PH short about Supertyphoon ‘Yolanda’ wins in Bangkok
The best part about receiving recognition, said filmmaker Joanna Vasquez Arong, “are the moving words from the jury.” Her short film, “To Calm the Pig Inside” (“Ang Pagkalma sa Unos”) won Special Mention at the recently concluded Bangkok Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Film Festival held in Thailand.
The comment of the jury members was posted on the festival’s official Facebook site. It goes: “[Arong] shows us the power of storytelling to inquire and heal in crafting a nuanced contemplation of a small Filipino town struggling in the wake of natural and political disaster.”
“To Calm the Pig Inside” is a 14-minute documentary on Supertyphoon “Yolanda” that ravaged Tacloban, Leyte province, in 2013.
“Woven together by intimate accounts and the myths that people tell themselves, the film documents the strength of human will, even in the smallest of us. Given voice by one that cannot be denied, it is a generous portrait of a people determined to survive,” concluded the jury’s statement.
The festival ran from Sept. 3 to Sept. 6, at the SF World Cinema, CentralWorld Shopping Center. All films were screened for free.
“Thank you for your tender impression of our film,” Arong said of “To Calm the Pig Inside,” which was last screened in August at the 2020 Cinemalaya International Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Prize.
Also in her Facebook account, Arong declared that one of the most exciting parts about joining the said festival in Thailand was that “[it took] place in a real theater!” Due to the pandemic, Arong pointed out, it was only the third time for the film to be shown on a large screen. The screening was held on Sept. 5.
Arong added that she was thrilled to have participated in the festival because “we have a few Thai creatives who have worked on our film.”
She also said: “So pleased to [have been screened] with 14 other films from the region, including two friends’ films from the Philippines: ‘Tokwifi’ by Carla Pulido Ocampo and ‘Excuse Me, Miss, Miss, Miss’ by Sonny Calvento.” Both films were also finalists in the Cinemalaya fest.
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