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PH short film wins in Aspen

/ 12:26 AM April 22, 2017
Helen Annang and Eduardo Ngo in “Fatima Marie Torres and the Invasion of Space Shuttle Pinas 25”

Helen Annang and Eduardo Ngo in “Fatima Marie Torres and the Invasion of Space Shuttle Pinas 25”

Carlo Francisco Manatad’s “Fatima Marie Torres and the Invasion of Space Shuttle Pinas 25” won best comedy short film at the recent 26th Aspen Shortsfest in Colorado.

According to its website, the event is the “premier short film festival in North America … a place for the industry to scout for new talent, [for] filmmakers to make important connections, and [for] audiences to celebrate this important art form.”

Programming director Kathleen McInnis describes the event as “an extraordinary and rewarding convergence of filmmakers, industry [insiders] and audience [members].”


Industry representatives make it a point to attend the fest “to mentor and scout for new talent.”

Manatad did a little research and found out that Aspen is one of the Oscar-qualifying festivals.

“To qualify for the short film category of the Oscars, a film must win in a festival accredited by the Academy,” he explained.

“A place that celebrates creative inspiration,” the Aspen Shortsfest is hailed as an Oscar-qualifying festival that “embraces diverse sensibilities and subjects that capture the zeitgeist of today’s world.”

Previous Shortsfest winner “Bear Story” (Chile) went on to win the Academy Award for best animated short film last year. Meanwhile, other fest entries like “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos” (Russian Federation) and “Shok” (Kosovo/United Kingdom) were nominated at the Oscars.

A total of 64 films from 31 countries were shown during the six-day event this month.

Manatad’s 18-minute film tells the story of an ordinary elderly couple, living in the suburbs and attempting to go about their regular routine, on the day the Philippines launches its first space shuttle—“a strange and abnormal day,” indeed.

Manatad told the Inquirer that the honor is “a validation of the work” he has been doing for the past couple of years.


“Honestly, the award gives me more confidence to do serious films in the future,” he remarked.

The Aspen award also comes with a $2,500 cash prize.

Manatad’s short film made its North American premiere in Aspen. It previously debuted at the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur in Switzerland and was screened at the Poland Short Waves.

Next stop for the short film is IndieLisboa in Portugal next month—where it will be shown with Eduardo Roy Jr.’s feature film, “Pamilya Ordinaryo.”

Incidentally, Manatad is the editor of “Ordinaryo,” which is competing in IndieLisboa’s international tilt. “My short film is under the Silvestre competition,” he noted.

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TAGS: “Fatima Marie Torres and the Invasion of Space Shuttle Pinas 25”, 26th Aspen Shortsfest, best comedy short film, Carlo Francisco Manatad
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