Posts by Seymour:

    ‘Santa Nena!’ film competes in India

    October 3rd, 2018

    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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    FEU film ‘Aswang’ gets ticket to Short+Sweet Hollywood

    October 3rd, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    A SHORT film from the Far Eastern University earned a ticket to Hollywood after winning People’s Choice Award at the Short+Sweet Manila Gala Finals held last September 26 at the Century City Mall Events Center in Makati.

    Hannah Grace Maur‘s Aswang will represent the Philippines in the international competition together with Ar-Jen Manlapig‘s Ang Unang Araw ng Pasukan, which bagged Best Film, Best Direction and Best Screenplay. The two winners will be showcased along with other selected films at the Marilyn Monroe Theater in Los Angeles, California on October 13.

    Aswang, a final requirement by FEU communication students for their Cinema Production or CNM2 class, tells the story of little Ruben (Alvin Maghanoy) who believes that Lilith (Lyka Dela Cruz), the beautiful lady in their town, is an aswang. His world changes upon knowing about Lilith’s suspicious interest in his family. Rowi Du and Gaye Piccio play Ruben’s parents.

    Written by Marygail Alcantara, Aswang earlier topped the fourth and last heat of Short+Sweet Manila last August. This came after the film won honorable mention at the 30th Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video. It also bagged 3rd Best Film and Best Production Design at the Sinepiyu XI Golden Reel category last May.

    Ang Unang Araw ng Pasukan, on the other hand, is about a 10-year-old boy from a poor family who goes to school on the first day of classes in what seems to be a very enticing day for him. The five-minute film also won the grand prize at the first Sinekabataan last year.

    Or Kan Tor’s Little Thing won Best Cinematography while the Best Actor and Best Actress trophies went to Zyren Leigh Luansing of Maghihintay, Tonton (Alvin Baloloy) and Angeli Bayani of Baon (Noel Escondo), respectively.

    Another FEU short film, Taya by GCay Reyes, also made it to the finals. Written by Lily Gomes, Taya is about Magda, a Filipina who comes home from Japan. Caught between her past and her present, she struggles to play around with her fate.

    The other finalists are Me Too by Ayeshah Rose, Just Fine by Neil Sebastian, Mr. Whistle by Arjanmar Rebeta, Gawilan by Kelsy Lua, The Return by Luidmilla Komrakova and Pikit by Ivan Cortez.

    Short+Sweet, the biggest 10-minute performing arts festival in the world with events in more than 30 cities across 12 countries, presented the event in partnership with The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute-New York, Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, Casting Network, Pineapple Lab, Asia Pacific Film Institute and Century City Makati.


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    Benilde films bag 5 awards in ComVal fest

    September 30th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    BELLE Kay Loyola’s Dalit (Poison) and Leyvie Anne Santos’ In-Tay won a total of five awards at the 6th Nabunturan Independent Film Exhibition in Compostela Valley, Mindanao last September 21.

    Dalit and In-Tay are capstone projects from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts. Loyola graduated from the Digital Filmmaking program last year while Santos is set to march at the Benilde commencement exercises on October 6.

    Dalit, which tells the story of a man with special healing abilities who uses his power for his own benefit, got Best Production Design for Noel Amorcillo, Jr. and Best Cinematography for Vic Ryan Julius Ong.

    Meanwhile, In-Tay, which is about a daughter raised by lesbian parents, won Best Actress (Fe Saligumba), Best Song (Korona by Mark Robina Ortiguero) and Best Acting Ensemble (Saligumba and her co-stars, child performer Caith Annika Angkay, Ruth Lopez-Dee, Jessica Marco and Reggie Caranyagan) in a triple tie with Rose by Jessa Valer-Sanchez and Yano at ang Itim na Watawat by Arnie Valdez.

    Both films were also nominated for the Gimadyawan Award for Best Film and Best Director. Dalit also received nominations for Best Sound (Louie Dormido, Dan Alayon and Aica Guevarra) and Best Actor (John Arceo) while In-Tay got another Best Actress nod for Angkay and Best Screenplay nomination for Santos.

    “It’s a great honor to be part of this festival knowing the number of wins and nominations Dalit got. I would like to thank Nabifilmex for recognizing my thesis film,” Loyola shared.

    Santos, on the other hand, dedicated her film’s victory mainly to her parents. “My film In-Tay has always been so close to my heart. However, in the process of turning the screenplay into a film, it became a film that is not just for my parents but for everyone who dreams to have a complete family. It is a film that talks about honesty, family, love and contentment.”

    “Honestly, I came to a point that I doubted the capacity of my own film not realizing that I, together with all the people behind it, poured their hearts to In-Tay ever since I started writing it. I am thankful to Nabifilmex for opening such a great opportunity for filmmakers to explore our capacities and express our hearts,” she added.

    Nabifilmex, recognized as one of the leading regional film festivals, is supported by National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Film Development Council of the Philippines.



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    FEU alumni’s short film wins Audience Choice Award

    September 27th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    ENA Legaspi’s “Alas-Nuebe ng Tanghali” brought home the Sine Kabataan Audience Choice Award during the 2018 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Gabi ng Pasasalamat held last August 19 at Whitespace, Don Chino Roces Ave. Ext., Makati City.

    The short film, which was screened along with Jason Paul Laxamana’s “Bakwit Boys” during the PPP week-long run from August 15 to 21 in cinemas nationwide, focuses on three children who imagined the nicest toys and tastiest food in their house only to find out that everything is not what they seem to be.

    “The film is a short and honest narrative of how life is never perfect as what our three youth characters would dream of,” said Legaspi, who directed, co-wrote and co-edited the film.

    An alumna of the Far Eastern University Department of Communication and the FEU Film Society, Legaspi got the support of previous members of her Square Up Productions team when she was still in college — director of photography and co-editor Prince Viterbo, production manager, co-writer, and co-production designer Mary Lourdes Membrebe, and assistant director, production designer and graphic designer Peej Tapel.

    “Alas-Nuebe ng Tanghali” was shown again at the Cinematheque Centre Manila last September 19 along with “Anonymous Student Vlog” by fellow FEU Filmsoc alumnus Christian Babista, Best Short Film winner “Bato Bato Pik” by Lorys Plaza and AJ Sanque, Special Jury Prize awardee “Koleksyong Pa­malo” by Len Frago, “Masaya Ako” by Best Director winners Daniel Delgado and Tiara Angelica Nicolas, #GlobeOfGood awardee “Runner” by Levi Jun Miscala, “Bahay-bahayan” by Brian Spencer Reyes, and “Isang Tula Para Sa Nawawala” by Rod Singh.

    Sine Kabataan, one of the pet programs of then National Youth Commission Chair Ice Seguerra with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, was launched last year in order to give a platform to all aspiring young filmmakers and to provide an opportunity to showcase their talents.


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    All set for “Ginugunita Kita” at FEU Auditorium today

    September 26th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    IT IS all systems go for Ginugunita Kita, a performance art featuring Maningning Miclat’s poems and award-winning composer Jesse Lucas’ all-original music.

    Ginugunita Kita will be presented by the Maningning Miclat Art Foundation Inc., in cooperation with District Gallery-Artist Playground and the Far Eastern University President’s Committee on Culture, on September 26, Wednesday, 6 p.m. at the historic, newly-opened FEU Auditorium along Nicanor Reyes St. (formerly Morayta) in Sampaloc, Manila. This will be held in line with the foundation’s 18th anniversary celebration.

    Maningning Miclat. Photo ©

    Maningning Miclat was a poet, fictionist and essayist in English, Filipino and Chinese as well as a painter in the Western and Chinese genre. She was a Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate from the University of the Philippines-Diliman and a fellow of the UP National Writer’s Workshop, Silliman Writer’s Workshop and Rio Alma Poetry Clinic. Her Chinese poems made her one of the top-rated women poets in Chinese in the world.

    Miclat’s eleven poems, Ginugunita Kita, Tawag, Anino, Panibugho, Duet (nina Rizal at Bracken), Kulay sa Bagyo, Ang Naliligaw, Shi Bu Shi, A Stare, Verse #2 and To Catch a Second and Turn it to Forever, are published in her trilingual book of poetry Voice from the Underworld (Anvil Publishing, 2000).

    Jesse Lucas said the inspiration came easily to him after reading the book, which was a National Book Award finalist for poetry in 2001.

    “The poems of Maningning Miclat are almost melodious that I can hear the music through the poetic images. It spoke and at the same time sang to me poignant thoughts about life, pain and love…. the experience in writing the music was really meditative and cathartic at the same time. It feels like I have discovered a new language, a language that speaks directly to the soul. These are the foundation of Ginugunita Kita’s music.”

