Saturday, November 13, 2021

2 Benildeans compete in new filmfest

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Two students from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde are vying for awards in a new and unique film competition tonight, November 12 at 8 p.m.

Nicole Lyka Calingasan and Janina Cortez, both fourth year film majors at Benilde, are among the Top 20 finalists in the Three Shots Film (3SF) festival organized by Media Underground or MUD Studios.

Calingasan’s entry which made it to the 3SF finals is entitled “Lamang Lupa.” The short film is about a special fertilizer which holds the secret to a gardener’s lively plants.

Meanwhile, Cortez is behind the short film finalist “4:00 p.m.” It is about a high school student who comes home exhausted after a long day at school.

Calingasan and Cortez, who also both hail from Rizal aside from being film students, were challenged by MUD’s call to make a short film using only three shots and three cuts for a story composed of a beginning, middle and end, with a minimum running time of one minute and a maximum of 15 minutes.

Calingasan, who took a specialization in Screenwriting at the Benilde film department, “loves stories that disturb.” She has written and directed films that “often explore the morbid and the deeply personal.”

Following her passion for storytelling, Calingasan also enjoys experimenting with various themes and genres. “After all, stories have been my playground since childhood and now, I consider filmmaking as the means of bringing my imagination to life,” she shared.

On the other hand, Cortez’s films are “based on her own experiences or of those around her.” She turns these stories into either a poetic drama or romance. Through her films, she wants “to raise awareness on issues that she experiences herself such as those related to identity, loss, and trauma.”

Cortez grew up drawing, painting, and making arts and crafts. She finished senior high school with Arts and Design as her track. “My interest in filmmaking sparked in junior high. I was a photographer for the school’s publication for three years, so I was one of the few students with a camera. Because of this, I was often asked to film for requirements. And so, I learned to love the craft,” she recalled.

MUD Studios founder and director August Lyle Espino attended a workshop a few years ago, “where they were challenged to think outside of the box and create an even shorter version compared to what was usually required for a short film.” This inspired him to help organize the 3SF festival.

Espino revealed that the Best Film, Best Direction, and Best Cinematography winners will receive cash prizes and plaques of recognition. The festival will also award a Jury’s Choice and People’s Choice.

A four-lens kit worth 12,000 pesos, including a travel case bag, 7.5mm fisheye lens, 16mm wide-angle lens, 25mm macro lens, 65mm telephoto lens, two clip mounts, and cleaning cloth, courtesy of Kase Lens PH, and three pieces Selens Redhead Lights with light stand kit await the special prize winners.

Filmmakers Arvin Belarmino, Tristan Cua, Emmanuel Dela Cruz, and Peter Mackie made up the 3SF jury.

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