Student films from the University of the East College of Fine Arts, Architecture and Design (UE CFAD) are gradually making their present felt in the international and local film arena.
This year, “Yero” (Corrugated Galvanized Iron) won Best Short Documentary at the third 21 Islands International Short Film Festival in New York. The 13-minute documentary also competed recently at the 21st Ismailia International Film Festival for documentary and short films in Egypt and is part of the official selection of the exground filmfest 32 in Germany from November 15 to 24.
A final project for the video production class under professor Richard Legaspi, it reveals the harsh conditions inside a corrugated-iron recycling factory, as seen through the life of two workers, Armando Bucog and Rowil Galicia.
“Yero” also vied for honors at the 30th Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video or Gawad Alternatibo at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and at the 6th Nabunturan Independent Film Exhibition or Nabifilmex 6 in Compostela Valley.
Meanwhile, “How the Beasts Got Hyped” by Elvin Jay Macanlalay, Bryan Marticio and Mars Sanchez was part of the official selection of the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival in India, the Kinolikbez X Documentary Film Festival in Russia, the first Philippine International Film Festival in Korea, the 17th Hyperfest International Student Film Festival in Romania, the AFFF Athens Fashion Film Festival in Greece, the Lift-Off Global Network — First time Filmmaker Sessions in the United Kingdom, and the 2019 Music Shorts Film Festival in the USA.
The documentary, also a final project under professor Legaspi’s class, focuses on the daily routine of “hypebeasts” or people who are “beasts” (obsessed) about the “hype” (in fashion) and their mutual interest in street-style fashion, which provides a sense of community among its followers.
Another UE entry, the animated film “Maling Akala: Ang Misteryo ng Unamuno” by Macanlalay and Arvileen Yongzon, has been recently nominated in AnakTV’s Sinebata 2019. Produced by Piko Productions as a requirement for professor Ronwell Bacani’s class, the five-minute animation takes on a legendary Philippine mythical creature named Bungisngis and a mischievous child named Ron Ron, as they journey through the woods after a calamity hits their village, Unamuno.
“Maling Akala” also vied for awards at Nabifilmex, Gawad Alternatibo, the student category of Pagwanawanan Film Festival, second Manila Student Film Festival, Recoletos Film Festival, 11th Philippine Animation Festival or Animahenasyon 11, and CineKasimanwa: The Western Visayas Film Festival. It was also exhibited at the Sinehan sa Summer 2019 in New York and is one of the 20 finalists in the open category of the 6th Urduja Film Festival in Pangasinan this month.
“Yero,” “How the Beasts Got Hyped,” “Maling Akala” and “Dumbo,” another animated film project under professor Bacani’s class, represented UE in the first Cinestudyante Film Festival at Santolan Town Plaza from September 25 to October 1.
“Dumbo” is directed by Jonica “Nica” Aque based on the story and character design by Ariane Semana, produced by Zyon Kierulf, edited by Kim Bautista, production design by Charl Cercado Poyaoan and cinematography by Jessa Victoriano and Matthew Bautista Adolfo. A short traditional animation about a kid who unknowingly becomes depressed from feeling left out, alone and from having inattentive parents, which are too much for him to bear, it was also nominated at AnakTV’s Sinebata 2019.
Another UE student work, Rexie Robles Tamayo’s “Mga Bangkang Papel sa Sapang Delubyo” competed in the short film category of the 26th Annual Filipino International Cine Festival or FACINE in San Francisco, California on October 26. The short film revolves around Tutoy, a naïve child with a penchant for Greek mythology, who suddenly finds himself in the middle of a tragedy and feuding siblings.