Sambal short film to screen at Sundance fest
SAN ANTONIO, Zambales — A short film shot entirely in this town at the height of the pandemic made it to the 39th Sundance Film Festival in the United States.
Ampangabagat Nin Talakba Ha Likol (It’s raining frogs outside) is the first Sambal short film to be included in the festival’s official selection of under 30-minute films.
The short film was directed by Maria Estela Paiso, who is also the first Filipina to participate in the shorts category of the prestigious festival, which will be held from January 19 to 29.
When Inquirer asked Paiso why she chose to use Sambal, the dialect in Zambales, in her film, she said that she observed that many people her age are not familiar with it. Paiso’s mother, who speaks Sambal, is from the capital town of Iba.
She recalled that she forced herself to learn the dialect since she was really curious about what her mother and her mother’s siblings were talking about, and it was her way to get closer to her mother.
“When she noticed that I was trying to speak Sambal, she was very enthusiastic to correct me whenever I mispronounced the words, so it really became a way for us to become closer.
The film is about a girl named Maya, who goes home to this province due to the impending end of the world and realizes that her childhood home is watching her.
Because it’s raining frogs outside, she stays at home and is tormented by the house. Maya eventually wonders if the house is still worth escaping if the world outside is already ending.
It debuted at the 2021 QCinema International Film Festival, where it won the Gender Sensitivity Award, and also competed in other international film festivals.
The film also featured fishermen in the province who have abandoned the “dangerous Scarborough Shoal” to show the plight of local fishermen caught in the middle of China’s grab of Philippine maritime territory.
According to Paiso, she would still get annoyed and sad every time she would think about what is happening, pointing out that it is important that the world knows about it and it should not be ignored. EDV