CARD MRI brings SineMaya to Tagum City

Posted on August 23, 2023

Written By: Edrian Banania

CARD MRI Founder and Chair Emeritus announced during the SineMaya Cinema Tour that the 2023 edition of the community short film fest received over 50 entries from various microfinance institutions nationwide.

The third leg of the cinema tour of SineMaya 2022, the first community short film festival for clients of the microfinance industry, was held in Tagum City Historical and Cultural Center Theatre in Davao del Norte on August 20, 2023. The film showing was organized by CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) for its clients, staff, partners, and scholars. Over 800 individuals attended the said event.

“Through SineMaya, we found out that our clients’ skills and talents know no boundaries. With this initiative, microfinance clients now have a platform to share their stories to build dreams, inspire, and be a beacon of hope for others across the country,” CARD MRI Founder and Chair Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip stated.

Last year, four of the nine finalists in the first edition of SineMaya were from Mindanao. These short films were the Ngiti sa likod ng Lente, produced by CARD Bank Waling-waling Center from Davao City which was hailed as the 2nd Best Film and won the Founder’s Excellence Award; Tulay, produced by CARD, Inc. Poblacion 7 center from Davao Oriental which bagged the 3rd Best Film and won the Managing Director’s Choice Award; Puhon, produced by CARD SME Bank Salvacion 3P center from Panabo City Unit from Davao del Norte; and Pangarap, produced by CARD SME Bank Patag center from Cagayan de Oro.

Microfinance and Films

Since its founding, CARD MRI has been committed to uplift and empower the lives of Filipino families by providing financial and non-financial products and services that are truly essential in achieving its goal of eradicating poverty. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, CARD MRI implemented the “Ugnayan at Kwentuhan” program in order to encourage clients and communities to make use of their time creatively and productively amidst the community quarantines. From art to poetry making contests, CARD MRI took the bolder step of introducing filmmaking to the microentrepreneur clients. SineMaya provided CARD MRI clients with a channel to share their stories and create a positive impact to a wider audience.

“Because of SineMaya, we were able to bring out our hidden talent in acting, writing a script, and directing a film that I thought would remain just a dream,” said Ms. Flordeliza Taña, from the film Ngiti sa Likod ng Lente and bagged the best actress award in the first SineMaya 2022 edition. Apart from SineMaya Cinema Tour across the country, we were also given the opportunity to be part of the international tour, all thanks to CARD MRI,” she added. Taña, along with the other finalists of SineMaya 2022, also underwent a series of training to equip them in the film production process.

What lies ahead for SineMaya

The 2023 SineMaya: Community Short Film Festival has expanded its reach, now accepting entries from clients across various microfinance institutions. Anticipate these films to grace screens in select cinema houses across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao this November and December. The 2023 edition of the said film festival will feature documentary film with the theme Pagbangon at Pag-asa: Kasangga ang MFI sa pagharap sa bagong simula.

With the success of SineMaya, Dr. Alip also announced that CARD MRI is now in the process of making its first indie film, in which it will highlight the stories of the clients and hopefully be shown across the country so that it can serve as an inspiration to everyone.

To learn more about the next Sinemaya cinema tour and the upcoming Sinemaya community film festival, visit the MFI Newswire website,, and Facebook page at @MFI Newswire.