1 of 6
A DIVERSE program of themes and styles from this year’s winning short films are in store in QCinema’s 10th year, which will be held in November.
The short films tackle a range of concerns — from a reflexive attempt to save a silent film reel, an introspective search for meaning by an online sex worker, contrasting issues of migration set in Cagayan Valley, a psychological journey in a Quezon forest, and to a surreal film set amidst the backdrop of a decaying Pasig River.
These films are Ang Pagliligtas sa Dalagang Bukid by Jaime Morados, BOLD EAGLE by Whammy Alcazaren, Luzonensis mula 7 hanggang 9 by Glenn Barit, Mga Tigre ng Infanta by Rocky De Guzman Morilla, Ngatta Naddaki y Nuang? by Austin Tan, and sa ilog na hindi nagtatapos by JT Trinidad.
These films were chosen from close to 160 entries.
Ang Pagliligtas sa Dalagang Bukid (Saving the Country Maiden) is set in 1921. Sixteen-year-old Joaquin attempts to save the film reel of the first movie he’s ever seen in the midst of a studio fire.
The film is Mr. Morados’ first QCinema entry. His previous works include Protacio and The Bum (2021), which won the Jury Prize at the Binisaya Film Festival, and Aga-Hiw, The Dreamer (2022), Montañosa Film Festival 2022’s Best Picture.
BOLD EAGLE is the story of Bold, an anonymous online-sex worker who seeks validation from his cat as he wonders if he can amount to something more than just a pretty face.
The third feature film by the director, Whammy Alcazaren, Fisting: Never Tear Us Apart, won Best Director and Jury prize at the Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2018. His production thesis and first feature, COLOSSAL, was awarded Best Cinematography and was nominated for best film at the Gawad Urian 2013.
In Luzonensis mula 7 hanggang 9, a “neanderthal” man is about to leave for work abroad. He discovers that his passport is missing hours before departing. Together with his father, they retrace their path to find it.
Glenn Barit, a Filipino director, sound designer and scorer from Cagayan, is a familiar name in QCinema. His debut film, Cleaners, swept awards at the 2019 Asian Next Wave Competition of QCinema 2019, which includes Audience Choice, Best Picture, and Best Screenplay.
Mga Tigre ng Infanta follows Katrina’s wild hunt deep into the psyche of her grandmother, whose corpse has gone missing. The film is set in the town of Infanta, Quezon, where superstition is said to be alive in community life.
Marikina-based filmmaker Rocky Morilla, is particularly interested in narratives involving women and the environment. She co-founded Pothos Collective, which focuses on creating emancipative narratives that push boundaries.
Ngatta Naddaki y Nuang? (Why did the Carabao cross the Carayan?) tracks Oyo’s return to his hometown in Cagayan in search of a carabao, before he finally migrates to another country, while memories of a flood and sights of industrialization fill him.
Austin Tan, the film’s director, is from Cagayan. His short films mostly tackle political and social topics through concepts dealing with memory and death. Aside from Ngatta Naddaki y Nuang?, he is also working on his first feature project, which received project development support from Locarno Open Doors, Full Circle Lab, Film Development Council of the Philippines, and EAVE Ties that Bind.
Lastly, sa ilog na hindi nagtatapos, is the story of four individuals which unfold through Baby, a middle aged trans woman. She becomes a vessel to fill in their void as her own desire grows. The film is set in the areas surrounding the decaying Pasig River.
The director, JT Trinidad’s hybrid short, as if nothing happened, competed at the BAFTA-qualifying London Short Film Festival 2020 and was included in CNN Life Philippines’ list of Best Filipino Films of 2020.