    The composer, who considers Ryan Cayabyab and Chino Toledo as his mentors, won awards from FAMAS, which catapulted him to the Hall of Fame, and from Gawad Urian, Young Critics Circle, Gawad Tanglaw and Aliw Awards. In 2005, he won Best Music at the Screamfest International Film Festival in Los Angeles, USA for the film Sigaw.

    The performance art, directed by film and theater actor Roeder Camañag, will feature soloist Banaue Miclat-Janssen and master cellist Renato Lucas, together with singer Al Gatmaitan and Angela Castro of the FEU Dance Company, with live interactive visual art of Nasser Lubay.

    Roeder Camañag describes the show as “all about poetry and the creation of emotive response. From the poetry of the life of a poet to the poetry of interpreting the poems of someone you love and the poetry of putting the right music to amplify the auditory experience of powerful images embedded in a poem.”

    Banaue Miclat-Janssen is currently the Artistic Director of Dulaang UP and the Executive Director of the Maningning Miclat Art Foundation. She sings the opera, acts and dances on stage and hones young artists as professor of theatre arts at UP Diliman’s Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts.

    One of the finest cellists in the country, Renato Lucas has been the principal soloist of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra for three decades. He has performed as soloist with the Manila Symphony Orchestra, Manila Chamber Orchestra and UST Symphony Orchestra, as well as the CCP’s Filipino Artist Series, Pundaquit Arts Festival, Las Piňas Bamboo Organ Festival, and Maningning Poetry Awards.

    Al Gatmaitan is an opera singer, theater actor, and three-time Aliw Awardee for Best Performer of the Year. He can also be seen on film, television, and online advertisements.

    Angela Castro is one of the principal dancers of the FEU Dance Company headed by Edward Malagkit. Her performance has brought her to various competitions that FEU has joined in and outside the country.

    Ginugunita Kita had its gala world premiere at the UP Aldaba Hall in May 2015. It was also performed at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio V. Tolentino in September 2015 to coincide with the 7th Maningning Miclat Poetry Awards.

    The show garnered the 2015 Aliw Awards for Best Performance in a New Concept Production for Miclat-Janssen and was nominated Best Director in the same category for Camañag.

    Ginugunita Kita is presented in cooperation with Frontrow Entertainment and Ruben & Elizabeth Vedar. For ticket inquiries, please contact the Maningning Miclat Art Foundation c/o Carmela at 0999-8050681 or call Ticketworld at 891-9999.



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    4 FEU films to compete at first ORMIN IFF

    September 24th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    FOUR short films from the Far Eastern University Department of Communication will vie in the student division of the inaugural Oriental Mindoro International Film Festival from November 15 to 17.

    Trisha Marie Antonio’s “Dama” (Checkers), Angela Aguila’s and One Carlo Diaz’s “Kumari,” Juan Pablo Pineda III’s “Pua Iyam” (Coming Out) and Daryll Jameson Apaga’s “Retrospektib” (Retrospective) will contend against seven other short films from the Philippines and other countries.

    “How to Get to the Cinema” by Alexey Protsenko (Russia), “Roc’h” by Guillaume Crampette and Julie Rembauville (France), “Newton’s Fourth Law” by Mehrshad Kheradmandi (Iran), “Laura” by Guilherme Franco Pinto (Brazil) and Filipino entries “Ang High School at Si Olive” by Keana Transporte from the University of the Philippines Film Institute, and “Santa Nena!” by Tim Rone Villanueva and “Ang Mga Turo ng Gabi” (The Lessons of the Night) by Christian Rae Villanueva, both from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, complete the list of short film finalists.

    “Joining this contest means a lot to me since Oriental Mindoro is my Mom’s birthplace so the possibility of being given the privilege to visit the place after a decade away from it thrills me. Of course, the fact that our film has been shortlisted is another thing, more like an honor to my whole group and to the people behind it,” Antonio shared.

    “Dama,” which tells the story of a father (Rolando Inocencio) who adopts a stray child (Kyle Kaizer Almenanza) to cope with his son’s death in a crisis-ridden world, earlier bagged Best Production Design and Best Actor for Inocencio at the 15th annual DLSU Indie Un-Film Festival. It also competed at the 30th Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video.

    Meanwhile, Diaz, who also co-wrote “Kumari” with Aguila, said that it’s a huge honor to have it shown on a bigger platform. “It’s done with so much passion and hard work, so for every opportunity it gets outside university, I’d always feel very fulfilled and proud.”

    In “Kumari,” Anna (Arjelyn Apolonio) comes from a family of ballet dancers and her mother (Fe Saligumba) is her avid supporter. Caught in the middle of tradition, fear, and love, she makes the biggest choice that she will ever make in her life. The film previously competed at the 29th Gawad Alternatibo and 9th Largabista Film Festival in Tacloban, Leyte.

    “Proud kami ng aking team na mapasama ang Retrospektib sa inaugural ORMIN IFF. Masaya kami sa opportunity na ito na maihayag ang aming kwento,” Apaga said. His film “Retrospektib” won at the Active Vista Short Film Competition and vied at the 29th Gawad Alternatibo and first ASEANnale Film and Multimedia Competition and Exhibition.

    In the satirical film, three activists try to escape the atrocities of the military regime at the height of Martial Law. Jay (Julio Garcia) persuades Boyong (David Paul Farma) and Ramon (Renz Silverio) to travel in time with the help of a faith healer, Mang Jun (Kuya Bata). Little do they know that they are in for a big surprise when they reach the present.

    Finally, in “Pua Iyam” (Coming Out), a Filipino-Chinese student (Rowi Du) discovers his true identity and feelings for his childhood friend (Raphael Cruz). It won at FEU’s Sinepiyu 2017, CineSB 7: The Main Installment, UP Piling Obrang Vidyo XIV, CineMapúa 2018 and 9th Largabista, and was cited at the first Palawan International Film Festival.

    The film was also shown as part of the first CineMakulay Film Festival and the Diwa Filipino Film Showcase of Seattle, and competed at the sixth Nabunturan Indie Film Exhibition (Nabifilmex), 29th Gawad Alternatibo, 14th DLSU IUF and ShanghaiPRIDE Film Festival in China.

    The first ORMIN IFF, which will feature ecological, sociological, and anthropological films that are mainly focused on indigenous people and cultures, gender equality, and issues on environmental awareness, is being organized by Dr. Carl Balita Productions and the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education.


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    PELÍCULA Spanish Film Festival unreels from October 4 to 20

    September 22nd, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    THE 17th PELÍCULA Spanish Film Festival will bring the best of Spanish and Latin American cinema at Greenbelt 3, UP Diliman and Instituto Cervantes Intramuros from October 4 to 20.

    PELÍCULA has been an annual attraction at Greenbelt since it was first held by Instituto Cervantes in 2002. Following that tradition, the first leg of the festival will be held at Greenbelt 3 Cinemas from October 4 to 14, showing the best of contemporary Spanish cinema to the local audiences of Makati and the rest of Metro Manila.

    The event, presented by Instituto Cervantes, the embassy of Spain-AECID, TurEspaña, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines, will screen more than 20 films.

    The selected films range from romance (“Los Amores Cobardes”) and comedy (“Campeones,” “La Llamada,” “Mi Querida Cofradía”) to documentary (“Dancing Beethoven”), adventure (“Oro”), children animation (“Atrapa la Bandera”), adult animation (“Memorias de un Hombre en Pijama”) and drama (“La Novia”).

    Aside from these Spanish films of different genres, PELÍCULA 2018 will also highlight Latin American cinema with films from Argentina (“The Summit”) and Cuba (“Últimos Días en La Habana”).

    PELÍCULA, in collaboration with Cut Print Productions, will also feature “Encuentros en el Cine: Shorts from the Philippines and Spain” on October 12. The program will screen ten recent Spanish short films and will also premiere two Filipino shorts — “The Gathering” by Arvin “Kadiboy” Belarmino and “Our Love Story” by actor and first-time director Xian Lim.

    In addition, the film festival will also pay tribute to the Swedish master filmmaker Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007) in the year of his birth centennial. In collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden and the UP Film Center, PELíCULA will present the special section “Bergman in Spain,” showing two of Bergman’s films (“Wild Strawberries” and “Persona”), plus two Spanish films influenced by the Swedish maestro’s notion of cinema – Carlos Saura’s “Cría Cuervos” and Pedro Almodóvar’s “Tacones Lejanos” (High Heels).

    Last but not the least, film buffs should not miss the Audience Choice Award that happens in every edition of PELÍCULA. During the festival, viewers will be given stubs with which they can rate the movies they have seen.

    For every five movies, members of the audience will qualify to join the raffle where they will get a chance to win a round-trip ticket to Spain. The winning entry will again be screened on October 14, 7 p.m., at Greenbelt 3 and at Instituto Cervantes Intramuros on October 20.

