A short film made by a group of students from Far Eastern University-Manila, took home majority of the awards in the 13th Piling Obrang Vidyo or POV XIII: Celebrating the Power of People’s Narratives organized by UP Cinema.
Ma? won Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Performance (in a tie with Nandito Naman Tayo Para Sa Isa’t Isa, ‘Di Ba? by Gilb Baldoza of UP Diliman), Best Poster, Cinemasters’ Choice (selected by the organizers) and Audience Choice at the awards ceremony held last January 21 at UP Cine Adarna.
The 10-minute film tells the story of Andre (Antonio Collantes), a boy who suddenly finds himself alone in their house. He looks for his mother (Aileen Sahibad) despite having no electricity at home. He eventually finds an explanation regarding the unexpected turn of events as well as the shadows lurking in the dark.
FEU Film Society Vice President Ralph Quincena wrote the screenplay, edited and co-directed the film with fellow FEU Department of Communication student Patricia Ramirez. They also got ample support from director of photography Josel Fajardo, producer and sound designer Zheina David, associate producer and assistant director Ronalyn Torres, production designer Andrea Rigor, sound recordist Faith Medina, script continuity supervisor Rodney Barnes and musical scorer Athena Respicio, among others. Fajardo, David, Torres, Rigor, Medina and Barnes are Quincena’s fellow FEU FilmSoc members and communication majors while Respicio is an architecture student at FEU.
“So far, my bad experiences have been my investment in filmmaking. I’m the type of person who believes that the grudges that people have from their dark pasts are great sources of magnificent stories. That is why I found myself being fond of making horror films. For me, all of the films that I’ve made have that dark touch, a feeling of unhappiness and fear. I don’t know why exactly but anger, sadness and fright seem to drive my creativity crazy,” Quincena shared.
Ramirez, on the other hand, said that Quincena convinced her to make the short films Laba Boy for CineMapua (an annual short film festival of Mapua Institute of Technology) last year and now Ma? which she considers a story that wants to speak out an emotion kept for years. “Even if this isn’t my own experience, I envisioned it by how I also felt with life, the unexpected horrors of living it each day and the wonderful surprises that may await us in the end.”
Lutab by Ma. Jerowe Papin and Efren Orpiada Jr. of Ateneo de Naga University won Best Narrative Film and Best Editing (in a tie with Processions by Steven Paul Evangelio of UP Diliman). Processions also bagged Best Screenplay while The Last Gig on Earth by Mariah Reodica, also from UP Diliman, won Best Production Design.
In Memoriam by Jeremy Quing and Catrina Mae Oblefias of Southern Luzon State University got the Best Documentary prize while Ang Pagkalaglag ng Ginintuang Salamin ng Pagkakilanlan by Tricia Sotaso of Mapua won Best Experimental Film.
Award-winning filmmakers Lav Diaz, Jason Paul Laxamana, actresses Angeli Bayani and Irma Adlawan, cinematographer Tey Clamor, editor Carlo Francisco Manatad, production designer Mao Fadul and sound designer Mikko Quizon comprised the narrative film jury. Kiri Dalena, Sheron Dayoc and Cha Escala judged the documentaries while Hector Barretto Calma, Mervin Espina and Rox Lee served as jury for the experimental films.
Ma? will next compete in CineMapua along with another FEU short film, Padyak directed by Austhon Solis and Duane Umali, from January 23 to 28.