Two short films by recent Communication graduates of Far Eastern University made it among the eight Sine Kabataan finalists, which will be featured along with Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2018 full-length film entries from August 15 to 21 in cinemas nationwide.
Enalyn Legaspi‘s Alas-Nuebe ng Tanghali and Christian Babista‘s Anonymous Student Vlog will vie for the top prizes in the second edition of the competition, which aims to provide a youth lens on youth issues that affect the sector.
Their short films will be shown along with Bakwit Boys by Jason Paul Laxamana and Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi by Jun Robles Lana, respectively. Both Legaspi and Babista are also alumni of the FEU Film Society.
In Alas-Nuebe ng Tanghali, the nicest toys and tastiest food await three children in their home after a long day. However, as they further indulge in euphoria, everything is not what they seem to be.
Legaspi, who directed, co-wrote and co-edited the short film, got the support of four of the previous members of her production team when she was still in college — assistant director, production designer and graphic artist Peej Tapel, production manager, co-writer, and co-production designer Mary Lourdes Membrebe, and director of photography and co-editor Prince Viterbo.
“Our take on the film is as simple as how the youth would perceive things. With all these heavy themes, we wanted it to be light and straightforward as much as possible. One liner, no dialogues, but more on sound scoring,” Legaspi explained.
“We started by putting ourselves in the shoes of our characters, who are kids. How far can their imagination go with the circumstances they are actually in? What are the first things they wanted to see? And so we came up with an idea to put three kid characters into a huge house where there are maids serving them,” she added.
Membrebe further discussed the concept she originally came up with for their film. “We were very much inspired by the youth who dream like us, so I think it speaks a great deal about how our circumstances affects the way we see things. Through this story, we can realize that everyone has their own dreams and ways of survival,” she said.
Meanwhile, Anonymous Student Vlog takes on a student vlogger who is mistakenly identified as the prime suspect of a crime that went viral on social media. Similar to Legaspi, Babista also teamed up with his fellow FEU graduate and Filmsoc alumnus Raf Evangelista to shoot his film.
“What pushed me even more to do this is mainly my thirst to create a new film after two years since I graduated. I figured I have a lot of stories in mind so why not try it out. It’s nice to hear that Ena made it as well. I know it’s been awhile since she made a film and it’s good that we both made it,” Babista shared.
The young filmmaker added that he got the concept when he was still starting with his job. “It was my first time to encounter trolls while I was doing a Facebook live video. It somehow honed my idea into how people attack other people through social media accounts by using other identities. It’s interesting how social media is a tool that can make or break a person as it can be a source of information and at the same time be a medium to attack,” he explained.
Unlike Legaspi, however, Babista disclosed that his production wasn’t well-planned. “I just saw the post about Sine Kabataan the night before I decided to shoot the story I have in mind. I immediately tapped Raf and asked him if we can get at least 30 extras for the film we are about to shoot. However, only seven people made it to due to heavy rains,” he said.
“We decided to have a guerilla shoot instead for three hours only since we were thinking of the people who joined us and braved the rains for this shoot. We can’t thank them enough for their help. Despite the weather condition, they chose to push through with the shoot,” Babista concluded.
The other Sine Kabataan finalists are Bahay-bahayan by Brian Spencer Reyes, Bato Bato Pik by Lorys Plaza and Ardinian Sanque, Isang Tula Para Sa Nawawala by Rod Singh, Koleksyong Pamalo by Jocelyn Frago, Masaya Ako by Daniel Delgado and Runner by Levi Jun Miscala.
The Best Picture winner will win 50,000 pesos, a round-trip ticket to Busan and Busan International Film Festival with four (4) days and three (3) nights accommodation, and immersive experience and exposure to the BIFF as a member of the Philippine delegation. All Sine Kabataan finalists will receive 10,000 pesos.
Sine Kabataan was first launched last year as one of the pet programs of then National Youth Commission Chair Ice Seguerra with the Film Development Council of the Philippines. After Seguerra resigned from the NYC, the competition is now made possible through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines and still with the FDCP.