‘Santa Nena!’ film competes in India

By Seymour Barros Sanchez

TIM Rone Villanueva’s “Santa Nena!” will vie with 43 other entries from 17 countries at the Alpavirama Asian Short and Documentary Film Festival in India from October 23 to 27.

The short film has also been officially selected to compete at the 3rd Slemani International Film Festival in Iraq from October 10 to 16. It is Villanueva’s capstone project at the Digital Filmmaking program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts.

“Santa Nena!” tells the story of a miraculous patron saint (Elora Españo in the titular role) who comes to life at night. One day, while talking to her friend, an angel (Jelson Bay), she received a message from God to look for the boy “with the golden balls” (Ross Pesigan), who will help her bring into the world the new Messiah. Mailes Kanapi, Rolando Inocencio and Martha Comia play the roles of the boy’s mother, father and ex-girlfriend, respectively.

The Alpavirama film festival involves short fiction and documentary films, between five to 30 minutes and directed by a person under 30 years who is a citizen of and a resident of Asia.

The competition is further divided between those living in South Asia, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and those living in other Asian countries, such as the Philippines, Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Malaysia, Iran, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Four major awards – cash prizes and trophies for the Golden and Silver Commas for both fiction and documentary films – will be given out at the end of the Asian Competition. Special mention awards may also be given at the sole discretion of the jury.

The festival is organized by the Film and Video Communication Department of the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India. Alpavirama, which means “comma” in Sanskrit or “a precious pause,” aims to serve as “a brief stretch of time reclaimed for reflection and repose.”


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Seymour Barros Sanchez
Seymour Barros Sanchez is an advocacy filmmaker, communication and film professor, freelance writer, and producer for news and current affairs programs. He is a fellow of the 17th Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Workshop (organized by the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication), 21st Iligan National Writers Workshop(organized by the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology) and 9th Palihang Rogelio Sicat (organized by the UP Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas). He is also a graduate of the 14th Ricky Lee scriptwriting workshop for film and the first Brillante Mendoza film workshop.

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