Student filmmakers from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde demonstrated their mastery of “the longest-running student film festival in the Philippines” by winning the top two prizes and more at the 20th CineMapa International Student Film Short Film Festival awards night, held recently at the Mapa University Gymnasium in Intramuros.
“Saan Aabot ang Dapithapon?” (Where Do Sunsets Go?), written and directed by Trixie Vertera and Carissa Sierras of DLS-CSB, garnered the Cardinal Gold Film Award, Best Performance of an Actress for veteran singer-actress Celeste Legaspi, Best Production Design for Paurine Shibata, and Best Sound Design for Orion Flynn at CineMapúa 2023’s intercollegiate category.
“Saan Aabot ang Dapithapon?” focuses on a grandmother (Legaspi) and her granddaughter (Kat Galang), as they search for a missing spark plug in a garage filled with mementos to bring an old car back to life, and into the streets again. The short film centers around life, death, and finding meaning to it.
“Pig’s Game,” written and directed by their fellow Benildean CM Bautista, bagged the Cardinal Silver Film Award, Best Performance of an Actor for James Ramada, and Best Screenplay for Bautista and co-writer Tristan Aguilar. The film revolves around a run-of-the-mill theater actor caught up in an audition for a government propaganda material.
Moreover, “Alingasngas ng mga Kuliglig” (The Gossips of Cicadidae) written and directed by Vahn Pascual, also from DLS-CSB, got the Cardinal Audience Award and Best Original Music for Karl Arthur Javier and BenildeFilm alumna Nik Rosacay. In the 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.
Pascual ruled the previous edition of CineMapúa when his film “Sina Alexa, Xander at Ang Universe” got the Cardinal Gold Film Award, Cardinal Best Performance of an Actor for himself, Cardinal Best Film Editing for Corlisse Nicolas, and Cardinal Best Production Design for Melissa Cuarderno and Ralph Mojica. In addition, his other short film “Silang Mga Naligaw sa Limot” received the Special Jury Award.
Organized by Mapúa University’s School of Media Studies, CineMapúa received 2,892 film entries from 108 countries. Fifty entries were selected as finalists, with 15 of them competing in the intercollegiate division, five in the high school category, 10 in the all-Mapúans group, and 20 for the World Film section.
“Si Oddie,” about a rider who embarks on a delivery to a customer who cannot be located, secured the Cardinal Bronze Film Award and Best Direction for Maria Kydylee Torato of UP Visayas. “That Night the Moon Shined” by Xzyron Dumabok of UPFI brought home Best Cinematography for Moore Minglana, while “Pempem at ang Bomba Magasin” by Migs Ruallo of Far Eastern University grabbed Best Editing for Gene Francis Sayson. “Siya na Iba Sainda” (She Who is Different from Them) by Joshua Doce of Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology took the People’s Choice awards for poster and teaser.
Other short films from Benilde, namely “Makoko sa Baybay” (I am Going to the Beach) by Mike Cabarles and “Lilip” (Hem Stitch) by Yanie Cruz, also made it to the list of finalists which were all shown onsite at the newly constructed 150-seater Mapúa Cardinal Cinema, Francisco N. Cervantes Hall, and MPO508 at the Makati campus, and the audio-visual and seminar rooms at the Intramuros campus from March 13 to 18. The films were also screened online at www.yfilms.ph from March 22 to April 5.