    PELÍCULA is also made possible by Ayala Cinemas, Fundador, Turkish Airlines, and Philippine Transmarine Carriers, in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden, Ayala Museum, UP Film Institute Picasso Hotel, Intramuros Administration, ICAA, and Cut It Productions.

    For the schedule and more information on the festival, visit the Instituto Cervantes Facebook page or check out its website.


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    Benilde docu vies for La Union filmfest prize in October

    September 20th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    A DOCUMENTARY from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde will compete in the open category of the Pagwanawanan Festival short film competition next month at PUÓN/Alfredo F. Tadiar Library along Ortega Highway in San Fernando City, La Union.

    “Househusband,” directed by James Garcia and Luigi Macalintal, which will be shown on October 5 and 7, follows the life of Oliver Siao, a 49-year-old father who breaks the norms and gender stereotypes by choosing not to become the breadwinner in his family and letting his wife work abroad. Their film won the Best Documentary at Sinepiyu XI, an annual intercollegiate film competition organized by the Far Eastern University Film Society and the FEU President’s Committee on Culture.

    “I wasn’t expecting that it would be accepted in film festivals. First was in SinePiyu XI, and now in Pagwanawanan,” Garcia shared. He and Macalintal are set to graduate from the Digital Filmmaking Program of the DLS-CSB School of Design and Arts on October 6.

    “Househusband” will contend against John Joseph Buenaventura’s “Alt,” Kyle Jumayne Francisco’s “Whereabouts,” Maria Isabel Jose’s “Pantun,” Khurshid Kalabud, Jr.’s “Mountain to Cry For,” John Marco Pitlo’s “Sad Boys Club” and Arjanmar Rebeta’s “Manoy Taghoy.”

    Meanwhile, “due to the many good film submissions that the festival received this year,” the organizers have decided to add a student category. The selected films are “Halal” (Cebu)by Dahren Tagtag, “Layag” (Pangasinan) by Romsky Chelle Dela Cruz, “Maling Akala” by Elvin Jay Macanlalay and Arvileen Yongzon, “Marangle” (Pampanga) by Angeline Tabilog and “Si Kokak at Ako” (La Union) by Winstone Arradaza, Vince Basa and Ralph Santos.

    Pagwanawanan is organized by the La Union Conventions and Visitors Bureau and United Artists of La Union, in partnership with the Department of Tourism, La Union Soul, Local Government of San Juan, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Provincial Government of La Union and San Juan Film Camp.

    (Read More:


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    16 school teams train, pitch S&T projects for innovation contest

    September 18th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    imakewemake group photo

    SIXTEEN senior high school groups made it to the next round of the 2nd imake.wemake: create. innovate. collaborate project, which is being organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute in partnership with Acer Philippines.

    The competing teams are Centro Escolar University-Manila, College of St. John-Roxas, De La Salle University Integrated School-Laguna, Dr. Yanga’s Colleges, Grace Christian College, Masbate National Comprehensive High School, New Era University, Philippine Science High School-Cagayan Valley, PSHS-CAR, PSHS-Central Luzon, PSHS-Central Visayas, PSHS-Eastern Visayas, Rizal National Science High School, Santa Rosa Science and Technology High School, Taguig Science High School, and Technological Institute of the Philippines-Cubao.

    Forty-eight students and 16 teachers from the said schools attended a free training and project pitching activity from September 3 to 7 at the Microtel UP Technohub in Quezon City. They were given hands-on training on Arduino digital and analog system and Acer Cloudprofessor, the platform that will power all imake.wemake projects. Each team also received free Acer Cloudprofessor kit, sensor expansion pack, and toolbox.

    The five-day event, which was organized by DOST-SEI and facilitated by experts from ThinkLab Philippines and Acer Taiwan’s Kevin Chuang, featured promising student inventions like anti-overloading device, low-cost GPS tracking for wildlife conservation, online waste management integration, among others.

    DOST-SEI Director Josette Biyo, who graced the event with Acer PH General Manager Manuel Wong, said that “the real winners here are Filipinos who will benefit from their inventions” as the competition may soon produce answers to some of the country’s pressing issues.

    “Our young inventors proved that they understand the needs of the people and know how they can address such. We’re more than happy to provide them a venue for their technical skills and creativity in imake.wemake,” Biyo added.

    The panel of judges is composed of Dr. Nestor Tiglao and Engr. Percival Magpantay from the UP Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute, Engr. Carlos Matti Oppus from the Ateneo de Manila University, and Acer PH Business Development Manager Alexis de Guzman. They selected the finalists from 65 submitted proposals based on project viability and potential to address important societal and community issues.

    The participants are given three months to build and test their projects. They will convene again in December for the final presentation and awarding ceremony where the top three teams will win a cash prize of PhP50,000 and a Youth Innovation Prize each.


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    3 Benilde films vie for Viddsee Juree PH awards

    September 17th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    THREE thesis film projects from the Digital Filmmaking program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts have been officially selected as finalists to the second Viddsee Juree Philippines, which is part of the online video platform’s initiative to celebrate and support filmmakers and film communities in Asia.

    The Lessons of the Night (“Ang Mga Turo ng Gabi”) by Christian Rae Villanueva, As Time Flows By (“Sa Pag-agos ng Panahon”) by Annika Yañez, and Stand Up (“Tayo”) by Ron Dulatre and Elaiza Rivera, were chosen from more than a hundred short fiction, documentary and animated films submitted to the competition.

    The Lessons of the Night focuses on Juanita (Sheenly Vee Gener), a teacher battling depression, who teams up with her delinquent student (Dylan Ray Talon) to retrieve her baby. The film earlier bagged Best Editing and Best Performance at Pelikultura: The CALABARZON Film Festival and was officially selected to the Diwa Filipino Film Showcase of Seattle, the inaugural Oriental Mindoro International Film Festival and Kaohsiung Film Festival in Taiwan this year.

    Meanwhile, As Time Flows By tells the story of Trish (Chase Salazar), a lesbian who is having a hard time coming to terms with her traditional Filipino father (Francis Mata). It previously won Best Feature, Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Actor and Best Soundtrack at the 15th De La Salle University Indie Un-Film Festival annual intercollegiate digital film competition.

    In Stand Up, Reg (Karl Medina), a socially awkward comedian gets help from Alyssa (Veronica Reyes), his “special friend.” However, when he is supposed to give the performance of his life, Alyssa suddenly vanishes.

    “We’re glad and overwhelmed that our film was selected to compete here,” Rivera, who was part of group behind the 2016 Sinenanay Film Festival award-winning film “Uyayi,” said. She and Dulatre teamed up with her “Uyayi” groupmate Joice Bay to work on their thesis.

    “We’re happy that we can show our film to the world and we wanted it to compete immediately to see what our film could do outside of Benilde,” Dulatre shared. His other comedy short film Family Drama (“Pamilyang Drama”) recently competed at Sinepiyu.

    “It’s my first time to know about this online video platform that caters to a larger audience. I’m happy Viddsee exists,” said director/writer Yañez, who partnered with cinematographer/editor Janna Lejano for her “very personal” capstone project.

    “The ultimate reason why we submitted to Viddsee is because of the sweet production grant,” Yañez revealed. “Right now, it’s our only chance to bring to life another short film. It would be a dream to create and share another short story,” she added.

    The Gold and Silver winners will get film production grants worth PHP160,000 and PhP80,000, respectively, plus audio equipment provided by RØDE Microphones. The Gold winner will also be offered a five-day Global Film & TV Program course in Los Angeles sponsored by the Motion Picture Association.

    Similarly, Villanueva was also motivated to join because of the prizes.

    “They will give a production grant for the winners, and as a young filmmaker, it’s everything for us because it’s hard to find funding for a short film,” he added.

    Villanueva also wanted to share his film to a wider audience “because all films are meant to be seen. It has been a year since our pre-production stage. So, I want to give it to the world now.”

    The other finalists are Ah by AJ Virtuz, Divine XY by Ruel Lozendo, Ginhawa by Christian Lat, Igme and Gani by Ma. Jhayle Ann Marie Meer, In the Name of the Father by Patrick Rodil, Susing by Bea Felix and You are the Star to My Night by Brian Spencer Reyes.

    All ten finalists, which generally deal with love, relationships, morality and sexuality, will receive a 12-month Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps subscription worth US$560 each.

    The top two entries will be decided by a panel of judges made up of award-winning Filipino actress Cherie Gil, acclaimed Malaysian filmmaker and writer Amir Muhammad and Tribeca Film Festival shorts programmer Ben Thompson.

    Finalists and out-of-competition films can also vie for the Audience Choice Award, which will be based on the most number of ‘likes’ it receives on The winning director for this award will take home an Apple TV.

