July 25, 2022

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Coming of age story wins GoWATCH Film Lab grant

A STORY about a teenage schoolgirl who develops feelings for a nun at her school has won a film grant at Globe Virtual Hangouts GoWATCH Film Lab.

In 2019, Globe’s film production arm, Globe Studios — now called ANIMA — launched its first Short Film Lab during the .giff Festival of New Cinema. ANIMA is Globe Prepaid’s partner in putting up this year’s GoWATCH Film Lab.

ANIMA has given a new batch of aspiring Filipino filmmakers an opportunity to makhe their dream short films through the Globe Virtual Hangouts GoWATCH Film Lab.

The attendees were encouraged to submit project proposals for short films. From among over 40 submissions, eight were shortlisted. In May, Globe Prepaid and ANIMA offered the eight finalists a chance to attend the Globe Virtual Hangouts GoWATCH Film Lab master classes with directors Jade Castro, JP Habac, Antoinette Jadaone, and Erik Matti. Two filmmakers were mentored by each director for their respective film pitches.

Antoinette Jadaone chose Myra Angeline Soriaso’s A Catholic Schoolgirl and Mark John Manaligod’s Ang Regalo Ko Kay Papa. Erik Matti took on Kent Michael Cadungog’s Hosanna and Tyra Alvarade’s Si Maria’t Si Lucia. Jade Castro picked JT Trinidad’s Sa Ilog na Hindi Nagtatapos and Lester Cristal’s #bagets rider FREE HD, while JP Habac selected John Peter Chua’s Huling Araw ng Reyna and Trishtan Perez’s I Didn’t Want to Say Hello.

For four days in June, the Film Lab students gained valuable knowledge on concepts such as finding stories to tell, protecting directorial vision during micro-budget shoots, mise-en-scene, and decision-making during the post-production stage.

THE WINNING PITCH
During the “The Greenlight Pitch Day” contest on July 15 at the Globe Telecom office in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Ms. Soriaso’s A Catholic Schoolgirl won the Best Pitch.

A Catholic Schoolgirl follows 15-year-old student Kaya who defies the views of her all-girls Catholic school as she confronts her feelings for a school nun.

“Pre-colonial Philippines was matriarchal. Women were leaders and had roles as warriors and healers. It was only after the Spanish colonization that gender bias, gender roles, and sexism became prominent in the Philippine society. After that, women were restricted into their homes, reduced into reproductive systems and bodies that they do not have a say to,” Ms. Soriaso wrote in her director’s statement.

“Our country, now entering another six years of new leadership, have never seen progress into how Catholicism is applied since. While the world cries against the Roe v. Wade case overturn, we are still on the issue of conservative church hypocrisy. And as a young Catholic woman, it terrifies me that this will still be the world that my peers and other younger Catholic girls will grow up to and abide by,” she added.

Directors Mihk Vergara and Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, actor Paulo Avelino, and Kroma Entertainment’s Office-in-Charge for ANIMA, Eileen Borromeo served as judges at the program.

“This filmmaker in the film pitch has the strongest, clearest, and bravest voice, and intentions,” Mr. Avelino said of the winning pitch.

The 20-year-old director will receive a three-day film set immersion on one of ANIMA’s film shoots, and a seed grant of P200,000.

It was an unexpected result for Ms. Soriaso.

“I didn’t notice that I was just blurting out what I have been practicing,” she said of her experience for The Greenlight Pitch Day. “This is my first pitch, and it was unexpected for me.”

Ms. Soriaso, a sophomore Communication and Media Studies student from the University of the Philippines Visayas, hopes to submit the short film to various film festivals once it is made. “If given the chance we want to try to pass it to any film festival,” she said.

“Challenges or labs like this provide an opportunity for us to harness that talent. Young filmmakers deserve all the mentoring they can get to compete on a global stage… We want to invest in Filipino creativity because we have so much to say and to share to the world,” Kroma Entertainment’s Office-in-Charge for ANIMA Eileen Borromeo said.

As for future iterations of the Film Lab, Head of Globe Prepaid Givielle Florida said: “There will be a Season 2, not just for our Film Lab but for the rest of our Virtual Hangouts pillar.”

GoWATCH Film Lab is Globe Prepaid’s fifth learning program under its Virtual Hangouts platform. In the past, it conducted the GoESPORTS Game On! Training Camp for ESports streamers and casters; GoHUSTLE Boss Up Bootcamp for entrepreneurs; GoKOREAN K-Fashion Institute for Korean fashion lovers; and the recently concluded musical talent search called GoJAM On Stage. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman