Globe premieres new short films from acclaimed indie directors

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Alex Medina and Gwen Zamora star in Quark Henares' short film "How to Find Love," which details the ups and downs of dating in the time of Tinder and Instagram.

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — In the celluloid sprawl of a film festival, it’s easy to overlook small, short films in the midst of boldfaced names and auteurs that banner the full length slate. Unless you’re a hardcore cineaste bent on discovering new nooks and crannies of cinema, or actually have time to spare to explore the festival’s full lineup, the short film slate will most probably not be a priority.

But most directors start or explore ideas in this microcosm, a sketch that reinforces their filmmaking muscles to paint broader pictures. Antoinette Jadaone began her career with experimental films such as “Plano” and “Saling Pusa,” which exhibited early signs of her trademark wit; Jerrold Tarog’s “Faculty” is a tightly wound clip about the implications of education beyond the classroom, which, later, Tarog expanded as “Senior Year;” and Raymond Red became the first Filipino filmmaker to take home an award from the Cannes Film Festival with “Anino,” his 13-minute clip starring Ronnie Lazaro and Eddie Garcia, winning the Palme D’Or for Best Short Film in 2000.

Devoid of a full length canvas, short films enable the filmmaker to submit to the virtues of brevity and sharpness. The resulting film is a snapshot of an “inner world,” as film critic Richard Brody puts it, recalling Jean-Luc Godard’s discussion of short films, which the film critic turned director called “anti-cinema” in the French film magazine, Cahiers du Cinema.

But given the breadth of the first five short films of the Globe Independent Film Festival, the telecom giant’s remarkable move into the realm of content creation, the showcase is a refreshing change of pace for established filmmakers used to the wide expanse of full length films — and to some extent, closely hewing to the exactitude required to make videos watchable, and hopefully go viral, on social media.

In “How to Find Love,” Quark Henares (“Keka,” “Rakenrol”) distills the traps and little nuances of dating in the time of Tinder and Instagram (perhaps a sly nod to the telecom company’s services), which will leave you wondering whether your Spotify profile reveals too much of your fondness for pre-”Sorry”-era Justin Bieber or Instagram accounts full of motivational quotes.

 

“Open Door” by Paul Soriano (“Thelma,” “Kid Kulafu”) is a snapshot into the life of a Jewish woman, who came to the country after President Manuel L. Quezon welcomed Jewish refugees fleeing the turmoil in World War II Europe. The film almost has no dialogue, with the music doing much of the legwork to move the audiences to tears.

 

Ang Painting ni Tatay,” by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo (“Ang Huling Cha-cha ni Anita,” “Lorna”) is a poignant story of a father and son reveling in their humble dreams of being painters, from peddling landscapes and other picturesque views by the sidewalk to actually mounting an exhibition at a gallery. As with any of Bernardo’s films, there is humor to be found despite the underlying struggle — a reminder that a silver lining ultimately comes from our faith in people.

 

Beshie” is a riotous romp of a woman (Eugene Domingo) preparing to meet her Italian lover. On the side, her best friend (Andoy Ranay) guides her along the way, even when things get ugly. The clip, directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal ("Booba," "Kimmy Dora"), is a short but sweet ode to the role of the “beshie” in a romantic relationship; they are the rock that you lean on to whether you’re reeling from the high of a newfound love or nursing a broken heart after getting dumped.

 

“Stop. Steady. Sayaw,” is the most engaging among the crop. Dan Villegas (“Always Be My Maybe,” “How to Be Yours”) flips the torment of rush hour traffic into a romantic getaway, with Angelica Panganiban, Jake Cuenca, and Pepe Herrera serenading Panganiban’s emotionally exhausted character to the tune of “Bongga Ka Day.” There is dancing on the passenger seat, a shouting match, and a couple of kilig moments, all under the red glare of the traffic light. It’s a testament to how a short film can easily charm your pants off in under five minutes without all the bells and whistles.

 

These five films are a preview of what Globe hopes to start in their own independent film festival, which they hope to be a well of “fresh stories by our newest storytellers, rendered in innovative ways enabled by technology.” The online film festival, the first of its kind in the country, has four categories: Experimental, Animated, Singtel Video, or Music Video (up to 5 mins); Webisode (3 to 8 minutes); Documentary (5 to 10 minutes); and Narrative (5 to 15 minutes). Finalists will be announced in November 2016 and will be uploaded on Globe’s YouTube channel.

For more details, check the Globe International Film Festival website.