    Viddsee will hold a three-day program, featuring talks and public screenings, at the DLS-CSB SDA Cinema from September 27 to 29. Winners will be announced during the awarding ceremony scheduled on September 29 at the Cinematheque Centre Manila.


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    UE CFAD films make it to Pagwanawanan, Nabifilmex festivals

    September 14th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    AN experimental video and an animated film from the University of the East College of Fine Arts, Architecture and Design will compete under the student category of the Pagwanawanan Film Festival on September 21 at PUÓN/Alfredo F. Tadiar Library along Ortega Highway in San Fernando, La Union.

    Marangle by Angeline Tabilog and Maling Akala: Ang Misteryo ng Unamuno by Elvin Jay Macanlalay and Arvileen Yongzon will vie for the top prize along with three other student films, Halal by Dahren Tagtag (Cebu), Layag by Romsky Chelle Dela Cruz (Pangasinan) and Si Kokak at Ako by Ralph Santos, Vince Basa and Winstone Arradaza (La Union).

    The nine-minute film Marangle, which was entirely shot in San Simon, Pampanga, tackles the life of a farmer who risks everything, including his land, just to have an opportunity to work abroad and provide a better future for his family.

    A final project for the video production subject under Prof. Richard Legaspi, it competed with other experimental films at Sinepiyu 2017 and was exhibited as part of the Cinebalu program of the 17th Kota Kinabalu International Film Festival in Borneo. It also competed at the 28th Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video or Gawad Alternatibo independent film and video festival of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

    Tabilog got the support of director of photography Isabelo Bucao, assistant director Rhuva Patiag, writer Gerard Halabaso, production manager Aldric Matthew Manapat, production designer Chelsea Mae Natividad, costume designer Erica Balaan and production staff Cyrill Mustera, Jayson Torres and Kent Santos.

    Maling Akala, on the other hand, takes on a legendary Philippine mythical creature and a mischievous child as they journey through the woods after a calamity hit their village, Unamuno. Their paths cross and they go on an adventure together. Produced by Piko Productions as a requirement for Prof. Ronwell Bacani’s class, the five-minute animated film was selected as one of the finalists at the Animahenasyon: 11th Philippine Animation Festival, Gawad Alternatibo in 2017 and Recoletos Film Festival last February.

    Meanwhile, Maling Akala will also be exhibited as part of the open-air film screenings at Nabifilmex 6 in Compostela Valley along with two UE CFAD documentaries, How the Beasts Got Hyped by Macanlalay, Bryan Marticio and Mars Sanchez and Yero (Corrugated Galvanized Iron) by John Lanbert Rafols, John Nico Nunag and Jay Condeno. They will be shown along with other selected entries at the Nabunturan Municipal Plaza from September 19 to 21.

    How the Beasts Got Hyped focuses on the daily routine of hypebeasts, which share a mutual interest for street-style fashion, providing a sense of community for its followers, while Yero shows the life and daily struggles of two factory workers, Armando Bucog and Rowil Galicia, inside a corrugated iron factory. Both documentaries, which were also produced under Legaspi’s video production class like Marangle, previously competed this year at the 30th Gawad Alternatibo.


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    FEU Theater Guild restages “Ang Pinakamakisig sa mga Nalunod sa Buong Daigdig”

    September 12th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    THIS October, the Far Eastern University Theater Guild, in partnership with the FEU President’s Committee on Culture, will once again bring to life Ang Pinakamakisig sa mga Nalunod sa Buong Daigdig, one of the organization’s most successful plays, at the PCC Center Studio.

    The musical production, which will close the theater company’s 84th season, is based on Teresa Lorena Jopson’s adaptation of the short story “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” by Gabriel García Márquez.

    It will be helmed by FTG Artistic Director Dudz Teraña.

    This is the second time for Teraña, who is also a senior member, director and actor of the Philippine Educational Theater Association, to direct the musical and the third time for him and FTG to collaborate with Jopson on her adaptation of a García Márquez’s work.

    In 2014, the group staged Makikitawag Lang Ako, Jopson’s take on the chapter I Only Came to Use the Phone from the book Strange Pilgrims by the great Colombian writer.

    Ang Pinakamakisig sa mga Nalunod sa Buong Daigdig, which FTG first staged last year, will have the production’s original cast teaming up with the organization’s new members to take the audience once again to a musical journey to a small, remote town by the ocean.

    In an island where life is stagnant and stale, the body of a drowned man washes ashore. As the people of the town try to discover his identity, the barren island will soon change. How would they react when they find out that he is taller, stronger and more handsome than any man they have ever seen? How would this creature change their lives forever?

    The musical production will run from October 3-6, 10-13, 17-20 and 24-27, 6:30 p.m., at the PCC Center Studio on the ground floor of FEU-Manila Technology Building. Tickets are at PhP100 for members of the FEU community (with valid ID) and PhP200 pesos for regular viewers.

    The FEU Theater Guild is a non-profit university-based organization that has built a reputation on contemporary plays, quality productions and adventurous live theater.

    For inquiries, contact FTG at 09970765168 or at 736-4897 c/o PCC, or visit its social media accounts, and Twitter @feutheaterguild.


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    Mexican films based on classic literature at Instituto Cervantes Intramuros

    September 4th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    INSTITUTO Cervantes and the Embassy of Mexico invite the public to enjoy the richness and variety of Mexican cinema through La Literatura en el Cine Mexicano, Mexican films based on classic literary works, every Saturday this September, 6 p.m., at the new Intramuros branch of the Spanish cultural center, located at Casa Azul, Plaza San Luis Complex.

    The film series features classics from the Golden Period of Mexican Cinema, such as La Rosa Blanca (1961), Los Albañiles (1976), Doña Bárbara (1943), Santa (1931) and Pedro Páramo (1967).

    The cycle kicked off last September 1 with the screening of La Rosa Blanca, which tells the story of a peasant called Jacinto Yañez, who owns a ranch in the middle of the land that foreign oil companies have acquired for their exploitation. An oil company representative offers Jacinto a huge amount of money for his land but he declines, triggering a series of problems for his family.

    Directed by Roberto Gavaldón and based on B. Traven‘s novel, the film dramatizes the struggle for control over Mexico’s oil resources in the 1920s.

    On September 8, the program continues with Los Albañiles, which was helmed by Jorge Fons from the novel by Vicente Leñero. The film explores several cases of widespread corruption and neglect linked to some unsolved crimes. When a watchman is found murdered on a construction side, the investigation swiftly turns from the criminal to the political aspects surrounding the building which might have brought the situation about.

    The Mexican romantic drama Doña Bárbara will be shown on September 15. Directed by Fernando de Fuentes and based on screenwriter and Venezuelan author Rómulo Gallegos‘ classic novel, the film zeroes in on the encounter between the titular character and a young lawyer. Doña Bárbara is a woman who, after a dark past, becomes a powerful and wealthy landowner. She takes out her hostilities on the weaker male sex in her country.

    Meanwhile, a young man returns after studying law in Caracas to recover and take charge of his property in the Venezuelan plain controlled by his ruthless, seductive and mysterious neighbor Doña Bárbara. She falls in love with him and tries to make him hers at any cost.

    On September 22, the film cycle will screen Santa directed by Antonio Moreno from the novel by Federico Gamboa. The melodrama, considered to be Mexico’s first talking picture, tells the story of a beautiful, innocent Mexican girl who lives happily with her family until a soldier, Marcelino, arrives in her hometown, seduces and abandons her. The young woman, who got married to the soldier against her family’s wishes, suffers from the shame of her wrong decisions and turns to a life of prostitution, becoming the most popular working girl.

    The program concludes on September 29 with the drama Pedro Páramo. Directed by Carlos Velo and based on Juan Rulfo‘s famous novel, it chronicles the journey of a young man named Juan Preciado in search of his father, Pedro Páramo. Juan arrives at Comala to demand what is rightfully his, due to a promise given to his mother on her death bed.

    The film series is presented by the Embassy of Mexico and Instituto Cervantes, in collaboration with Intramuros Administration, and with the support of Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, Casa Noble International and Manila Bambi Co. The embassy and its partners hope the audience will discover and understand the vast complexity of Mexican culture, looking through the window of these films to see what Mexico is and where it comes from.

    All films are in Spanish with English subtitles. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit the Instituto Cervantes’ website ( or Instituto Cervantes Facebook page (


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    Award-winning Pinoy film “Santa Nena!” competes in Iraq

    August 29th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    AN award-winning short film from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts has been officially selected to compete at the 3rd Slemani International Film Festival in Iraq from October 10 to 16.

    Tim Rone Villanueva’s “Santa Nena!” follows fellow Benildean filmmaker Shallah Montero’s “Papa’s Shadows,” which represented the Philippines at the Slemani IFF’s international short film category last year.

