By Raymund Antonio
Like the country’s other prestigious film festival, the Office of the Vice President announced plans to hold annually its Istorya ng Pag-asa (Stories of Hope) Film Festival that features inspiring real-life stories of ordinary Filipinos.
Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni“ Robredo confirmed ongoing talks for the INPFF to be held every year since the short film competition opened in November 2017.
The top three films—“Biyahe ni Marlon,” “Tago,” and “Gawilan” — were proclaimed winners during the festival’s gala night and awarding ceremony held at Glorietta, Makati City last June 12.
Other special awards were also given to Anna Mikaela Quizon, who won as Best Director for her short film Pamilyang Bernardo, Best Cinematography for The Climbing Puppeteer by AR Angcos, and Best Script for Ang Gahum Sang Daku Nga Handum by Demy Cruz Jr.
The INPFF is an offshoot of OVP’s Istorya ng Pag-Asa traveling photo exhibit. Robredo’s office partnered with the Ayala Foundation for the project.
“Iyong pinaka-purpose namin, admittedly, noong ni-launch namin ito, just for the purpose of the first year anniversary. Pero dahil sa quality ng mga films… pinag-uusapan na namin to do this on a yearly basis (Our main purpose, admittedly, when it was launched was just for the purpose of the first year anniversary. But because of the quality films..we are discussing to do this on a yearly basis),” said Robredo.
“Kasi talagang tingin namin, kapag ginawa namin itong regular, mas marami tayong mga kababayan na mahilig sa paggawa ng films na mabibigyan ng platform para ipakita iyong talent nila (Because we really think if we do this regularly, more of our countrymen, who like filmmaking, will be given platform to showcase their talents),” she added.
The OVP launched the Istorya ng Pag-asa Film Festival to promote positive stories to change the national conversation and inspire others.
“Ang Biyahe Ni Marlon,” which was named Best Film at the recent INPFF, features Uber driver Marlon Fuentes, who has Tourette Syndrome (TS), a condition that shows through involuntary movements or tics.
The short film takes viewers on a ride with Marlon, whose story went viral on social media after a passenger posted about him and the signs he put up inside his car, which say “I have Tourette Syndrome. I hope you understand my condition.”
According to Marlon, the signs were his response to passengers who feared TS’ physical manifestations while he was driving.
Florence Rosini, who directed the short film, took home a P50,000 cash prize, a DSLR camera, and a Samsung S8 phone.
“Tago,” a short film about jazz drummer Nelson Gonzales, who runs the Tago Jazz Cafe, was named 1st runner-up while Kelsy Lua’s “Gawilan,” which tells the story of Ernie Gawilan, a disadvantaged swimmer who competed in the 2016 Summer Paralympics, won the second runner-up.