The Philippines’ rich cultural diversity increasingly proves advantageous for the development of the nation’s film industry. Our ancient archive of written and oral stories has become a wellspring from which filmmakers draw tales and accounts that they can translate into cinema. These stories, told by various voices and experienced first-hand by other sensibilities definitely excite, if not satisfy, the cinema audience’s hunger for something fresh.

Ngilngig Asian Fantastic Film Festival Davao is the only fantastic film festival in Southeast Asia. It is an annual gathering of films and filmmakers organized by artists and filmmakers, who understand the struggles of filmmaking, who recognize the importance of a film as a voice to be heard or an experience to be shared, who value the disparity of audiences, and who celebrate a convening community of artists, film enthusiasts and filmmakers.

“Ngilngig”, or its derivative “ngiga” (from ngilngiga), has been more commonly used by the Bisaya-speaking population to refer to something that is “kuyaw” (awesome). But the word originally refers to something that elicits horror or alluding to the macabre. Here are some words that might define the “ngilngig” factor in you: Gruesome, awesome, dreary, dreamy, dread, eerie, scary, ghosts, fantastic, bombastic, grim, goosebumps, gore, horror, terror, amazing, fear, weird, smelly, spirits, legend, myth, punk, metal, experimental, fairies, memories, visceral, mind-fuck, macabre, town tale, superstition.

In 2010, the first series of shorts succeeded with an attempt of forging a filmmaking culture that would separate the regional film movement from the imperial Philippine cinema. Thus, creating the DAVAO NGILNGIG FILMS, composing of only then five films that stand on their unifying “ngilngig” factor, and presenting varying themes such as reliving a ghost story from the past, processing an occurring memory from childhood, identifying a town tale from a personal province, interpreting an enigmatic mesh of dreams, and recreating an unforgettable peculiar event.

“Ngilngig” may just be a concept of the mind, but since the mind, like the universe, is constantly expanding, so will the concept of “ngilngig”, and it shall continue to inspire filmmakers, artists and dreamers, to unite under the essence of “ngilngig” factor as a tool to create and develop voices through the different ways of seeing their own experiences, dreams, and imaginations, as well as, of archiving the vanishing oral stories into cinematic and other familiar and unexplored art forms that may anticipate or reflect social developments.

Ngilngig Asian Film Festival Davao is organized by Pasalidahay, a Davao-based collective of filmmakers, curators and programmers, that fosters audience development for developing cinema from the Philippine regions. It will take place in Davao City, Philippines, from the 25th to the 31st of October 2019.

Awards are for short films only:
Best Animation
Best Workshop Film
Best Performance
Best Direction
Best Artistic Achievement
Best Ngilngig Story
Best Ngilngig Film
Jury Prize

- All winners will receive a certificate and a trophy.
- The jury may be able to give special mentions.
- The decisions of the juries are final.
- In cash and in-kind prizes are also up for grabs!


Non-competitive section: Feature Films
All feature films (animation, documentary, experimental, feature, narrative, short, student, etc) with a minimum running time of 60 minutes are eligible for submission to the non-competitive section of the festival.

Competitive section: Short Films
All short films (animation, documentary, experimental, feature, narrative, short, student, etc) with a maximum running time of 20 minutes or less are eligible for submission.


All entries must use the form hereby included and must be received by the Festival before August 25, 2019. All entry forms should be filled-in carefully, in print characters, so that the information they contain can be correctly included in the promotion & catalogue.

There is no limit to the number of films submitted. A completely filled-in entry form must be sent for each film or video submitted. Each entry form should be accompanied by a short synopsis, trailer for feature film and 1min film teaser for short film, filmmaker's bio or filmography, director's or producer's statement, filmmaker's portrait (300dpi), film poster with a 12x18 size for short film and 27x40 size for feature film (300dpi), at least 3 film stills and 3 behind the scenes photos.

Required format:
Digital MP4 H.264 1080p24
Films and videos must be subtitled in English language

Please send your entry form along with other requirements to:


All the entries will undergo a selection process voted by the core members of Pasalidahay. In order to ensure the quality of the selection process we charge an entry fee. In addition, the submission platform might charge a submission fee.

The early bird call runs from April 30, 2019 until June 25, 2019.

The regular call runs from June 25, 2019 until August 25, 2019. No films will be accepted after the regular deadline.

The submitter will be notified of the selection status (accepted / rejected) until the 25th of September through the submission platform or via email.


The entrant agrees that his or her film will not be screened publicly in the Philippines until the final notification of the selection status (due end of September).

If the film is being selected for Ngilngig Asian Fantastic Film Festival Davao, the entrant agrees that his or her film will not be screened publicly in the Philippines outside of the festival until after the end of the festival.


By submitting your work to Ngilngig Asian Fantastic Film Festival Davao, you authorize the screening, use and the storage of your film and other promotional materials hereby included. Your film and other promotional materials will be kept safely, they will not be given to third parties and they will be used exclusively for the intended purposes, which are the selection and promotion of works for the Ngilngig Asian Fantastic Film Festival Davao.

We guarantee you that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the film and other promotional materials you submit to us and that you are entitled to transfer the rights to us as specified in this agreement.

At any time you can ask which data of yours are in our archive, you can ask to remove them, to modify them, or to make them anonymous.

This is an agreement between you (the “submitter”) and Pasalidahay as the organizer of the event Ngilngig Asian Fantastic Film Festival Davao, If you have any questions contact us at: or