A short film on grief, memories, past experiences and a loved one, who has presumably died from a disaster, scored consecutive victories in the ASEAN Biennale or ASEANnale 2018 at the Asian Center in UP Diliman and at the 9th Largabista Film Festival in Tacloban, Leyte.

Amy, written and directed by De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Digital Filmmaking student John Craig “Jaig” de Guzman, tied for the Best Narrative Film award with Mission Accomplished by Eidref Kristin Faith Magpayo of Centro Escolar University-Malolos at the first ASEANnale Film and Multimedia Competition awarding ceremonies held last March 2.

De Guzman’s entry also won Best Short Film and Best Editing at the Largabista Film Festival awards night held last March 3 onboard the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, which is docked at the Tacloban city port as part of its climate justice ship tour in Southeast Asia. The city is known as “ground zero” of the devastating typhoon where over 7,000 people died last November 8, 2013.

Chloe Tabanda plays Amy, who now lives in the mind of her boyfriend Mark after dying from the havoc caused by Typhoon Yolanda, while Seaver Choy essays the role of Mark, who tries to seek answers to his existential questions while living in a state of delirium.

ASEANnale gathered academics, experts, filmmakers, multimedia artists, and scholars celebrating the unique ASEAN perspectives and narratives. The three-day event centered on the theme Capturing the Spirit of ASEAN in the Digital Times and the sub-themes Diaspora, Disasters and Democracy.

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Meanwhile, another Benilde film and Largabista finalist, Auntwo Susan, won Best Cinematography for director of photography Yves Jamero and Best Actress in a Lead Role for Sherry Lara. The short film, which was co-directed by Andrea Arias and Mia Rosero, tells the story of a 50-year old woman (Lara) who reconnects with her former neighbor (Kate Alejandrino) and together they settle problems about home.

Other Benilde films which made it to Largabista’s list of finalists are Kaming Mga Nakakulong by Michael Pagaduan and Obra ng Maestro by Anna Francesca Coronel. They competed with eight other short film finalists.

Aaron J.P. Almadro, editor in chief and creative director of 8 Magazine, spearheaded the film festival along with fellow organizers Greenspeace Southeast Asia-Philippines, led by its country director Amalie Obusan, and Sinerangan, co-founded by film director Gianfranco C. Morciano.