    “Santa Nena!” tells the story of a miraculous patron saint (Elora Españo in the titular role) who springs to life at night. One day, while talking to her friend, an angel (Jelson Bay), she received a message from God. She has to be the child-bearer for the second coming of the Messiah on earth with Manuel (Ross Pesigan), “the boy with the golden balls.”

    Fellow thespians Mailes Kanapi, Rolando Inocencio and Martha Comia play supporting characters.

    Villanueva, who hails from Kawit, Cavite, said he was inspired by Santa Maria Magdalena of Kawit Church, or more popularly known as Santa Nena to Kawiteños, in coming up with the short film.

    “In Philippine culture, having devotion to a saint or patron is a huge part of it. Most people believe in the miracles of different patrons of the church to accommodate their request. But what if the situation turns around and saints were to ask people a favor? Will the people grant a saint’s request? This film challenges what happens if you reverse the situation of men and saints,” the young filmmaker explained.

    The black comedy earlier won several accolades such as Best Short Film (Student Category), CineFilipino Film Festival 2018; Best Director and Best Production Design (Student Category), Pelikultura 2018: The CALABARZON Film Festival; Honorable Mention (Short Feature Category), 29th Gawad CCP Independent Film and Video Festival; Gold Picture Prize, Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Performance for Españo and Technical Excellence awards (Maningning Category), CineSB7 Film Festival; Best Narrative Short Film, Best Director, Best Script and Best Actor for Pesigan, Ateneo Video Open 2017; and Best Narrative, Best Performance and Best Production Design (Intercollegiate Category), Sinepiyu XI.

    “Santa Nena!” was also screened last July 5 at the DLS-CSB SDA Cinema as part of the One La Salle Film Festival. Last year, it figured prominently in two film events in Mindanao — competing at the Philippine shorts competition of the fifth Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival in General Santos City and being part of the official selection of Cinema Rehiyon 9 in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley.

    Villanueva’s capstone project under the Digital Filmmaking program will slug it out with 19 other similarly notable short films from Afghanistan, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Estonia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, Palestine, Spain and Turkey.

    Other entries vying for Best International Short Film, Jury Award and Audience Award in Iraq are Nathan Vaillant’s “Chimere,” Rakan Mayasi’s “Bonboné,” Joan Vives Lozano’s “El Escarabajo al Final de la Calle” (The Beetle At The End Of The Street), Jaume Miranda’s “Coplillas por Bombay,” Helen Takkin’s “Elo,” Maria Laura Moraci’s “Eyes,” Valentina Korovnikova’s “Heels Hunter,” Anggi Andreansyah’s “Kembang Latar” (Harlot), Kasim Ördek’s “Kerata,” Aleix Masferrer López’s “La Otra,” Isabella Freilinger’s and Tina Hüther’s “Water Wings,” Alicia Albares’ “Mothers of Luna,” Steffen Geypens’s “Silent Campine,” Chabname Zariab’s “The Camel Boy,” Rafael Camara’s “The Bridge,” Alice von Gwinner’s “There is a Salad Standing Between Us,” Angel Jaquem’s “Cartas Ciegas” (Blind Letters), Ascar Nurakun’s “In Love With Cinema” and Senne Dehandschutter’s “Lost in the Middle.”

    The annual festival will also have award-winning filmmakers Majid Majidi, Jafar Panahi, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Cannes 2018 Palme d’Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda fielding their recent works “Beyond The Clouds,” “3 Faces,” “The Wild Pear Tree” and “Shoplifters,” respectively, to compete against ten other full-length entries in the international feature film category.


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    UE CFAD faculty holds Folium portfolio exhibition

    August 22nd, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    THE University of the East College of Fine Arts, Architecture and Design recently opened the Folium Quadrennial Exhibit: Revisiting the CFAD Mentors’ Portfolio at UE Caloocan in celebration of the college’s 54 years of being one of the oldest and leading design and art schools and one of the currently emerging architecture institutions in the country.

    The event was graced and officially opened last August 3 by University Chancellor for UE Caloocan Dr. Zosimo M. Battad, UE CFAD Dean Celino B. Santiago, and other deans and administrative officers of the different colleges and departments of the university.

    Spearheaded by the UE CFAD Academic Guild led by Asst. Prof. Ronwell Jason L. Bacani and the Folium exhibition committee with award-winning filmmaker Richard S. Legaspi as chair, interior designer Pamela Leila S. Galera as co-chair and Ar. Jan Michael H. de Olazo as secretary, the exhibition also kicked off the college’s 55th founding anniversary celebration for next year.

    Fifteen faculty members, namely Bacani, Legaspi, Galera, de Olazo, Ar. Joseph Alcoran, Ar. Art Barroca, Ar. Arnold de Vera, Prof. Fe Evangelio, Ar. Abelardo Firmeza, Ar. Melanie Gime, Engr. Jemuel Jao, Ar. Michel Landicho, Ar. Glenn Openiano, Ar. Janice Echiverri-Quintano, and Prof. Kristoffer Tolentino together with College Sec. Daniel Dennis J. Lim and Dean Santiago showcased their profiles and portfolios to the UE community.

    It showed what UE CFAD has, from its administrative officers to its faculty, proving that they are not just academicians, but also active practitioners of their respective fields and professions. The exhibit included their works from here and abroad.

    Another interesting feature of Folium is the #3Things which gives additional information on each faculty member’s personal information, hobbies, collections and life outside the university. Who would have thought that one of them was supposed to be part of the group of boy scouts who perished in a historic plane crash? Or that some of them were also stage actors and musicians?

    It is also a welcome break for students to see the lighter side of their professors, some of whom have a huge collection of Lego, Kimmidolls, flags, toy cars, and many more. Who would have known that the college secretary was once a band vocalist and that Dean Santiago is a former bowling champion? These are just some of the unique things to see at the Folium.

    The exhibition will run until August 30 at the UE Caloocan campus and will soon be transferred for display at UE Manila.


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    Benilde film wins Sine Kabataan award

    August 21st, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

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    A PROJECT for a Cinematography class under the Digital Filmmaking program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts bagged the Special Jury Prize at the Sine Kabataan short film competition.

    Director Jocelyn “Len” Frago received the award for her film Koleksyong Pamalo during the 2018 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) Gabi ng Pasasalamat held last August 19 at Whitespace, Don Chino Roces Ave. Ext., Makati City.

    Koleksyong Pamalo tells the story of a boy who collects all the memories of his mother’s different kinds of “pamalo.”

    “I wanted to present what abuse is like at a young age in a darkly comical and colorful manner where you feel sympathetic and warm at the same time,” Frago explained.

    Director Jocelyn Frago

    Frago said that the innocence of a child plays a big factor in how we view children. The film, which she submitted as a project for her CINEMAT subject under Sir Danton Wieneke, deals with the questions “When does a child stop being a child?” and “When does a mother stop being a mother?”

    Lorys Plaza at Ardinian “Jaq” Sanque won Best Short Film for Bato Bato Pik, which is about a young teenage girl faced with an untimely pregnancy. As she and her boyfriend contemplate the consequences and the effects of this problem in their young lives, their conversation suddenly leaves the fate of their unborn child to a game of chance.

    Daniel Delgado and Tiara Angelica Nicolas received the Best Director prize for Masaya Ako, which tells the story of a boy who encounters many struggles in life, like bullying, his parent’s separation and trouble in school, but he still forces a smile to get by each day.

    Enalyn Legaspi’s Alas-Nuebe ng Tanghali brought home the Audience Choice Award. The short film is about three children who indulge in the nicest toys and tastiest food only to find out that everything turns out differently from what they are seeing.

    Runner by Levi Jun Miscala got the #GlobeOfGood award for honoring the youth’s representation of current social issues the young Filipino faces day-to-day. In the film, Boy, a fast runner, wants to continue his secondary education by becoming an athlete but his inauspicious boss obstructed his aspiration because he is the best drug runner.

    The other Sine Kabataan finalists are Anonymous Student Vlog by Christian Babista, Bahay-bahayan by Brian Spencer Reyes and Isang Tula Para Sa Nawawala by Rod Singh. The short films were featured along with the PPP full-length film entries from August 15 to 21 in cinemas nationwide.

    Koleksyong Pamalo

    The Sine Kabataan films were judged by award-winning director Mikhail Red, producer Bianca Balbuena-Liew and actress Angeli Bayani.

    Launched last year as one of the pet programs of then National Youth Commission Chair Ice Seguerra with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Sine Kabataan aims to provide a youth lens on youth issues that affect the sector.


