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Short film from Cebu nabs 4 awards at inaugural Puregold CinePanalo Film Fest

Januar Junior Aguja - The Freeman
Short film from Cebu nabs 4 awards at inaugural Puregold CinePanalo Film Fest
Tiil ni Lola's poster courtesy of RCine Films

CEBU, Philippines — Cebuano film students from the University of San Carlos (USC) made a mark at the inaugural Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival as they bagged four trophies during the March 15 awarding ceremony in Quezon City with their entry “Tiil ni Lola.”

The coming-of-age musical short film set in 2005 features Dixie Dione Cruel, Karlo Lugo, DJ San Diego, Caroline Acelo, Vivienne Cabataña, and indie veteran Ligaya Rabago in the titular role. It focuses on the rise of a band of siblings named “TGBTB” as they recall how their grandmother was a huge presence in their lives and the struggles they had to endure to be where they are.

“Eight months ago, this was only an idea or a what-if. I still remember the days when I wanted to make a film about a band because I have always wanted to be in one, and I've always loved music,” director Reutsche Colle Lima shared in a Facebook post. She wrote the screenplay with Danica Tabiola, with a contribution from Morriseth Tupino.

The short won Best Original Song for “Balik”, which had music and lyrics by Cebuano band Espresso and performed by Cruel. The song and its accompanying original soundtrack, which includes scores by Kuukiko, can be streamed on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.

"Tiil ni Lola" also won Best Editing for Nyle Bacolod, Reutsche Lima, and Elj Tababa.

Cast and crew of "Tiil ni Lola" pose with Cebuano director Victor Kaiba Villanueva who was part of the festival's jury. / Photo courtesy of Reutsche Colle Lima

The filmmakers were likewise given two other awards: second placer in the MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board) Responsableng Paglikha category, and a recipient of the Mowelfund Filmmaking Scholarship.

It was also nominated in nine other categories, including Best Short Film, and Best Director, with Cruel and Rabago being nominated in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, respectively.

“Being part of this nationwide film festival is already an honor. Being one of the winners and being nominated is an overwhelming experience that I will always be grateful for," said Lima.

"I will forever cherish the chance to connect and create meaningful connections with other talented student directors and other established professional directors. It’s like meeting and recognizing the talents and passion of another artist.”

Lima further thanked her mentors at USC for their support.

“I really learned a lot as a director and writer [from Sir Diem Judilla and Sir Kris Villarino], and I will surely bring and remember your critiques as I grow as a filmmaker. To the USC [School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design] and USC BFA-Cinema faculty, Dr. Mary Felma Aliño and Dean Adrian Del Monte, thank you so much for believing in us and always being ready to assist and support us,” she said.

Lima also thanked her family members especially her parents. “To Papa, I know that you had a hard time letting me go on my own and chase my dreams far from home. I know that you’re happy and supportive of me slowly spreading my wings. To the Rigurosa family especially Mama who has been supporting and helping me spread these wings and for letting me reach my dreams.”

She dedicated the wins to her grandmother, sating, “To my Lola Rose in heaven who encouraged me to never stop writing, this is for you.”

"Tiil ni Lola" was initially shown to the public from March 15 to 19 at Gateway Cineplex in Araneta City before it was given an extended run until March 26 due to the festival’s popularity. — (FREEMAN)

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