Comm students’ short film to premiere in local cinema

The production team of Familea Films. Photo courtesy of Dizelle Masilungan

A SHORT film produced by UST communication students is among the 25 official entries that will have its exclusive big-screen debut in the first-ever Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival on Friday, March 15.

“Kung Nag-aatubili,” directed by Dizelle Masilungan under homegrown production team Familea Films, will be screened until March 17 at Gateway Cineplex 18 in Cubao, Quezon City.

According to him, the screenplay was originally a requirement for a course with communication instructor Jean Paolo Hernandez, who eventually became the team’s supervising producer for the film project.

“I’m an [aspiring] storyteller and filmmaker as well and learning from these veterans, who are also our professors and mentors, really opened my eyes [to] the possibilities that could happen from crafting a film, and we wouldn’t be able to make this film without their teachings and their help,” Masilungan told The Flame.

Fourteen senior communication students make up Familea Films, namely, Masilungan, Rufino Aresta, Jedd Leaño, Angela Lamsen, Raven Arellano, Jerui Capisonda, Veronica Caridad, Anton Acosta, Nathanael Monte, Lorenzo Prietos, Neala Calinawan, Rommel Sales, Shemuel Lopez and Paolo Alejandrino.

Masilungan received a budget of P100,000 from organizer Puregold to produce the short film.

“Kung Nag-aatubili” follows a college artist named Gelo who is struggling to find inspiration for his thesis painting until he meets another character called Kael.

The story was conceptualized by Aresta, also the head writer of the project, who wanted to feature queer love and representation in the film.

“I was inspired by healing K-drama series, Asian boys’ love series, Japanese slice of life, and Studio Ghibli films. I think I loved slow, simple, and silent movies that [have] depth. So it flowed into my writing,” Aresta said.

Masilungan expressed hope that their short film would serve as “an escape” for people who find the world “troubling.”

“Ultimately, our film is also for those who have doubts in whatever aspects of their lives…(for them to know) that they are not alone, that they have someone to lean on,” the student director said.

“Kung Nag-aatubili” will be showing in Gateway Cineplex 18 on the following schedules: March 15 and 17 in Cinema 1 at 5:20 p.m.; March 16 in Cinema 1 at 10:30 p.m. and in Cinema 2 at 9:15 p.m.

It will be available for viewing alongside other entries from Philippine schools, including, “Tambal nga Sabaw” (Far Eastern University), “Layag sa Pangarap” (Polytechnic University of the Philippines), “Sa Hindi Paghahangad” (De La Salle Lipa) and “Text FIND DAD and Send to 2366” (University of the Philippines).

Regular tickets will be sold for P300 per piece, while students, persons with disabilities and senior citizens may avail a pass for P240.

Only six full-length entries and 25 short films were selected from the 235 pitches submitted by different professional and student directors nationwide.

Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival’s first edition carried the theme, “Mga Kwentong Panalo ng Buhay (Winning Stories of Life).” It was launched last year to provide a platform for young and professional filmmakers. F

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