The Cotabato Sessions

The Cotabato Sessions

Film screening and live performance of traditional and experimental Kulintang, featuring National Heritage winner Danongan Kalanduyan and Susie Ibarra

Presented by the Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) and Asia Society

The Philippines and USA, 2014
Running time: 25 min.
Language: English, Maguindanaon, Tagalog with English subtitles
Director: Joel Quizon

East Coast premiere. Film screening and live performance of traditional and experimental Kulintang featuring National Heritage winner Danongan Kalanduyan and Susie Ibarra.

The Cotabato Sessions is a documentary about the musical legacy of National Heritage artist Danongan Kalanduyan and his family in Cotabato City in Mindanao, The Philippines. Practitioners of the indigenous art form known as kulintang (rhythmic gong ensemble music) and the colorful dance that often accompanies it, the Kalanduyan family are respected elders upholding the tradition. Kulintang, known as a feminine instrument, has a unique history of crossing Philippine indigenous matriarchal society and Muslim cultures. The film explores this legacy through the Kalanduyans' performing art practice.

Featuring musical performances, The Cotabato Sessions is a uniquely droll and observant music documentary. The film is a poetic, celebratory work that that looks at this signature Philippine art form and ponders its future in contemporary society.

The film is followed by a performance of music and dance featuring Danongan Kalanduyan and artists of the Palabuniyan Kulintang Ensemble performing traditional Philippine music and dance, as well as Susie Ibarra and Roberto Rodriguez’s percussion duet. The evening will also feature a Q & A session with director Joel Quizon, writer/producer Susie Ibarra, and guest artist Danongan Kaladuyan.

Maguindanaon Music Performers:

Danongan Kalanduyan - kulintang
Juliet Cheatle - Pangalay dance
Alexis Canillo - Sagayan Dance

Electric Kulintang:
Susie Ibarra - kulintang, drumset
Roberto J. Rodriguez - electronics

Q & A with filmmaker Joel Quizon, cinematographer Maya Santos, National Heritage artist Danongan Kalanduyan, writer/producer and percussionist Susie Ibarra.

Video: Watch the trailer (4 min., 40 sec.)

Video: Watch Susie Ibarra and Roberto Rodriquez perform (10 min., 7 sec.)

Click here for more information on Susie Ibarra's experimental Kulintang

The Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) is produced by Asian CineVision (ACV), a nonprofit media arts organization devoted to the development, promotion and preservation of Asian and Asian American film and video. AAIFF is the nation's longest-running festival of its kind and a leading showcase for the best in independent Asian and Asian American film and video.

This program is part of Asia Society's ongoing initiative Creative Voices of Muslim Asia.

Event Details

30 July 2014
6:30pm - 8:00pm


725 Park Avenue, New York, NY

$13 general admission; $11 students/seniors; $10 Asia Society members with code 'asiasocietyctbt'