Four capstone projects from the Digital Filmmaking program of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) School of Design and Arts (SDA) will vie for the Best Short Film award at FACINE 25: The 25th Annual Filipino International Cine Festival from October 18 to 21 in San Francisco, California.
Among those which made it as finalist to FACINE’s short film competition are Caramel Child by Kim Timan, Rufyla by Coleen Tanco, Suerte by Carlo Fajarda, and the documentary Hope Spots by Joseph Dominic Cruz.
Caramel Child, co-written by Timan with Palanca awardee Lino Balmes, is a light drama about a Filipino-American girl Katherine Kaye Jones (Angelica Ulip), or Kakay, who tries her best to look for her absentee father. Kakay’s curiosity is triggered by a regional science quiz bee poster and an American client (Savino Bellini) of her mother (Sue Prado). It won Best Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Performer and Best Musical Score (Marcus Santos and Joseph Salcedo) at Pelikultura: The CALABARZON Film Festival 2018. It also brought home the Best Screenplay award from De La Salle University’s Indie Un-film Festival 2017 and competed in the short film category of Cinema One Originals Festival last year.
In Suerte, two student filmmakers are shooting a documentary about the drug trade within their city until it descends into a very dangerous obsession for them. As they go on along with their subjects, they slowly become characters in their own film, crossing the line between observer and creator. The film competed at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, 28th Singapore Int’l Filmfest and Taipei Film Festival in Taiwan.
In Rufyla, a T’boli tribeswoman dances for a living and encounters a dramatic turn of events in pursuit of a better life for her family. The short film is a CineFilipino Film Festival 2018 student category finalist.
Hope Spots, a finalist in the documentary category of UP Cinema’s Piling Obrang Vidyo, looks into the debut of women wrestlers in a fight sponsored by the Philippine Wresting Revolution. It zeroes in on the local professional wrestling scene, presenting the polarizing sport of pro wrestling through the lens of the homegrown promotions’ first female talent.
The competition will open FACINE 25 on October 18 at the San Francisco Main Library and the SF Philippine Consulate. The winner will receive a $100 cash prize and certificate of recognition. Special citations will also be awarded in any category upon the jury’s discretion.
Aside from the four Benildean student films, Hulid (Lie Together) by BenildeFilm program coordinator Jan Philippe Carpio also made it to the competition. The experimental narrative questions sexual pleasure, voyeurism, detachment and the paradox of public anonymity.
“The finalists cover a wide range of genre, format, style and subject, all 45 minutes and less in length, both student and professional works, including notably films by non-Filipino filmmakers with the Filipino as subject,” FACINE director Mauro Feria Tumbocon Jr. said.
Meanwhile, nine full-length films will slug it out for the Best Film and other prizes in the main competition from October 19 to 21 at the Roxie Theater, also in San Francisco. Vying for awards in the different categories are 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten written by Jason Paul Laxamana and directed by Petersen Vargas; Bomba by Ralston Jover; Kita Kita by Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo; Meet Me in St. Gallen by Irene Emma Villamor; Melodrama / Random / Melbourne by Matthew Victor Pastor; Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha by Mes de Guzman; Pauwi Na by Paolo Villaluna; Tale of the Lost Boys by Joselito Altarejos; and Tu Pug Imatuy written by Arnel Mutia Mardoquio and directed by Arbi Barbarona.
FACINE is organized by the Filipino Arts and Cinema International, a nonprofit media arts organization that aims to promote and develop Filipino cinema from the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora. It has organized the festival for the past 25 years.