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Hailing the rise of digital Philippine cinema

The Digital Filmmaking Program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) School of Design Arts (SDA) recently celebrated the “Rise of the Digital Philippine Cinema” by hosting the 7th CineSB Film Festival at the SDA Theater.
Benilde film majors, under the Demo Reel and Film Festival (DemoFes) class of CineSB: Special Edition festival director Joey Ting, organized the two-day event which presented award-winning short films with local and international distinctions (Maningning Shorts), original films directed by La Sallian student filmmakers (Berde Shorts) and those from other colleges and universities (Sibol Shorts).
Filmmakers and multimedia arts and communication students from DLS-CSB, DLS-Lipa, DLSU-Dasmariñas, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Far Eastern University, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Mapua Institute of Technology, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, Polytechnic University of the Philippines and UP Diliman participated in the film festival.
“As we foreground the significance of digital filmmaking as a medium for storytelling through the works of our students, we explore its potential to transform and impact our lives because we gain insights and understanding about life and our world when these stories are told and shared,” DLS-CSB SDA New Media Cluster associate dean Sharon Mapa Arriola stressed in her opening remarks last March 30.
SDA Digital Filmmaking Program chair Mark Meily shared his personal experiences as he also welcomed CineSB participants: “I started as a film student and my only opportunity then in discovering great films from all over the world is through film festivals like this. In independent cinema, the rite of passage is always a film’s inclusion in a festival.”
Ralph Quincena and Patricia Ramirez’s “Ma?” dominated the Maningning category by winning Best Short Film Gold, Design Excellence Award, Technical Excellence Award (Sound, Cinematography and Editing) and Outstanding Performance by an Actor for Anton Collantes. Donnie Sacueza’s “BJ” got the second prize, while Jonel Revistual’s “May Kung Ano sa Takipsilim” won third.
Advocacy filmmaker Seymour Sanchez received the award for Outstanding Direction for his short film “Caretaker.” Cataleya Surio won Outstanding Performance by an Actress for Martin Mayuga’s “Finish Line” while the cast of “May Kung Ano sa Takipsilim” brought home the Outstanding Ensemble award.
For the Berde category, DLS-Lipa communication student Aimon Mercado’s “Nawala” won Best Short Film Gold, Design Excellence, Technical Excellence, Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Performance by an Actor for Raul Morit.
DLSU-Dasmariñas communication majors Nickole Batutay and Kurt Enriquez’s “Bakit Ako?” and Benilde film student Robin Estargo’s “Iiiri Mo Ba?” bagged the silver and bronze prizes, respectively. Batutay and Enriquez also got the Outstanding Direction award while Andrea Marie Felipe of “Iiiri Mo Ba?” won Outstanding Performance by an Actress.
Mapua’s entry “Collectorella” almost swept the awards for the Sibol category by bagging the Best Short Film Gold, Outstanding Direction for Julian Roxas, Outstanding Performance by an Actress for Barbara Ruaro, Outstanding Ensemble, Design Excellence and Technical Excellence awards.
Zer Eldron Baccay’s “Checkmate” and Jhamela Tejome’s “Anino,” both from Lyceum, won silver and bronze, respectively. Gab Ville won Outstanding Performance by an Actor for UP Diliman’s entry “Nandito Naman Tayo Para sa Isa’t Isa, ‘Di Ba?”   
Benilde film faculty members Vanessa De Leon, Jon Cuyson and Gerard Elviña served as selection jury members for the ten finalists in each category while alumni Kim Zuñiga, Carl Angelo Ruiz and Miguel Pablo made up the competition jury.
“More than the aesthetic value of the form and techniques,” Arriola urged participants to continue to watch and share “their narratives, their personal stories that speak about individuals or people, ideas and beliefs that they value most.”
“Some narratives may be laden with uncertainties and frustrations. Some works reveal about their triumphs and successes, hopes and longing,” she added as she looks forward to more CineSB editions in the future.

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