Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Benildeans conquer UP film tilt, vie at Sinepiyu

Benildeans conquer UP film tilt, vie at Sinepiyu

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Kokuryo director Diokko Dionisio flanked by POV judges and UP Cinema members

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde student filmmakers continued their winning streak at the University of the Philippines Cine Adarna by taking first place in the 19th Piling Obrang Vidyo or POV, an interschool film competition founded in 2004 by the UP Film Institute-based student organization UP Cinema.

“Kokuryo: The Untold Story of Bb. Undas 2019” by Benildean filmmaker Diokko Manuel Dionisio went on to bag POV XIX’s Best Film, Best Narrative, Best Screenplay, and Best Production Design. In the short film, two best friends scour through the town of Gapan in Nueva Ecija one midnight while searching for the house of a person whom they believe stole half of the prize they won in a gay beauty pageant.

Last year, “Pig’s Game,” written and directed by CM Bautista, also from DLS-CSB, brought home the POV Jury Prize, Best Screenplay for Bautista and co-writer Tristan Aguilar, and Best Performance for James Ramada. The film centers around a theater actor caught up in an audition for government propaganda.

Meanwhile, “Alingasngas ng mga Kuliglig” (The Gossips of Cicadidae) written and directed by fellow Benildean Vahn Pascual, secured the Best Direction prize, Best Music/Original Score for Karl Arthur Javier and BenildeFilm alumna Nik Rosacay, and the Cinemasters’ Choice, an award given to the film selected by majority of the members of UP Cinema.

In Pascual’s silent film, a boy who is forced by his father to become the next folk healer of their town, secretly despises his conventional boring life. This until he falls in love with a tikbalang, a Philippine mythological creature which has the head and hooves of a horse.

In addition, “Balde at Brotsa,” which recounts the personal struggles of three artists with different forms of societal oppression, clinched Best Documentary for Josh Mutia, also a Benildean filmmaker. In the documentary, the artists must find purpose in what they make to understand what they need to do.

“The Secret Band of Thebes” by Augustine, similarly from Benilde, earned a Special Citation for Animation. In the hybrid film, nude photos and videos of a man masturbating were leaked at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. How was he able to cope with the spread of these photos and videos?

Other Benildean cinematic works such as the experimental film “People Fade as Colors Do” by Josef Edward Tafalla, and two other documentaries, “Elehiya para sa mga Memorya” by Ryan Miguel Capili and “Ang Paghahanap kay Dalagang Bukid” by Leia Amidala Santos, also made it to the chosen few of only 12 POV finalists, four films for each category, which were also shown online at

“Pempem at ang Bomba Magazine” by Migs Ruallo of Far Eastern University (FEU) Manila won Best Editing for Gene Francis Sayson, Best Performance for Dada Garcia, and the Viewer’s Choice award. Fellow FEU entry, “Mind Body” by Josh Van Ulric Campo, was awarded the Best Experimental Film prize.

“Itom Nga Bugas Kanaryo Nga Ugat” by Leonard Ian Billones of UP Visayas received the Jury Prize and Best Sound Design, while “Self-Portrait” by Daphnee Ferrer of UP Diliman won Best Cinematography.

Dionisio (“Kokuryo: The Untold Story of Bb. Undas 2019”) and fellow Benildean Jean Evangelista (“Malikmata”) will slug it out with eight other student filmmakers in the interschool division of Sinepiyu XV, the annual film festival of FEU which runs from May 2 to 6. The Sinepiyu filmfest finalists will be shown onsite at FEU Manila and Cinematheque Centre Manila and online at JuanFlix: The FDCP Channel.