Ilonggo short films make it to Cinemalaya 2022

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
Ilonggo short films make it to Cinemalaya 2022
Si Oddie by Maria Kydylee Torato.
STAR / File

Three Ilonggo films have made it to Cinemalaya 2022 short film category as among the Top 12 finalists. They are Mga Handum Nga Nasulat sa Baras (The Dreams That Are Written In The Sand) by Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay and Richard Jeroui Salvadico; Mata kang Busay (Vision of the Falls) by Niño Maldecir and Cypher John Gayorgor; and Si Oddie by Maria Kydylee Torato.

In an e-mail interview with The STAR, the directors shared some background and the inspiration behind their respective works.

According to the synopsis, Mga Handum Nga Nasulat sa Baras follows the story of Makoy, Kalyo and Buknoy, who wake up to an announcement about the new educational system. Their parents, who are not as privileged and as knowledgeable as they are, must take an exam to determine if they are fit to teach their children. In a span of three days, the three take efforts to help their parents for the test.

Mga Handum Nga Nasulat sa Baras (The Dreams That Are Written In The Sand) by Arlie Sweet Sumagaysay and Richard Jeroui Salvadico and Mata kang Busay (Vision of the Falls) by Niño Maldecir and Cypher John Gayorgor,

The film drew inspiration from Girlie Sumagaysay, who launched a program called Titser-Nanay, where mothers study basic subjects, so they can teach their children at home.

“This film will represent the sectors that we (give less) attention to and that is the low-income earners and their education, how they have and had to adjust to the system and how parents become teachers to their children and how children become teachers to their parents,” said Arlie.

Mata kang Busay was screened at the 18th Bantayan Film Festival in Guimbal, Iloilo and was filmed in various locations including the famous Nadsadjan Falls in Igbaras, Iloilo.

It is about a mystic falls, which is “power-giving to those generous to her demands.” The film poses the question, “When she does her bidding, what are you prepared to commit?”

It was based on manogban-aw or magtatawas in Tagalog where the “team created a fictitious story out of these real characters that are very familiar to us, Ilonggos,” shared Cypher.

The film focuses on the “personal conflicts that occur on the characters,” he added.

With the pandemic as its backdrop, Si Oddie is “about a day in the life of a delivery rider named Oddie whose mother is at the hospital in need of an oxygen tank. After asking for an additional delivery to pay for his mother’s medical needs, Oddie ends up looking for an oddly unlocatable customer named Trisha Lopez.”

“Along his way, Oddie encounters several people related to her. He is passed from one person to the next until he crosses paths with someone who will change his day-to-day life as a delivery rider,” the description read.

Kydylee was an intern in a food delivery company and she witnessed the plight of delivery riders and their working conditions.

“I saw how hard it is to become a delivery rider because their working environment is pretty much dangerous and sometimes they are not compensated fairly. In the process of writing the script, I also got to interview a couple of riders and I realized that they are our unsung heroes during the pandemic,” she said.

“Without them, no one will deliver our orders while we’re stuck at home due to the strict lockdowns. This realization prompted me to develop a film that it hits close to home,” she furthered.

Si Oddie was filmed mostly in Capiz during the Typhoon Odette. The director of the film is a University of the Philippines Visayas Bachelor of Arts Communication and Media Studies student. The team is soliciting donations to fund their trip so they could bring the actors and staff to attend the Cinemalaya film festival in August.

The short is part of the screenwriting and directing class of Arden Rod Condez, writer and director of the 2019 Cinemalaya Best Film John Denver Trending.

“I had the chance to watch the three short films before they were released to the public. I am extremely proud of the filmmakers who made them. And by filmmakers, I mean everyone who helped to make these films happen,” remarked Arden. “It has always been like this for regional cinema. Every film is a community project. Dagyaw. Western Visayas cinema is thriving because everybody honors the power of filmmaking to unite the people.”

Completing the 12 finalists for Cinemalaya’s short film category are Ampangabagat Nin Talakba Ha Likol (It’s Raining Frogs Outside) by Maria Estela Paiso; Black Rainbow by Zig Dulay; City of Flowers by Xeph Suarez; Dikit by Gabriela Serrano; Distance by Dexter Paul de Jesus; Duwa-Duwa by Nena Jane Achacoso; Kwits by Raz de la Torre; Roundtrip to Happiness by Claudia Fernando; and See You, George by Mark Moneda.


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