WHILE many young people in this age of technology are “text addicts,” a group of students from Polytechnic University of the Philippines embrace technology in a different way. Using their creativity, dertermination, and their mobile phones, they were able to produce a movie that earned them one of the top prizes in the recent Cine-Phone Film Festival.
The Cine-Phone Film Festival, held last December during the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), was the first nationwide movie competition that caters to movies created through the use of cellular phones.
The Student Short Film Competition and a subcategory — the New Wave Section, serves as an avenue for high school and college students to express themselves and be recognized through an accessible medium. Cine-Phone also gives the youth the opportunity to develop their filmmaking talent as well as to promote Filipino values and discipline among them.
The three-to-five-minute videos carried the theme “Restoring Road Courtesy Among Motorists and Pedestrians.”
Cine-Phone awarded the six finalists, three winning entries from high school and another three from colleges in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
THE MAKING OF ‘MONTHSARY’
The film “Monthsary” bested thousands of entries in the Luzon College Category.
Roni Benaid, director and writer of “Monthsary” admits that the main concept of the short film is purely taken from his own experience.
“Aug. 21 nun nung nahuli ako ng jaywalking sa Ortigas. Tapos nakagawa ako ng story out of it. Kaya pinush ko na magshoot kami kung saan ako nahuli,” he says.
For this young director, the message of “Monthsary” is straight to the point and realistic, appealing clearly to the judges and viewers. “Kung ayaw mong mas maabala, huwag kang mag-jaywalk,” adds Benaid who used a Sony Experia smartphone in making the short film.
“The advantage of using a phone is the mobility and the ease of shooting difficult scenes. We had some shots on a public utility bus and on private establishments, so using the phone was less of a hassle,” says Denise Gail Tumibay, the film’s editor and director of photography.
KEEPING THE RIGHT ATTITUDE
Composed of 10 students from the PUP Creative Media Artists Society, team “Monthsary” is not a first-timer in film competitions. In fact, they recently bagged the major awards in the last PNP Film Festival for “Alon” (Student Category) and “Kidnap” (Independent Category).
“Ang film ay isang collaborative work. No one can do a film alone,” Benaid says.
With these young filmmakers’ love and passion for what they do, it is certain that they will go far.
“Every aspect is challenging. I believe that filmmaking is an ever-growing process that evolves at every phase of the production. It's an adventure. And the only hindrance that could let you fail is yourself, if you give up on making the film,” Tumibay says.
Benaid is grateful that tilts like the Cinephone has opened doors for students like them who are into filmmaking.
“Grateful ako kasi binigyan nila kami ng chance to prove our skills,” he says.