Prelude to the visayas omph congress
As a prelude to the Visayas Congress of Our Mother of Perpetual Help on February 16-18, three film entries to the Short Film Festival of the 150th Jubilee of the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (in April 2017 in Manila) were screened to a limited audience at the St. Alphonsus Conference Room (at the back of the Redemptorist Church) on February 10.
The Short Film Festival is an all-digital film competition that aims to discover, encourage, and support the cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers that creatively portray the life and struggles, griefs and anxieties, hopes and dreams of the Filipino devotees of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. This festival is also aimed at showcasing short films that celebrate the Filipino as pueblo amante de maria (a people in love with Mary).
The Filipino people have contributed a lot to making known Our Mother of Perpetual Help throughout the world. We envisage that the short film entries will communicate this close connection between Our Mother of Perpetual Help and the life of the Filipino people.
The three short films made by undergraduate students from the universities in Cebu City reflect how the young view the devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
“Giya” is about Claire, a blithesome girl and author of the famous “Love in Pony” who always seems happy but has a dark past. A Yolanda victim who lost her whole family in the storm surge, she lost her faith in God. Then she encounters Philip, a successful businessman who slowly lost his eyesight as an effect of an incurable sickness who believes that everything has a reason, even those tragic moments. Despite his struggles in life, his strong devotion for Christ and Our Mother of Perpetual Help never wavers. When their paths crossed, one great lesson awaits them. “Giya” was made by Kent Pepito, a fourth year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student of Cebu Normal University.
“Ma” revolves around Glenn, who stumbles upon a notebook owned by his mother, Lourdes, whom he has not visited or talked to in years. Living all alone due to his failed marriage, he realizes there’s still that one person whom he can lean to. “Ma” was made by Jevan Parilla and Merian Febe Teleron, third year Bachelor of Arts in Communication students of the University of San Jose-Recoletos.
“Maria Melancholia” is about a budding opera singer who finds out that she is going deaf. Succumbed with terror she questions the meaning of her life and ponders on the comfort of death and the escape it offers as she attempts to end her life only to find redemption in Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria.
“Maria Melancholia” was made by Dennis Carlo Premacio, a fourth year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student of the University of San Jose-Recoletos.
The film screening was enriched by the discussion of each film by the members of the board of judges based on the criteria which included: Strength and depth of the Story (story and screenplay), the Quality of Production Values which included cinematography, editing, production design, sound, music, acting, and direction; and fresh atmosphere/ relevance/ message. The filmmakers were also there to share the making of their respective films.
The films were short but we learned a lot of lessons and insights from each film from the story and how it is told in film, the effective use of lights, contrast, parallelism, the use of music as a time frame of the story and conveying a message without telling it.
Film showing is a very effective activity if complemented with a discussion on the film’s content and production. With the proliferation of cameras even through phones, anybody can just make a film but as the late Martino Abellana said, “ You have the poetry but you need technique and composition.” The works of these young students show a promising future of filmmaking, and we need to provide the content.
The Filipino as a Devotee of Our Mother of Perpetual Help being the theme of the Short Film Festival of the 150th Jubilee of Our Mother of Perpetual Help has provided a perfect content for Filipino filmmakers. From the lens of the young, we usher in the Visayas Congress of Our Mother of Perpetual Help with the hope that the mandate of “Making Her Known Throughout the World” will be wider, deeper, and more intensive among the young.
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