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    Benilde film tops CCP’s Gawad Alternatibo, 2 others win honorable mention

    August 11th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    Coleen Tanco. Photo © Seymour Barros Sanchez

    A FILM about a T’boli dancer, who experiences a sudden turn of events in her pursuit of a good life for her family, bagged first prize in the Short Feature category and Best Regional Entry at the 30th Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video Awards night held Monday at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Tanghalang Manuel Conde.

    Rufyla, Coleen Tanco‘s capstone project under the digital filmmaking program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) School of Design and Arts (SDA) bested more than a hundred entries in the said category. The young filmmaker hails from Koronadal City, South Cotabato.

    “Rufyla started when our house helper left us in her pursuit to get married to a foreigner. She is a 23-year-old girl who desired for a good life even if it took her to a red-light district in Manila. She believes that only a wealthy man can save her from poverty. As luck would have it, she nailed it,” the Benilde alumna explained when asked what inspired her to make her thesis film.

    “I hope the film will create and build a language that helps delineate what it means to be living in a remote area in the southern part of the Philippines. I also hope that the film will root for the indigenous people and make everyone aware not to treat the Filipino culture like a worthless material,” Tanco added after learning about her twin victories.

    In addition, other Benilde entries E and Ang Kabit ni Papa won honorable mention in the Experimental category. Directed by Benilde film alumnus, and now humanities and literature professor Jose Mojica, E zeroes in on a man who wakes up in an unfamiliar room and sees a mirror for the first time. By looking at himself, he discovers sexuality and sin.

    Meanwhile, Ang Kabit ni Papa by Benilde film student Robin Estargo is an experimental drama which focuses on a boy’s recollection of memories of his father who works abroad. The film explores confined rooms and empty spaces, with an unending fear of being discovered for telling the uneasiness in this what-could-have-been relationship.

    “Since I was born, my father has always traveled abroad to work with no other choice. We rarely see each other in a year, and whenever we do, we rarely talk. It is this separation that makes us move away from each other inch by inch through time, that there is this fear that our relationship in the future would be non-existent,” Estargo revealed.

    “Through time, I have met friends who have Overseas Filipino Worker parents as well, with some having more unfortunate conditions than mine. This separation results to doubt, sparking conflict in the family, as the child does not know the distant lifestyle of the parent, and vice versa,” the young filmmaker concluded.

    Rufyla is the first in BenildeFilm’s 10-year history to win the grand prize in the Gawad Alternatibo. The department came close to accomplishing the feat in 2018 when Benilde films dominated the 29th Gawad by bagging four of five awards, with the first prize going to Sa Saiyang Isla of Christian Candelaria from the University of the Philippines Film Institute.

    Last year, Benildean filmmakers also shone in the Gawad Alternatibo’s Short Feature category. Alfonso Silva bagged second place for his short film Proxy. Andrea Arias and Mia Rosero placed third for their entry Auntwo Susan. Tim Rone Villanueva and Vince Sevillano got honorable mention awards for Santa Nena! And Ma’am La, respectively.

    Rufyla is also among the short films that will compete at FACINE 25: The 25th Annual Filipino International Cine Festival from October 18 to 21 in San Francisco, California.

    Established in 1987, Gawad Alternatibo is considered the longest-running independent film festival and competition of its kind in the ASEAN region. A few years ago, it became one of the major components of the annual Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.


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    DOST-SEI boosts improved S&T scholarships

    August 9th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña and DOST-SEI Director Josette Biyo during the press conference. Photo from Seymour Barros Sanchez

    THE Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute said it will increase the number of offered scholarship slots and the amount of monthly stipends for its scholars as it revealed more developments in its programs.

    DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña and DOST-SEI Director Josette Biyo made the announcement in a press conference held last July 18 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila.

    The event coincides with the celebration of the 2018 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW), which Biyo considers an opportune time to drum up the public’s interest in DOST’s scholarship program.

    DOST-SEI recently posted the names of 8,994 new qualifiers for its undergraduate scholarships, the biggest batch since the program started in 1958.

    Biyo hopes to further increase the number of scholars being supported in by DOST-SEI from 20,618 in 2016 to a target number of 33,256 scholars for 2019.

    Scholars will also benefit from the increased monthly stipend of PhP7,000 a month from the previous amounts of PhP5,000 to PhP6,000.

    This is in addition to the PhP40,000 per year tuition and other school fees subsidy, PhP10,000 per year book allowance, one-time PhP1,000 uniform allowance; one-time PhP1,000 graduation allowance, one economy-class round trip fare per year for those studying outside their home province, and group insurance.

    Through the new benefits in our scholarship program, we hope to get more scholars and graduates who will eventually work in S&T for the country,” de la Peña said.

    Biyo acknowledged top scholar-graduates, Ruben James Rosal and John Kenneth Malilay, who joined the panel to share their experiences as DOST scholars.

    “The testimonies of our scholars are always the best proof of the effectiveness of our programs,” she said.

    Interested Grade 12 students are encouraged to submit their applications for the 2019 DOST-SEI Undergraduate Science and Technology Scholarship until August 31, 2018. Examination will be on October 21, 2018.

    Incoming 3rd year college students taking identified S&T programs are likewise invited to apply in the Junior Level Science Scholarship (JLSS) program. JLSS application ends on September 14, 2018. Examination is scheduled on October 20, 2018.

    For details, you may log on to or email


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    Benilde films make it to vertical shorts tilt

    August 6th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    THREE short films made by digital filmmaking students and recent graduates of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) School of Design and Arts were selected as finalists to the Cinemalaya Nespresso Vertical Shorts Competition.

    iTay” by Gian Arre, “Kasama” by Ira Lastrilla and “Pedro Pasahero” by Paulito Del Mundo Parohinog are among the entries created using a mobile phone, with a maximum length of three minutes only and in a vertical format (9:16) which will vie for awards in the film competition organized by Novateur Coffee Concepts, Inc., CCP and Cinemalaya Foundation.

    This year’s theme is “pagmamalasakit” or empathy, a value most honored by Filipinos.

    The grand prize winner will receive PhP50,000 cash. The second and third placers will get PhP30,000 and PhP20,000, respectively.

    All of them will also take home state-of-the-art Nespresso machines and coffee capsule packages. Winners will be announced during the Cinemalaya Awards Night on August 12.

    A tribute to fathers and children, “iTay” follows a lonesome young woman who becomes overwhelmed with attention when a father learns how to use a new phone as a means to be a parent in this age. The film explores how some parents find their purpose in taking care of their children and how they may feel stripped of this purpose when they lose their family.

    Kasama” tells the story of Rica, played by BenildeFilm alumna Beatrice Ramos, who has just lost her job. On her commute home, she recalls the moments in her life when friends and family lifted her out of her sorrows.

    She tries to figure out the reasons behind their actions until a chance encounter gives her a clue. Apart from Ramos, Lastrilla also got the support of fellow Benilde film alumni, co-writer Remil Baylon, cinematographer Jaig de Guzman and co-producer Rachel Esperon.

    Meanwhile, “Pedro Pasahero” is about a breadwinner who faces the pressures of providing for his mother and little sister. When he decides to rob a utility vehicle, each passenger reminds him of what he is truly taking away from them. Aside from Molina, also helping Parohinog is recent BenildeFilm graduate Yves Publico.

    Completing the list of finalists are “Ratsky” by Ruby Rosa Baldevarona, “The Door” by James Edward Golla, “Takipsilim” by Benny Yunsay Pioquinto, “Love Others As You Love Your Selfie” by Arjanmar Rebeta, “SLN” by Brian Spencer Reyes, “Ako” by Jonel Revistual, “Kapit Lang” by Christian Borras Tan, “Braveheart” by Kevin Tuason and “Yakap” by Michael Sy Yu.

    The competing entries will be shown at the Tanghalang Manuel Conde (CCP Dream Theater) on August 11, 10 a.m. There will be a talkback forum after the film screenings to give the audience a chance to ask questions on aspects of film production. Moreover, it will also serve as an opportunity for members of the production team to interact with the viewers.

    Serving as a challenge to young filmmakers to share their stories through vertical video, the contest also celebrates innovation, passion, and excellence in film making.


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    ‘Innovation Prizes’ up for grabs in 2nd imake.wemake plum

    August 1st, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    AFTER a successful opening salvo in 2017, the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute’s (DOST-SEI) “imake.wemake: create. innovate. collaborate.” project is again on the lookout for science and technology projects that cater to important societal and community issues.

    Now on its second year, the competition challenges young Filipinos to use their creativity, discover their potentials, and learn the process of using innovation to help their community of interest. Senior high school students will get the opportunity to pitch, build, and present their projects based on accessible technological platforms.

    For this year, DOST-SEI is partnering with lead innovation company, ACER Philippines, and will introduce its innovative platform called ACER Cloud professor.

    In the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the two parties last July 20 at the World Trade Center, SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo thanked ACER Philippines for its support in promoting innovation among the youth.

