to Kan-Ague. Michael’s constant encouragement and persistence to educate the kids in Kan-Ague gives new promise to the residents of Kan-Ague. However, this hope becomes short-lived after a relative of one of the volunteer teachers dies in an armed encounter between the army and rebels. Little did the residents know that this incident would lead to the death of their beloved principal and, for fear for their own safety, force the teachers to abandon the students of Kan-Ague. The town’s worsening situation compels Amman to take action and convince his co-parents to find a solution, but Amman soon discovers that this won’t be an easy task. Most of the parents are reluctant to cooperate, and he finds no support from the local government. Amman is now faced with two choices: capitulate to the brutality of war or find a way to make the teachers go back to the classrooms of Kan-Ague to teach their children once again
Multi-awarded director Joel C. Lamangan studied film and theater at schools in the Philippines and abroad. He acted and directed for stage and television, then took screen roles, before opting for film direction, making his debut in 1991 with Darna. Among his other films: Flor Contemplacion Story (1995) which won the Golden Pyramid award at Cairo International Film Festival and best actress for Ms. Nora Aunor in the said film festival, Pusong Mamon (1998), Deathrow (2000), Huling Birhen sa Lupa (2003), Blue Moon (2006). In the bloom of indie film, Lamangan took advantage of making films he wanted, a film that mirrors social problems and issues. Among them are Dukot (2009), a film on extra judicial killings and human rights violations in the Philippines supported by Human Rights groups. Dukot was shown locally and abroad in the USA, Canada, Japan, Hongkong, Taipei and Europe. It won several local awards including three best picture and director for Lamangan: Gawad Tanglaw, Gawad Genio and the 58th Famas Awards. Last year, he made an entry at the Directors Showcase of Cinemalaya with his film Sigwa, a film about the historical Martial Law era in the Philippines. The film was invited to several festivals such as the Montreal World Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, Brussels International Film Festival and Cairo International Film Festival. Sigwa won Best Film at Gawad Tanglaw, Best motion picture Drama at the 8th Golden Screen awards. Lamangan bagged the best director award at Gawad Tanglaw awards. To date, Lamangan has finished Deadline, a film about media killings and warlordism in the Philippines. His Patikul is a film on literacy in Mindanao in the midst of insurgency and violence and taken from the First Prize Palanca 2011 award winning script of Kristoffer Brugada.
Major Credits: Cast:
Marvin Agustin, Allen Dizon, Glaiza de Castro, Ciara Sotto, Dimples Romana, Jaime Pebanco with Martin de los Santos, Angellie Nicholle Sanoy, Jeon Macatangay.
Story & Screenplay-Kristoffer Brugada, Director of Photography-Monino S. Duqe, Editing-John Anthony L. Wong, Production Design-Edgar Martin Littaua, Music-Von de Guzman, Sound Supervision-Ditoy Aguila, Producer-Joel C. Lamangan, Executive Producers-Ma. Gracia A. Lara, Butch Delos Reyes, Direction-Joel C. Lamangan