Full-length feature films often garner the most attention at major film festivals such as Cannes or Sundance. Viddsee Studios’ Kenny Tan, award-winning Filipino filmmaker Sheron Dayoc, and Tribeca Film Festival Shorts Programmer Ben Thompson, however, believes that short films are just as powerful. Parang present-day sili sa ancient barter system, bes. Tipong pwedeng makabili ka na ng bahay.
Anyhoo, we met the three film industry experts at the “Short As Your Signature” panel in the recently-concluded Viddsee Juree Awards Philippines at the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde. We just had to know what their recommended short films are. Here are their answers.
When he’s not busy being the executive producer of Viddsee Studios, the Singaporean video platform’s original production arm, Tan goes back to his roots as a filmmaker and enthusiast. A must-watch short film for him is Oh Lucy! by Atsuko Hirayanagi. Long story short, bes, na-in love ang isang Japanese lady sa isang afam na English teacher. She then goes on a journey to the States to find him. Tan recently saw the movie’s full-length version at the Singapore International Film Festival. “It’s so charming,” he says. “I’m so mesmerized because being able to translate that into a feature [film] that’s relevant and interesting, it extends and gives a lot more meat into the story.”
For film rookies, award-winning Filipino filmmaker Sheron Dayoc says Andong by Rommel Tolentino is the one to watch. Not only is it a winner at the 2008 Cinemalaya, it is also the first Pinoy short film to top the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea. Palaban si Andong! In case you didn’t know, Andong is a young boy obsessed with purchasing a 20-peso raffle ticket that could possibly win him a television. Makakanood na rin siya ng paborito niyang palabas. “It’s a good film to study in terms of telling Filipino politics because it combines both humor and drama,” he says. “I also think it’s reflective of our culture and society.”
Ben Thompson reviews thousands (we ain’t exaggerating, bes) of short films every year as the Shorts Programmer of the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York. But one that remains most memorable for him is a five-minute film called Cold Blood by Canadian filmmaker Martin Thibaudeau. He says it’s about a mother taking her son to the hospital to donate blood for her other son who has a rare blood disease. “Watching that film chokes me up so many times,” he shares. “That’s the beauty of shorts. You can have such an impact in just a short amount of time.”
The Viddsee Juree Awards is a short film competition for Asia—including the Philippines—for all genres such as fiction, documentary, and animation. For more details, visit viddsee.com/channel/juree/philippines2018.
Photos by Vince Batalla