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MU alum’s film secures Cinemalaya 2020 Short Film finalist spot

Lea Ysabel Q. Evangelista

Out of 244 entries, Mapúa University (MU) alumnus Reeden “Red” Fajardo’s thesis film “Quing Lalam Ning Aldo” finished as one of the top 10 finalists for the Short Film Category of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2020, which was streamed via Vimeo from August 7 to 16.

Translating to “Under the Sun” in English, the movie is about a transgender farmer who renovated her kitchen in preparation for her son’s return. According to Fajardo, the film’s inspiration came from picking up sampaguita flowers in his barangay before having his favorite breakfast during his childhood days.

The Digital Arts graduate elaborated that his film shares the message of accepting people and their right to build their own families regardless of their gender and sexuality – in line with the film festival’s theme “Stream Consciousness.”

“Kahit ano ka pa, kahit anong kasarian mo, deserve mong magkaroon ng pamilya at makagawa ng mabuti sa kapwa mo,” Fajardo emphasized. “Sa pamamagitan ng pagluluto at pagtatrabaho…[nang] mabuti eh makakabuo ka ng pamilya. Hindi man ganoon ka-perpekto pero puno ng pagmamahal.”

Fajardo held on to the story for two years before filming as he waited for the right timing, as well as gathering experience and saving money for the shoot. He said that the production was not easy to accomplish since he wanted to add more details to the film, but he was able to pull it off with the guidance of his professors and friends from the University.

He added that this achievement came as a surprise as he only wanted to give joy to the viewers. Nonetheless, he shared that he is grateful for the film festival for providing a platform for films like his to be shown to a wider audience and therefore spread awareness on normalizing LGBTQ+ families, especially during the pandemic.

Quing Lalam Ning Aldo will be made available to the public via iWant TFC this October. Hopefully, it may also be featured in cinemas through CineFilipino by 2021.

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