10 films picked for Viddsee festival of shorts
“For a change, there is now a platform that supports shorts,” said award-winning producer and filmmaker Baby Ruth Villarama when the Inquirer asked why she agreed to be one of the three jurors in the third edition of Viddsee Juree Philippines, an annual festival of short films that celebrates and supports filmmaking communities in Asia.
“Most of the time, when you do short films, then launch them in festivals, they really have no more place to go after they’re screened,” Villarama told the Inquirer on Monday. “To be honest, it’s hard to promote shorts. They’re often sold in a bundle. This will help upcoming filmmakers showcase their works and talents.”
Ten films featuring stories about love, religion, familial ties and sexuality, among others, have been selected as finalists of this year’s festival.
“These stories are told across genres of comedy, horror and drama,” said Singapore-based John Lim, Viddsee’s lead PR.
Among them is a comedy about a young couple attempting to have sex for the first time (Al-jhun Virgo’s “Come On”); two blind musicians who come to realize their love for each other (Phyllis Grae Grande’s “If Not”); a fantastical love story between a patron saint and a young boy (Tim Rone Bagnas Villanueva’s “Santa Nena”); and a father who is forced to confront his shortcomings when he finds himself trapped in a room with his daughter (Arvin Belarmino’s “Shackles”).
Other entries in the Top 10 are Miguel Pascua’s “Niño,” Shim Mellord Abrio’s “Felisa,” Isabella Policarpio’s “Refraction” and Lynn Ana Maria Lim’s “The Sound of Silence.”
Winners of the contest will be announced at a ceremony to be held at the Pineapple Lab in Poblacion, Makati City, on Sept. 29.
The Top 2 entries will be named Gold and Silver winners. They will be picked by an international panel of judges composed of Villarama; Anderson Le, artistic director for the Hawaii International Film Festival; and Indonesian filmmaker Lucky Kuswandi.
The new and upcoming talents who got included in the finalists come from different schools, such as De La Salle University, De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, Far Eastern University, University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, University of San Carlos Cebu and Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Lim told the Inquirer.
“This year’s entries showcase what Filipino filmmakers are capable of in making films that resonate with audiences in new and surprising ways,” said Luigene Yanoria, Viddsee community manager in the Philippines. “It was encouraging to see a diverse range of filmmakers—many of them still new in the industry—approaching their subjects with a deep sense of care, maturity and attention to craft.”
Prior to the ceremony on the 29th, Viddsee will be organizing a Juree Philippines Awards program from Sept. 27 to 29, also at the Pineapple Lab.
The three-day event will feature a number of activities including talks and screenings that are open to the public.
The panel discussions include best practices for freelance filmmakers, how filmmakers can expand across the region, and the rising influence of Asian cinema in global culture, said Yanoria.
The Gold and Silver winners will be awarded film production grants worth P160,000 and P80,000, respectively, he added.
The Gold winner will also win a five-day Global Film & TV Program in Los Angeles, sponsored by the Motion Picture Association.
The Juree Awards initiative debuted in Indonesia in 2016 and expanded to include the Philippines in 2017 and Singapore in 2018.
Viddsee, a video entertainment platform for short films, “empowers storytellers by enabling the creation of films and amplifying stories to targeted audiences,” said Yanoria.
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