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Mapúans highlight experimental works in VanGarde filmfest

Article by: Seymour B. Sanchez

Student filmmakers from the Mapúa University School of Media Studies hosted a competition and screening of 24 student projects during the third VanGarde Experimental Film Festival, with the theme “Clairvoyance Meeting,” at the Mapúa Cardinal Cinema in Makati.

Photo courtesy: VanGarde Experimental Film Festival

When the dust had settled, Pearl Barcos and Franz Bautista bagged the Best Experimental Film award for “Who Let the Dogs Out?” In the film, “choices are to be determined by blindly following the inducing mechanisms of money and power” in the eyes of a new civilization. 

It’s been a few days since this happened, but it still feels surreal that our short experimental film ‘Who Let the Dogs Out?’ won Best Film at the VanGarde Experimental Film Festival,” Bautista shared. 

“Glitters,” a film following a fish that “seeks through the sea of plastic waste that is now blending in with marine life and finds itself trapped in its own habitat,” won first runner-up for director Darryl Villafuerte. 

Villafuerte also recently took home second prize and Best Regional Entry for “Glitters” under the Experimental Film category and honorable mention for his documentary “Daíng” at the 35th Gawad CCP for Alternative Film and Video or Gawad Alternatibo. The Bulakenyo filmmaker previously won Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Design for “Glitters” at the 11th Sine Bulacan Film Festival. 

The Mapúan filmmaker revealed that “Glitters” was inspired by the litter he saw in the waters of Pamarawan, Malolos, Bulacan while filming his documentary “Daíng,” which also won honorable mention at Sinepiyu. “As vast as our marine life flourishes, it gets destroyed and confined by unharmful-looking specks of colorful dust that are not from the ocean world,” he explained. 

Kimi Crisostomo got the second runner-up prize for “Mga Manikang Pinipilipit,” which shows a man slowly exposing the inner workings of a Matryoshka Doll and in turn inflicting dangers upon himself. 

The Special Jury Award went to “Strain” directed by Jericho Jeriel. In the film, “nightmare envelopes the great strain lurking within ourselves” in an era of great stress and anxiety. Johan Gonzales received the Honorable Mention prize for “Ilusyon.” The film focuses on how “a higher power that once swore to serve us” has silenced people “in order to hide the greater truth.” 

The other films shown during the festival, which was divided into four clusters, are “Ad Visum” by Elias Pernecita III, “Altschmerz” by Alexandra Dungca, “Black/White” by Jera Sombrero, “Eye Globe” by Angela Isabelle Colada, “Frayed” by Kaye Celine Abat, “Frosh Lie” by Angelo Oliveria and Elijah Enero, “Handa nang Hindi na” by Reizel Caballero and Reyana Velasquez, “He Does It” by Nolz Dela Cruz, “Hold (Fast)” by Hansel Jimenez and Vince Maliksi, “Imaginari” by Patrick Pregonero, “Pangamba” by Maria Juliana Villar, “Playing God” by Bianca Villanueva, “Reseta” by Jo Javier, “Tak-tak” by Christian Stephen Espiritu, “Take That Man” by Hassmir Kier Silos, “Tanganan ‘yan” by Yvon Kate Arcal, “The Blocks” by Via Kaye, “The Five Stages of Bro Split” by Ryem Panganiban, “The Reverie” by Rei Cordero, and “Too Much” by Justine Carl Villoso. 

Interdisciplinary artist and advocacy filmmaker Richard Soriano Legaspi, director/editor Maria Estela Paiso, and photographer, filmmaker, and advertising director Arjanmar Rebeta served as jury. 

VanGarde started as a virtual film festival in 2021, with the aim of showing experimental films from the DF124P Experimental Film Production class of Dr. David R. Corpuz, program chair of Mapúa Film under SMS. The Film Festival Management class of Kristine Camille Sulit organized the event this year.

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