    “Having partners from the private sector is always a welcome boost to our work. Linking up with a globally recognized leader in the name of Acer in promoting science, technology, and innovation among our youth is especially crucial as we are entering the fourth Industrial Revolution. We are uncertain about our overall readiness as a country, but with this partnership we can say that we are preparing ourselves better,” she said.

    The competition comes in three stages: 1) Call for Proposals and Selection; 2) Technical Training/Workshop and Project Pitching; and 3) Final Project Presentation and Judging.

    To join, a team composed of three Grade 11 and/or Grade 12 students and one teacher per school may submit a project proposal addressing any of the following areas: food safety, security, traffic/road congestion, health, education, disaster mitigation, entrepreneurship, agriculture, and environment. This should be accompanied by a 2-3 minute video supporting the concept. Entry form and contest mechanics are available at

    School teams passing the selection process will be invited to attend free technical training/workshop on basic electronics, programming, troubleshooting, presentation skills, and ACER Cloud professor and sensor application – the programming tool that will be used in all imake.wemake projects. They will also get free ACER Cloud professor Starter Kit, Sensor Expansion Pack, and toolbox containing basic tools and components.

    Teams will be given a build and testing period of three months prior to the final project presentation and judging. The projects will be evaluated by this year’s judges: Dr. Nestor Michael Tiglao and Engr. Percival Magpantay of UP Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (EEEI); Engr. Carlos Matti Oppus of Ateneo de Manila University; and Alexis de Guzman of Acer Philippines, Inc., based on relevance and potential impact to the community of interest, novelty, viability, and community engagement.

    Three school teams will win PhP50,000 cash prize and The Youth Innovation Prize each.

    Deadline for submission of proposals is on August 10, 2018. For details, visit or email

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    Benilde, FEU films top IUF, next compete at Gawad Alternatibo

    July 28th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    Janna Lejano and Annika Yanez with IUF awards.

    A SHORT film about a 25-year-old lesbian, who is having a hard time coming to terms with her traditional Filipino father, won Best Feature and five other awards in the Indie Un-Film Festival 2018 at the Br. Andrew Gonzales Hall, De La Salle University.

    Sa Pag-agos ng Panahon, a capstone project of Annika Yañez and Janna Lejano under the Digital Filmmaking program of the DLS-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts, also won Best Direction for Yañez, Best Cinematography and Best Editing for Lejano, Best Actor for Chase Salazar and Best Soundtrack for song composer M Laciste, song arrangerNick Lazaro and sound mixer and designer Veronica Valdez.

    Yañez, who graced the awards night last July 21 with Lejano, thanked the organizers “for giving young filmmakers the opportunity to share our art to a bigger crowd, and for inspiring all of us to keep creating films – no matter how bizarre, vulnerable, charged they may be.”

    Meanwhile, Sa Gabing Tanging Liwanag ay Paniniwala, an entry from Far Eastern University, bagged Best Pamana Film, Best Cinematography for Rommel Ruiz, Best Production Design for Ron Alos and Best Sound Design for James Manalili. The inaugural Pamana category aims to bring forth stories of Filipino heritage and culture.

    Directed by Francis Guillermo, the film revolves around the continuous disappearances of townsfolk, prompting the local chieftain to find out who is behind it and where they are being brought. Upon conducting a search, he and his son came across a mysterious answer.

    Another FEU short film, Dama directed by Trish Ruedas Antonio, bagged Best Production Design for Reopaolo Nuñez and Best Actor for Rolando Inocencio in the Feature category. Inocencio plays a father who adopts a stray child to cope with his son’s death in a crisis-ridden world.

    The three films will next vie for awards in the 30th Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video, also known as Gawad Alternatibo, from August 4 to 6 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Tanghalang Manuel Conde or CCP Dream Theater.

    Also in the Feature category, James Allen Fajardo’s Ang Lalaking May Regla sa Gitna ng Dagat won Special Jury Prize and Best Screenplay. In the film, a fishing community faces an impending demolition when the landowner plans to turn the place into a beach resort. One of the fisherfolks is a teenage boy who had a menstruation in the middle of fishing. Fellow UP Diliman films Bago and Kasama Ng Paglisan ang Pag-alala at Paglimot won Best Sound Design for Alejo Barbaza and Best Actor for Ruby Ruiz, respectively.

    Al Basir from the Lyceum of the Philippines University won for Best Direction for Raymond Cultura and Best Editing for Ralph Quijano in the Pamana category.

    Mapua University’s entry Dory, which is about a 101-year-old transwoman who walks around the streets of Tondo, topped the Documentary category and bagged Best Direction for Beverly Ramos, Best Editing for Kristian Palma, and IUF People’s Choice award.

    Si Baste, a documentary on the 127-year old all-steel Basilica of San Sebastian, brought home Best Sound Design for Xamantha Asdisen from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. Deane Marie Yase of UP Cebu won Best Cinematography in the same category for Unscathed, which tells the story of resilience of the victims of the recent Pasil Fire.

    Vince Entuna from UP Diliman won Best Experimental Film, Best Direction, Best Production Design and Best Sound Design for Ang Lisyang Edukasyon ng Pilipinas while John Peter Chua of Ateneo de Manila University won Best Cinematography and Best Editing for Liyag.

    In the Music Video category, Ghost won Best Direction for Aaliyah Ybañez, Best Editing for Miggy Arnonobal, and Best Production Design for the UPD entry while Riel Louise Castalone of DLS Lipa took home Best Cinematography for A Place Somewhere.

    Organized by the DLSU Green Media Group, the 15th annual intercollegiate digital film festival celebrates film by showcasing the competition’s finalists and a plenary talk involving the country’s renowned filmmakers. The IUF talks, held last July 14 at Warehouse Eight in Chino Roces Avenue, had award-winning scriptwriter Clodualdo “Doy” del Mundo Jr. and filmmakers Antoinette Jadaone, Pepe Diokno, Ice Idanan and Kaj Palanca as speakers.

    The award-winning entries will again be screened on August 3, Friday, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Waldo Perfecto Seminar Room, Ground Floor, Br. Connon Hall, DLSU. For tickets, visit the DLSU GMG booth at 5F Artist Commons of the same hall. Interested parties may also visit or contact Jenni at 0915-1291021.


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    Gems of Latin American Cinema set to be shown next month at the Spanish cultural center

    July 27th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    INSTITUTO Cervantes will feature “Four Gems of Latin American Cinema,” a series of critically acclaimed and award-winning films directed by Latin American filmmakers, every Saturday during the month of August at the new Intramuros branch of the Spanish cultural center.

    The film cycle, which serves as an invitation to appreciate Latin American cinematography, will kick off on August 4, 6 p.m., with the screening of “Azul y no tan rosa” (My Straight Son), a plea for respect and non-discrimination due to sexual orientation. It won the 2013 LGBT Montreal Film Festival Best Feature and the 2014 Goya Award for Best Latin American Film.

    Directed by Miguel Ferrari, the film tells the story of Diego, a successful Venezuelan fashion photographer, who decides to formalize his relationship with his boyfriend Fabrizio by moving in with him. A tragic accident leaves his partner in a coma. Unexpectedly, he is obliged to take care of his own son, Armando, who lives in Spain and with whom he has not seen in years. Now, both of them have to adapt to each other – Armando to the unknown, homosexual world of his father, and Diego to the closed attitude of his teenage son.

    Next to be shown as part of the film series is El método (The Method) on August 11, 6 p.m. Based on a famous play by Jordi Galcerán and directed by Argentine filmmaker Marcelo Piñeyro, El método explores the dark inner mechanisms of the corporate world.

    Seven candidates are put together in a meeting room as part of final selection process for a single high-level position in a multinational corporation. Then, they are informed that one of them is not a candidate but an employee from HR analyzing their attitudes. What follows is a series of fierce tests which will question their priorities, ethics and loyalty under stress.

    On August 18, 6 p.m., the masterfully-crafted thriller El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes) will be shown. Benjamin Esposito, a legal counselor who is about to retire, starts writing a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior – both of which still haunt him decades later.

    Writing the book leads Benjamin to investigate his own past and a period of Argentina’s history marked by violence and death. Arguably the best work by talented Argentinean filmmaker Juan José Campanella, it has received more than 50 international awards, among them the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film, and the Goya Award for Best Latin American Film.

    The comedy Lista de espera (Waiting List) concludes the film cycle on August 25, 8 p.m. Directed by Juan Carlos Tabío, it tells the story of a group of passengers who wait for their transportation at a Cuban bus station.

    However, the passengers have no way to get on any bus, as all buses that pass are full. The administrator does not see any solution and intends to close the terminal. Even so, they decide to stay and repair an old bus – as a strange and tender story is woven among them.

