UST communication students pose with the awards they received during the awarding ceremony of the inaugural Puregold CinePanalo Film Festival on March 16. (Photo grabbed from the UST website)

COMMUNICATION seniors behind the short film “Kung Nag-aatubili” bagged four titles in the inaugural Puregold Cinepanalo Film Festival, emerging victorious out of 135 submissions nationwide. 

Kung Nag-aatubili” is a coming-of-age film that revolves around the story of Gelo, a socially anxious college student in search of inspiration for his thesis painting, who developed a special connection with Kael, a stranger he met by chance.

Communication senior Dizelle Masilungan, who received the Best Director title in the short film category during the awarding ceremony on March 16, said the flick aimed to offer a form of escapism to its viewers. 

“This is for those who are hesitating in any aspect of their lives,” Masilungan told the Varsitarian in Filipino. “In this story, Gelo’s reluctance with his thesis painting became the point where he discovers that he was not alone, that there was always someone there for him.”

Masilungan was one of the 25 student directors who received a P100,000 grant to aid them in the production phase of their films. He was also among the 10 filmmakers who received a scholarship grant from Mowelfund Film Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the Philippine film industry.

Communication major Anton Acosta won Best Cinematography in the short film category. 

According to him, “Kung Nag-aatubili” serves as a reminder to viewers to savor every moment, no matter how abrupt it may be. 

“Time is fleeting, and there will come a day when we must journey forward and leave familiar places behind, such is the rhythm of life,” he told the Varsitarian. “Let’s celebrate life’s journey, revel in its complexities, and find joy in the smallest of moments.”

Aiskhylos Akiyama, who played Kael in the flick, bagged the Best Supporting Actor plum alongside Vince Macapobrema of “Last Shift,” which topped the short film category.

Kung Nag-aatubili” ranked third in the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board’s Responsableng Paglikha ng Pelikula Award under the same category.

The Thomasian-made film also earned nominations for Best Picture, Best Poster, Best Production Design, Best Sound Design, Best Musical Score, Best Original Song, and Best Actor Awards.

Other communication students behind the short film were Rufino Aresta, Jedd Leaño, Angela Lamsen, Raven Arellano, Jerui Capisonda, Veronica Caridad, Paolo Alejandrino, Nathanael Monte, Lorenzo Prietos, Rommel Sales and Shemuel Lopez.

Kung Nag-aatubili” was produced as a course requirement in the UST Department of Communication and Media Studies. 

The film festival organized by the Puregold retail chain drew 125 entries for the full-length category, and 135 entries for the student shorts category. 

Theatrical runs of the selected films were held until March 26 at Gateway Cineplex in Quezon City.


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