Discover: Cinemalaya 2015 Shorts A Review

Just like I promised, here's a more detailed discussion on the films that I watched during Cinemalaya. For now, I will be talkin...

Just like I promised, here's a more detailed discussion on the films that I watched during Cinemalaya. For now, I will be talking about the first batch of Shorts Film that I watched. These include Apasol (Chasing Sun) by Ryanne Murcia, Gatilyo ng Baril by Glenmark C. Doromal & Eero Yves Francisco, Sanctissima by Kenneth Dagatan, Kyel by Arvin "Kadiboy" Belarmino, and Nenok by Milo Tolentino. 
Total Running Time: 19 minutes

First, I'd like to commend on how great the cinematography of this film is. I mean all of them were really great, but this particular film stood out. Probably one of the reasons here is because they had a really great location with really great lighting haha! Second, when I found out that the director was also the actor I was amazed! I mean, it's hard enough to direct or to act alone, what more do it at the same time? Third, in terms of the storyline, I'd say that the film was very symbolic. From the surface, it was just the last afternoon spent by a couple together. However looking at it closer, you can see how the elements represent something else. For instance, according to the movie director himself, the river in the scene represents opportunities. Even the story mentioned at the first part of the film, meant something that the characters could relate to. Even the dialogues and monologues of the character had a meaning. However, all these representations would mean differently depending on the point of view of the viewer.

But what I just didn't understand from the movie was about the fight that the couple had during the first few minutes of the film. Did it have something to do with the story mentioned on the first part of the film? Were the characters in the story somehow related or represented the parents of Mark?
Total Running time: 9 minutes 

Gatilyo ng Baril tackled on two sensitive issues during the times of Marcos' Matial Law - truth and assasination. It was a relatively short film but nevertheless it kept the audience on edge and interested on the film even if it was mostly a dialogue between two characters. The film narrates some truth during the Martial Law, that perhaps, not everyone knows - just like how there were many attempted assassinations during that time even before the assassination of Ninoy. 

More importantly, the film tackled the truth on how dangerous it really is to know too much information about powerful people and how these truths that people know can never really get out of them. 

Overall, I think it was a really good short film since even if it was really short, they were able to stick to the minds of audience and not just simply be forgotten easily. They also did a great job in terms of conveying the atmosphere of the set since it was supposedly set during 1983. 
Total Running Time: 15 minutes 

The film features the story of an abortionist with her own set of secrets. If you think that her being an abortionist may be the darkest thing about her, then you are wrong. She knows how to keep the secrets of those who come to her to have their child aborted because she, herself, has her own set of secrets that are even darker than those who have their child aborted. 

From the selection of shorts film in this first batch, this is my second favorite short film. Why? First of all, it was flawless. Cinematography, story and even music wise, everything was right were they were supposed to be which I think made the film one of the bests. It was not your ordinary Filipino horror film. I have to be honest, I'm a fan of horror but I was never a fan of Filipino horror film mainly because I find most of our horror films corny. But this one here is way way way different. It was really good that you could easily have it compete with other international films. What I also liked about this film was there was no censor. For the sake of film making and story telling, the film did not set boundaries on how visual they are going to get in order to properly portray the story to the audience. The horror and the brutality of the film were right on edge. It is - definitely - the future of Filipino horror films. 

Total Running Time: 18 minutes and 21 seconds

Kyel shows the story of a man who is finding an escape from his reality on his own little world through the figments of his imagination and the use of substances that became his downfall.

I mentioned earlier that Sanctissima was my second favorite among the shorts A films, well, this is my favorite. I like it because it was very different among the other films that I watched. It steered away from the usual narrative that we see in films. It gave the audience a glimpse of how it's really like when a person is under the influence of substances. I like it because it showed the truth of the darker side and the truth about what it's like to find an escape - which may not necessarily be drugs, by the way - from your own world, which I think some people don't really understand unless they themselves do it.
Total Running Time: 19 minutes

This is actually a feel-good film focusing on the story of a little boy living and surviving in a church by finding his own little ways that may not necessarily be good. However, as the story progress we see a child with a good heart despite his notorious deeds. 

What I like about the film was that it showed the different side of kids from the streets. Usually, we know them as the annoying kids who ask for money or even those who steal, but we never really got to know them as the kids who, at an early age, was abandoned, lost their loved ones, and went through difficult times. It tackled that issue without making the audience feel like it since it was a feel-good movie. I guess it did a good job in telling a very serious story in a funny way. 

Overall, the shorts A films were really good and I have to commend the directors for being able to tell their stories really well. It was also nice watching the short films simultaneously because it showed how the directors have their own styles and ways of telling their stories. 

*If you want to check out my review on the shorts B 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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