Discover: Cinemalaya 2015 Shorts B Film Review

Since I've already made a review on the shorts A films, it's finally time to give my brief reviews on each of the shorts B film ...

Since I've already made a review on the shorts A films, it's finally time to give my brief reviews on each of the shorts B film on the Cinemalaya film festival 2015. The shorts B films for this year's Cinemalaya include Lisyun Qng Geografiya (Geography Lessons) by Petersen Vargas, Wawa by Angelie Mae Macalanda, Mater by Annemikami Pablo, Pusong Bato (Stone Heart) by Martika Ramirez Escobar, and Papetir (Puppeteer) by Darwin Novicio. 
Total Running Time: 20 minutes 

This film revolves around the story of two guy best friends and their unusual relationship. As Tib, one of the main characters, discovers an old map given to him by his best friend, Tric, he travels to his past and remembers the good and the bad times that he and Tric shared. We also get a glimpse on how the two high school best friends had a falling out as Tric eventually admits to Tib that he is in love with him. 

What I like about the film is its simplicity. I think among the short films that I watched this year in Cinemalaya, this film was the simplest. It was effortless and uncomplicated. It was just a simple storytelling of an unusual relationship of two best friends, yet despite of its simplicity, it was able to capture the hearts of the audience. I think that was also the reason why this film can easily go mainstream - kuhang kuha yung kiliti ng audience eh. The film was easy to understand for the audience since there weren't a lot of symbolism that would make the audience think too much - if there were any, they were pretty easy to figure out. I think part of the reason here why the symbolisms in this film were easy to understand was because the issue tackled was very relatable to any common man. 

Lastly, I just want to commend how good the soundtrack of the film. All the songs were very appropriate on their scenes and it just added on the vibes that the film was trying to convey. 

Overall, I can say that it was a film filled with so much emotions that a lot of the audience can relate to. 
Total Running Time: 10 minutes and 9 seconds 

Wawa tackles what a person goes through after losing someone. In the film, we can see how a young boy is dealing with his grief on losing his father with silence and reservation. According to the director, she wanted to show how there are different ways different people mourn over a loss - and that silence is one of them. 

First of all, this film has a really great setting. The location was one of a kind and according to the director, it was, in fact, buwis buhay. I think it was very appropriate on what the film is trying to portray since the setting was very calm and serene. Second, the lack of dialogue in the film is also, I think, very symbolic. There was very little dialogues in the film and it just clearly reflects how the young boy is dealing with his loss. 
Total Running Time: 19 minutes and 23 seconds

Mater is about a complicated mother-daughter relationship. Their complications came from the fact that they are two completely different persons being separated by their own actions and beliefs. It tackles two different worlds - the religious world of the mother and the rebellious world of the daughter and how it affects each one of them. 

What I like about the film is that it tackles a sensitive topic about being a different person than your parents. I think one of the problems in the society is how it is difficult for parents to accept when their children has their own set of beliefs that they do not necessarily approve of. What I also like about the film is how it shows the concept of escaping their own reality with material things - or religious images, In the film, it is shown how the mother and the daughter are escaping their reality in completely different ways - which just goes to show how different they are as people. 
Total Running Time: 20 minutes

When I read the title, I honestly thought that it was about someone who doesn't know how to love; hence, a pusong bato. But then when I watched the film, it was not what I expected. It was about a woman who fell in love with a stone. Apparently, the title meant that it was - literally - about a heart shaped stone. More than that, the film is about how love changes people. 

What I liked about the film was it was unexpected. Aside from the fact that I didn't expect what the film is going to be about, there were also scenes in the film wherein I didn't expect it to happen. Also, the film itself is unexpected in a sense that even if I was already halfway through with the film, I still didn't know where the film was headed - which I think is a good thing since it adds on to the excitement of the audience. Also, on the surface, one would think that it was just a story of someone who fell in love with an object. But then again, it was way more than that. 
This - literally - short film gives us a glimpse of how it is like to be a ventriloquist - or an entertainer, for that matter. It shows the truth on what most entertainers have already experienced - the obligation to entertain their audience even if they themselves are in need of entertainment because of what they are going through. Apparently, this entry was an excerpt to a full-length film.

What I like about the film was its ability to tell a complete story with just little time. It was simple and straight-forward. It was able to entertain and convey a message even if the film is composed of just two to three scenes.

Among the shorts B films, my favorite was the Lisyun Qng Geografiya. I think it was more on because of its simplicity. Other than that, my other favorite pick is Mater. Again, these films just goes to show the diversity of the directors since they had their own styles on telling their story. Their films also had different backgrounds and inspirations which made each of their films unique.

So, this entry ends my Cinemalaya 2015 series haha! If you want to check out my review on the shorts A film just click here. I also made a review on Jay, the only full-length movie that I saw on Cinemalaya 2015. And if you wanna read about my Cinemalaya adventure, it's here!

*All the movie posters were taken from this website.

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