Student filmmakers from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde led the winners of the Manila Student Film Festival for the fourth consecutive year after it has recently concluded its awarding ceremony at the International School Manila (ISM) Fine Arts Theater.
Ryan Miguel Capili’s “Damgo sa Kahitas-an” won Best Film in the 19-22 age group while fellow Benildean Vahn Pascual’s “Ang Mga Sisiw sa Kagubatan” brought home Best Animation from the ISM filmfest.
“Damgo sa Kahitas-an” tells the story of a high school student who aspires to study film in college, but everyone around him is against his plan. Capili shared that it “comes from a personal story of trying to pursue arts” instead of other courses.
Meanwhile, “Ang Mga Sisiw sa Kagubatan” features a chick living in the forest which strives to live peacefully together with its community amid the persistent presence of a hungry monster in town.
Pascual, whose other animation “Blue Is Not My Favorite Color” were also among the MSFF finalists, previously received the Best Film award last year for his film “Sina Alexa, Xander at Ang Universe.”
“But the award that I received this year is more meaningful to me because editing and animation are really not my cup of tea and I really have no knowledge on it when I did these projects. I made these films last 2020 and 2021 out of boredom during the surge of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown,” Pascual revealed.
Other Benilde student films, namely “Taya” by Maxine Muñoz, “Rat Race” by Kat Quinio, “Patay-Gutom” by James Bueno and Joshua Rayo, and “At the Hour of Our Death” by Avery Villa, Aza Gellera, Jericho Rimando, Gillian Navarro, Kylle Quiatchon, Ryan Paraboles, and Francesca Ventanilla also made the cut.
MSFF is open to students who are enrolled in grade school (8-11 age category), junior high school (12-14 age category), senior high school (15-18 age category) or college (19-22 age category) nationwide.
“Bob’s Chocolate Catastrophe” and “Food for Thought” from CJ Limjap, Emil Pyykko, Selma White-Pascual, and Lucas Arambulo-Clinton of IS Manila ruled the 8-11 and 15-18 age groups, respectively.
A special prize was awarded to “The Collector” of senior BS Entertainment and Multimedia Computing students from Jose Rizal University. Director Gerry Garcia, editor Elvin Matthew Nido, storyboard artist Creshane Zaslove Pausal, 3D character artist Jong Won Teves, and environment artist Austine Leigh Abedejos of The Cool2 Studios came up with the animated film about a lonely grim reaper who reevaluates his longing to be recognized by the living when he found out that a stray dog could see him.
Broadcast journalist, documentary filmmaker, impact producer, and cancer advocate Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala and screenwriter, director, producer, and editor Coreen “Monster” Jimenez served as jury.
Last year, DLS-CSB’s “Iridescent” by Chiara Parreñas bagged Best Animation and “Ang Awit na Lipos sa Pangungulila” by Dan Verzosa and “Sina Alexa, Xander at ang Universe” tied for Best Film (19-22 group).
“Gayuma” by Trixie Vertera took home the Audience Choice Award and “Sala, Salin Laway” by Verzosa for Haraya Films and Alak at Pelikula Productions led the same age category for Benilde films in 2021.
Aki Red’s “Lilipad Na Si Birdie” started DLS-CSB’s string of victories in the MSFF three years ago.