    This film series “Four Gems of Latin American Cinema” is presented by Instituto Cervantes, the Embassy of Spain, and the Film Archives of AECID, with the support of Intramuros Administration and Accenture.

    Instituto Cervantes Intramuros is located at Casa Azul, a two-floor replica of a 19th-century Philippine house at Plaza San Luis Complex, next to San Agustin Church. Designed to complement the cultural and academic activities of the main branch in Makati, it has a 90-seat auditorium, an exhibition room, classrooms, and a library containing over 30,000 items.

    All the films are in Spanish with English subtitles. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please visit the Instituto Cervantes’ website ( or its Facebook page (


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    The Maningning Miclat Art Foundation extends deadline of the online submission to the 2018 Maningning Miclat Art Award

    July 17th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    THE Maningning Miclat Art Foundation, Inc. (MMAFI), in cooperation with District Gallery and Far Eastern University, has extended the submission of online entries to the 2018 Maningning Miclat Art Award to the end of this month.

    Entries must be submitted to Image file of the entry must be high-quality, high-definition, and in .jpg format. Artist name, title, dimension, medium and year of the artwork must be included. Passport photo, bio data, birth certificate and entry form must also be sent as attachments via email. The filename format should be [title]_[size in cm]_[year].JPG (Example: TroubleInParadise_160cmx184cm_2018.JPG)

    Artists of shortlisted entries will be informed through email on August 13.

    Actual artwork of shortlisted entries should be submitted with a passport photo, bio data, copy of birth certificate, and notarized entry form to FEU President’s Committee on Culture office no later than August 28.

    The painter is responsible for transporting and submitting entries to FEU. The painter releases MMAFI, District Gallery, and FEU from any claims of damage to artwork due to storage or transport in connection with the competition.

    Shortlisted entries will be unveiled and displayed at the Exhibit Hall of the FEU Institute of Architecture and Fine Arts (IARFA) from September 3 to September 28. Awarding will be at FEU on September 28 back to back with the performance art, Ginugunita Kita. All submitted artworks will be available for sale.

    The grand prize to be chosen by the Board of Judges will be awarded as follows: a Julie Lluch sculpture trophy, PhP28,000, Miclat book collection, and a solo exhibit at District Gallery. All entries must be claimed by the buyer, with painter present on September 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at FEU. Paintings not sold must likewise be claimed by the artists on the same day.

    Maningning Miclat. Photo ©

    Maningning Miclat was a poet of three languages, prize-winning artist, published essayist, translator/interpreter and teacher. She passed on at the age of 28 in 2000. In her honor, the MMAFI, which was formed in 2001, has been organizing activities aimed at encouraging creativity and recognizing, awarding and nurturing outstanding and talented young poets and artists 28 years old and younger, the same age when she died.

    Alternately, poetry and painting competitions are held, poetry during odd-numbered years and painting during even-numbered years.

    For more information, visit For further inquiries, email


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    Benildean filmmakers compete in California

    July 11th, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    FOUR capstone projects from the Digital Filmmaking program of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts will vie for the Best Short Film at FACINE 25: The 25th Annual Filipino International Cine Festival this October in San Francisco, California.

    Among those which made it as finalist to FACINE’s short film competition, which will be held are Caramel Child by Kim Timan, Rufyla by Coleen Tanco, Suerte by Carlo Fajarda, and the documentary Hope Spots by Joseph Dominic Cruz.

    Caramel Child, co-written by Timan with Palanca awardee Lino Balmes, is a light drama about a Filipino-American girl Katherine Kaye Jones (Angelica Ulip), or Kakay, who tries her best to look for her absentee father. Kakay’s curiosity is triggered by a regional science quiz bee poster and an American client (Savino Bellini) of her mother (Sue Prado).

    It won Best Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Performer and Best Musical Score (Marcus Santos and Joseph Salcedo) at Pelikultura: The CALABARZON Film Festival 2018. It also brought home the Best Screenplay award from De La Salle University’s Indie Un-film Festival 2017 and competed in the short film category of Cinema One Originals Festival last year.

    In Suerte, two student filmmakers are shooting a documentary about the drug trade within their city until it descends into a very dangerous obsession for them. As they go on along with their subjects, they slowly become characters in their own film, crossing the line between observer and creator. The film competed at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, 28th Singapore Int’l Filmfest and Taipei Film Festival in Taiwan.

    In Rufyla, a T’boli tribeswoman dances for a living and encounters a dramatic turn of events in pursuit of a better life for her family. The short film is a CineFilipino 2018 student category finalist.

    Hope Spots, a finalist in the documentary category of UP Cinema’s Piling Obrang Vidyo, looks into the debut of women wrestlers in a fight sponsored by the Philippine Wresting Revolution. It zeroes in on the local professional wrestling scene, presenting the polarizing sport of pro wrestling through the lens of the homegrown promotions’ first female talent.

    The competition will open FACINE 25 on October 18 at the San Francisco Main Library and the SF Philippine Consulate. The winner will receive a US$100 cash prize and certificate of recognition. Special citations will also be awarded in any category upon the jury’s discretion.

    Aside from the four Benildean student films, Hulid (Lie Together) by BenildeFilm program coordinator Jan Philippe Carpio also made it to the competition. The experimental narrative questions sexual pleasure, voyeurism, detachment and the paradox of public anonymity.

    “The finalists cover a wide range of genre, format, style and subject, all 45 minutes and less in length, both student and professional works, including notably films by non-Filipino filmmakers with the Filipino as subject,” FACINE Director Mauro Feria Tumbocon Jr. said.

    Meanwhile, nine full-length films will slug it out for the Best Film and other awards in the main competition from October 19 to 21 at the Roxie Theater, also in San Francisco. Vying for awards in the different categories are 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten written by Jason Paul Laxamana and directed by Petersen Vargas; Bomba by Ralston Jover; Kita Kita by Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo; Meet Me in St. Gallen by Irene Emma Villamor; Melodrama / Random / Melbourne by Matthew Victor Pastor; Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha by Mes de Guzman; Pauwi Na by Paolo Villaluna; Tale of the Lost Boys by Joselito Altarejos; and Tu Pug Imatuy written by Arnel Mutia Mardoquio and directed by Arbi Barbarona.

    FACINE is organized by the Filipino Arts and Cinema International, a nonprofit media arts organization that aims to promote and develop Filipino cinema from the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora. It has organized the festival for the past 25 years.


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    Navotas HS students compete in 3rd Navoteño Film Festival

    June 22nd, 2018

    By Seymour Barros Sanchez

    NINE short films made by junior high school students from Navotas City will battle it out in the 3rd Navoteño Film Festival this weekend at the NC Sports Complex.

    Kaunlaran High School‘s “Love @ First Vlog,” La Naval Academy‘s “Mea Patria” (My Homeland), Navotas National High School‘s “1485,” Navotas National Science High School‘s “Sukbit,” San Jose Academy‘s “Iris,” San Roque National High School‘s “Aninag,” San Rafael Technological and Vocational High School‘s “Draw Lots,” Tangos National High School‘s “Pantagrace” and Tanza National High School‘s “Padyak” will vie for the top three films, audience choice award and other special prizes.

    The entries will be judged according to the following criteria: 50% for originality and execution and 50% for adherence to this year’s theme, which is Navotas tourism.

    The Best Picture winner will receive PhP20,000 and plaque of recognition. The 2nd Best Picture will get PhP15,000 and a plaque while the 3rd Best Picture will bring home PhP10,000 and a plaque. Consolation prizes of PhP5,000 and a plaque will be awarded to the other finalists.

    Special awards, which come with a cash prize of PhP1,500 and a plaque, will also be given to the Best Poster Design, Best Original Song, Best Performance by an Actress, Best Performance by an Actor, Best Sound Design, Best Production Design, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay and Best Direction.

    The official film entries will be shown on the same day as the awarding ceremonies, with two screening schedules, from 8 am. to 10 am. and 10 am. to 12 noon, at the same venue. Viewers will be given one ticket each to vote for their chosen entry. The film which gets the most number of votes from the audience will win the Box Office Hit (People’s Choice) award with a cash prize of PhP10,000 and a plaque of recognition.

    The participating schools submitted their scripts last May 21. A review and mentoring session with workshop facilitator and Beyond Deadlines writer Seymour Sanchez was held last June 9 at the Pangisdaan Hall, 4th Floor, Navotas City Hall before the final submission of entries.

    Sanchez, who conducted a seminar-workshop on digital filmmaking last May 10 and 11, teaches film at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts and cinema and journalism at the Far Eastern University Department of Communication.

    (Read More:

    The film festival, an annual activity of the Navotas City government, serves as a platform for the city’s future filmmakers to develop and harness their craft and showcase their works, as well as a means to discover young and talented Navoteños.


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