Fresh, innovative and inspiring stories have been chosen to vie for top honors at the Viddsee Juree Philippines, a festival of short films that aim to celebrate and support filmmaker communities in Asia.
The nominated films are by upcoming talents from different schools such as the University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, Mint, College of St Benilde, Letran, and International Academy of Film and Television. Their works are about families, personal struggles and the realities in rural communities— a young boy’s dream of becoming a mermaid, two brothers dealing with the loss of their parents shot entirely on a drone, a father battling grief and injustice after his son’s death, and more moving stories.
Viddsee’s head of content Nikki Loke comments: “Themes from the top ten films highlight local cultures and nuances, while others reflect universal themes of mental health and identity, for example. Overall, I was very impressed with all the elements of storytelling like casting, cinematography, script, supporting the authenticity of these stories.”
The winners of the Viddsee Juree Awards will be announced at a ceremony on Saturday, November 25, at the FDCP Cinematheque Centre Manila. Viddsee will also hold a series of workshops, forums and short film screenings at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde on 24 November, and at the Cinematheque from 24 to 26 November. All these are open to the public.
The initiative kicked off three months ago through an online campaign and offline roadshows in Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao where it received encouraging response from the creative community.
Two top entries will be named Gold and Silver winners. They will win production equipment including a cinema camera sponsored by Blackmagic and a five-day Film Immersion Course in Los Angeles sponsored by the Motion Picture Association.
For the nominees, landing on the shortlist is a prize in itself.
“There are some people who have criticised my work, which made me question my ability as a filmmaker. Being part of this competition made me more confident as a person and a filmmaker, and that I have the chance to be recognized by a bigger audience, that I have a shot in this industry, says Tashana Rivera, director of the film “Companion”.
For Christian Candelaria, director of “In His Island,” being selected is also a tribute to those who helped him make his film. He declares, “I’m humbled and deeply proud to have the privilege of collaborating with such amazing and fine group of people who shared the same passion.”
The jury is composed of Loïc Valceschini, festival programmer of Neuchâtel Int’ Fantastic Film Fest and Locarno’s Semaine de la Critique; Marcus Manh, Vietnamese film producer and founder of YxineFF; and Antoinette Jadaone, Filipino film writer-director of blockbuster hits like “That Thing Called Tadhana and “Love You To The Stars and Back.”
1 – Maybe Aliens
Glenn Barit / Drama / 7’02
Two brothers deal with the sudden loss of a father and an eventual separation with their overseas-Filipino-worker mother. Some things are hard to grasp that’s why they turn to out-of-this-world things for an explanation. This is a film shot entirely with a drone.
WATCH IT HERE: https://www.viddsee.com/video/maybe-aliens/a09nq
2 – Caterwaul
Josel Fajardo / Drama / 7’00
While watching an R -rated movie, two friends share and re-enact their first time.
WATCH IT HERE: https://www.viddsee.com/video/caterwaul/ml2d3
3 – Look Through (Dungaw)
Ralph Quincena / Drama / Thriller / 12’12
One school night, a problematic nursing student named Lea (Dennise Concepcion) struggles to contain her misery at the girls’ restroom after class. As she tries to pull herself together, she is surprised by the presence of a professor (Trechelle Ras) in the same comfort room. She then hurries to leave but her feet were stuck in the ground as she is startled when the professor voices out and questions her deepest secret. Lea, who denyingly answered the professor’s attempts to look through her, finds herself being counseled with her despair. As Lea and the Professor leave the restroom, Lea then realized that there were more secrets in the Nursing Building’s hallowed halls than she has herself, and unexpectedly finds herself being stuck in a traumatic situation.
WATCH IT HERE: https://www.viddsee.com/video/dungaw/fcik5
4 – Mother of Perpetual Help (Inahan Sa Kanunayng Panabang)
Chloe Veloso / Drama / 7’29
Three brothers quarrel over the rights of their ancestral home and the care of their mother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
WATCH IT HERE: https://www.viddsee.com/video/mother-of-perpetual-help/ox8ta
5 – Companion (Kaulayaw)
WATCH IT HERE: https://www.viddsee.com/video/kaulayaw/p157b
6 – Lovely Is Off Air
Rogin Losa / Comedy / 22’24
Lovely is a 23-year-old aspiring radio DJ who remained jobless after her graduation and the failure of her online podcast, but now that FATE knocks on her door with an opportunity for her to be on her dream radio station, she must decide whether to stay in her stagnation or take the opportunity.
WATCH IT HERE: https://www.viddsee.com/video/lovely-is-off-air/x47nz
7 – Home (Nakauwi Na)
Marvin Cabangunay, Jaynus Olaivar / Drama / 19’55
A brave battle against grief, anger, and injustice. “Nakauwi Na” follows Mang Jerry as he finds ways to earn enough money to get his son, a victim of extrajudicial killings, out of the funeral home.
WATCH IT HERE: https://www.viddsee.com/video/nakauwi-na/tos82
8 – Redlights
Christian Lat / Drama, Thriller / 11’57
A retired American tourist, Jimmy in his late 40’s, comes to the Philippines to start over, met by an overly helpful taxi driver Leon, he later agrees to be given a city tour by Leon, who beelines straight to the red light district that leads Jimmy into entrapment with the Police Officer.
WATCH IT HERE: https://www.viddsee.com/video/redlights/no9uz
9 – In His Island (Sa Saíyang Islá)
Christian Candelaria / Drama / 19’58
A small fishing community struggles amidst an oil spill. Meanwhile, part of that community is a prepubescent and cheerful young boy struggling with his identity who finds comfort in his dreams of becoming a mermaid.
WATCH IT HERE: https://www.viddsee.com/video/in-his-island/3jgok
10 – Slingshot (Tirador)
Nathan Bringuer / Comedy / 5’57
Tirador is a short film about a boy who wants to rescue his crush from her bullies.
Viewers can see these films and others eligible in out-of-competition films for free on Viddsee.com.
For more information on these events and the shortlisted films visit https://www.viddsee.com/juree/philippines2017