Thomasians’ indie film among the best in global film festival

Photo courtesy of Lorenzo de Castro

AN INDEPENDENT film produced by Thomasians, including eight students of the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters, has emerged as one of the ten best entries in the East Asia-Oceania category of an international film festival.

“Kung Sakaling Maalala,” directed by creative writing sophomore Lorenzo de Castro and communication junior Tatjana Deocareza, bagged the eighth prize in this year’s Don Bosco Global Youth Film Festival Regional Bests Award for short film last Oct. 13.

The five-minute film tackled the life of a jeepney driver whose wife suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. It was co-produced by communication juniors Arwin Nathaniel Romano, Kim Salenga, Louise Elaine Legaspi, Kevin Christian Crisolo, senior Gereille De Guzman and sophomore Zebedee Ira Lucas. Fourth-year advertising students Denver Kyle Pangilinan and Julianna Reyes were also members of the production.

De Castro, who started joining film festivals in 2016, said it was an achievement to display the creativity of Thomasians before an international audience.

“It feels surreal to represent the Philippines and the Thomasian community at an international level as it has always been my dream to spread Filipino films, not only in UST but worldwide,” de Castro told The Flame.

The creative writing student hopes the recognition will inspire fellow Thomasians to participate in festivals and venture into film production as a medium of telling their stories.

“UST may not have a film program, but I hope other (aspiring filmmakers) never stop trying to tell their story. We don’t have to immediately win an award. We just need to be there to represent the Philippines and give [the audience] a glimpse of how Filipinos tell stories and how we can change the lives of others,” he said.

Crisolo, the team’s production manager, echoed the view, saying a “special bond as Thomasians” helped them drive the film forward.

“While we cannot say that we are at the same pace in creating films, being a [team of] Thomasians helped us in expressing our individual talents in one collaborative output,” Crisolo said.

“Our experience showed that film is not just about talent but also passion…You have to sacrifice a lot for it, so if you are passionate for something, you have to go for it and commit to it.”

Another Filipino film, “Indayog,” was recognized in the East Asia-Oceania region category, ranking ninth. “Friends” by a Cambodian production bested all entries, followed by “Hope to Dream” and “Nighttime,” both from Thailand.

Established in 2021, the Don Bosco Global Youth Film Festival allows young filmmakers to showcase their talents worldwide. This year’s two-day festival was screened across 136 countries with the theme, “Love builds peace and solidarity.” F – Mari Ymanuel Roxas

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