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Local short films worthy of your time!

Local short films worthy of your time!

Welcome back, Pinoy cinephiles! In recent years, Filipino cinema has been making waves on the international scene. This is a win from masterful filmmakers who stretch the boundaries of storytelling and visual artistry. The Filipino film industry offers a diverse array of cinematic experiences. They cater to different tastes and sensibilities, from mainstream blockbusters to indie gems.

But Filipino filmmakers also thrive in creating short films that showcase their creativity and innovation. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most compelling Filipino short films that are worth watching. These short films represent the best of what Filipino cinema has to offer and challenge our way of storytelling. Let us showcase the offerings of this medium that ignites our imagination.

Local short films worthy of your time!

ABCD (1985)

ABCD | Roxlee | Short Film

First on our list is Roxlee’s ABCD. The film uses each of the letters of the alphabet to present a different theme in just over 5 minutes. Roxlee, considered by many to be the godfather of young Filipino filmmakers, is best known for his movie Cesar Asar. So, if you’re like me and just starting to discover his work, his short films are the best and most accessible starting point.

Its cleverness surfaces in the sequence of drawings that mocks and reinstitutes the idea of education. Seemingly innocent scribbles become satirical tirades that not only fascinate but provoke. The film’s clever use of the alphabet as a vehicle for commentary is commendable. It is a testament to Roxlee’s ability to make something complex out of something elementary.

Lizard, or How to Perform in Front of the Reptile (1986)

Lizard | Roxlee | Short Film

Moving on, let’s not veer from Roxlee’s filmography. Another short film worthy of your time is Lizard: How to Perform in Front of a Reptile. The film depicts a young man attempting to dance in front of a live lizard while heavy metal music blares in the background. It’s the wildest entry on this list, and its surreal imagery leaves it open to many different interpretations.

Whether or not you choose to interpret the film is up to you, but it’s an experience that you won’t want to miss. On the outset, the protagonist’s attempt to perform for an animal that seems to serve as an omnipresent force will certainly give you the chills. Some viewers may see it as a commentary on the futility of blindly following a smaller, illusionary tyranny presenting itself as a being on a higher ground. Regardless, it’s a fun watch that will either make your brain work overtime or have you headbanging along to the music!

The Eye in the Sky (1984)

The Eye in the Sky | Apple Expedition Productions | Short Film

Let’s go to Joey Agbayani’s The Eye in the Sky. This part-stop claymation, part live-action short film shot in Super8 mm demonstrates how innocent and minuscule things are not as immature and trivial as we think. The story revolves around a boy who looks into a magical microscope and discovers a world of strange creatures. The microscopic world has a greedy, tyrannic ruler that wants to take hold of the child’s eye.

The film conveys a simple message. Opening your eyes is the first step. The real challenge is going outside you and making a change. Like the boy in the film, being exposed to such a sad reality is just the beginning. It’s truly an exceptional feat to create something that may seem childish but eventually bears a mature discourse. On top of that, the ending will definitely leave you flinching!

See Also

Lingkis (2021)

Lingkis | CCP Film, Broadcast and New Media | Short Film

Short films offer a platform for creatives to showcase their exceptional innovation, and Lingkis is undeniably one of the most intelligent and innovative short films from students to have emerged in recent times in our local film community. By seamlessly blending mythology, animation, and documentary, the short film from Yvonne Salazar and Sita Valenzuela narrates a tale of a nation plunged into darkness by a mythological serpent.

Using mythology to illustrate a social and political phenomenon will always be an admirable and innovative approach. However, the brilliance of this scathing short film goes beyond this idea. It successfully connects personal and political aspects by highlighting various matters from different facets of life. The visuals from the animation and stop motion also provoke the right emotions that the documentary triumphs in showcasing. And to think that all of it came to fruition in just 14 minutes!

Vesuvius (2012)

Vesuvius | YOMYOMF NETWORK | Short Film

We conclude our list with Vesuvius, a short film directed by the beloved Erik Matti. Vesuvius portrays the transformation of a timid man’s mundane life when he experiences a vision of the Virgin Mary. The film’s eerie atmospheric tone and daring approach to religion foreshadow Matti’s subsequent horror feature, Seklusyon.

It’s the ideal conclusion to this list because it’s an unpredictable film that never lets you know its next move. It actualizes our collective childhood suspicion of dead-eyed, dubious religious icons and statues dormant in houses. Additionally, it sets the mood perfectly, particularly now that Bob Ong’s folk horror, Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan, is being adapted into a live-action film. Vesuvius reminds us that evil is shrewd and can appear in cunning guises.

And because we believe that sharing is caring, you can check Cinemata website for more short films to discover!

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