A Filipino student-filmmaker will compete at the forthcoming Busan International Film Festival, to be held from October 12 to 21 in South Korea.
Carlo Fajarda, a Digital Filmmaking student at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB), will have his world premier for his 16-minute short film “Suerte” for the Wide Angle Category of the festival.
Fajarda said it is an honor to represent the Philippines in the event. “It is the dream of starting filmmakers like me to be able to join in something like this. It’s an absolute privilege to represent Benilde Film and our country.”
Suerte follows two student filmmakers who are shooting a documentary on the drug trade and the dangers involved, and become obsessed with their project. With the assistance of contacts in the underworld, they become characters in their own film, crossing the line between observer and creator.
In describing the story, Fajarda explained, “It’s very close to me. The characters in the film are based on real life, and the story is based on what’s happening everyday here in our country right now.”
The movie, among the 74 in its division, stars Karl Medina, Dan Medrana, Philippe Quintos, and Fajarda himself.
Fajarda’s movie was his thesis project for his undergraduate course at Benilde. His producers, Bianca Balbuena and Bradley Liew, submitted it to various film festivals abroad. Suerte was likewise accepted for exhibition at the 2017 Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland.
Among awards up for grabs are the Sonje Prize, which gives $10,000 to the director for his next project; BIFF Mecenat Award of $10,000 each for the best documentary feature among Korean and Asian entries; and Busan Cinephile Award of $5,000 for the best world documentary as chosen by a jury of 60 students from the cinema-related departments of six universities in Busan.