Filipino films win big at Singapore and Germany FilmfestsPosted on March 23rd, 2008 under Entertainment Success
Filipino filmmakers take home the gold once in again in major film festivals in Singapore and Germany.
Independent Filipino filmmaker John Torres, with his debut full-length feature “Todo Todo Teros,” won the NETPAC/FIPRESCI Critics Award at the 19th Singapore International Film Festival, tying with the Chinese film, “Taking Father Home,” directed by Ying Liang.
Torres was previously awarded the 2005 Ishmael Bernal Award for Young Cinema at the Cinemanila Film Festival, for his short film, “Salat.”
While, Khavn’s latest shortfilm work, “Rugby Boyz,” won in the 52nd Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, one of the oldest and most renowned film festivals in the world.
The film received the Special Mention Prize from the Jury of the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia.
In Singapore, three out of the 11 films in competition were from the Philippines, and all were by first-time feature filmmakers. These included Torres’ “Todo Todo Teros”, veteran scriptwriter Clodualdo del Mundo Jr.’s “Pepot Superstar” (Pepot Artista) and 21-year- old Raya Martin’s “A Short Film about the Indio Nacional” (Ang Maicling Pelicula nang Ysang Indio Nacional).
The Oberhausen jury only gave a rousing statement for the “Rugby Boyz “ shortfilm. The documentary about boys living in Philippine slums. With a unique color and lighting design and a poetic narrative approach, the filmmaker manages to show the boys’ indomitable will to live and the fragility of their situation in life.”
In Singapore, another Filipino, 11-year-old Elijah Castillo, was honored, winning Best Actor for his role, ironically as a kid who wants to be an actor, in the film “Pepot Superstar.”
Torres, who shot and edited his film himself and used footage of his friends in the film, stated in his speech during the awarding ceremony, “(This award is) for anyone who doesn’t even have a camera but has a story to tell. You don’t have to have money, budget, crew, staff, a finished script to make a film.”
“Todo Todo Teros,” about an artist who wakes up one night to discover that he is a terrorist, is a moving treatise on the way we terrorize the ones we love. The filmmaker utilizes the same film technique he used in his short films, employing found footage and organized footage together with an introspective voiceover to tell a unique story. Most of the scenes were shot first before a script was written.
Torres, who made “Todo Todo Teros” for not much more than the cost of several mini-DV tapes, bested several films of gastronomically higher budget, proving that heart, truth, and sincerity connect with audiences much more than larger-than-life stars or marketing gimmicks.
Aside from the International Competition section of Oberhausen, “Rugby Boyz” was also shown in the Kids and Youth program, the only international Children’s and Youth Films Competition in Germany.
“Rugby Boyz” had its world premiere in Rotterdam International Film Festival early this year. It will also compete in the Busan Asian Short Film Festival (Korea), Hamburg International Short Film Festival (Germany) and Vila Do Conde International Short Film Festival (Portugal). It was also shown locally last March in the Ateneo Video Open and at the Kampo Sining Pambata, a summer camp for children from urban poor communities, held early this month in Antipolo.
Khavn is currently finishing a children’s full-length movie, “Larombata,” the first digital animation feature in the Philippines. Supported by Cinemalaya, “Larombata” is a musical fantasy about Philippine games and toys, featuring Niño Muhlach’s voice and footage from his early films.
Produced by Filmless Films, “Rugby Boyz” is written and directed by Khavn, cinematography by Albert Banzon, assistant direction by Rayg Generoso and editing by Caloy Carlos. English translation is by Merv Espina. Running time is eight minutes.