Q and A with Cinemalaya Short B Film Directors

You already knew the things that inspired the directors of films in Cinemalaya Short A. Read this question and answer post, this time from the Cinemalaya Short B directors.

Below are the non-verbatim questions from the audience, and the answers of the directors as understood by the writer of this post (since he has no recorder at that time).

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Question: What inspired you to do the film?

Petersen Vargas (Lisyun Qng Geografia/Geography Lessons): Lisyun is actually an autobiography. I also fell in love with my bestfriend which the film tackled about. I want to show to the people of the same situation to have a sense of courage to come out and to be the person they wanted to be.

Alvin Claveria, Assistant Director (Wawa): The director lost her boyfriend. She was so much in grief, and that was what we showed in the film

Annemikami Pablo (Mater): It was a product of a chitchat in McDo where everyone in our division talked about our experiences in life and the people around us. For instance, my mother has this Sto. Nino whom she takes a bath from time to time. Our researcher, on the other hand, has her grandmother whom she always hear murmuring prayers and words at night. Mater is also a metaphor of everything we talked about.

Martika Ramirez Escobar (Pusong Bato): The film was out of curiosity. That what if, someone really exists loving a stone. From my own research, I know a number of people who have obsession and love toward objects.

Darwin Novicio (Papetir/Puppeteer): I am a real life ventriloquist. The film was made to show that behind every laughter that ventriloquist show to the people in any event, there is a story waiting to be told. It was like an obligation of doing your job without bringing what is left in our homes.    

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Question: (Pusong Bato) At the end of the film, Cinta became a stone (Spoiler!). Was it really true that when we love a stone, we became the same?

Escobar: Love changes people. It transcends to anyone and to any dimensions.

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Question: (Mater) As an atheist, I relate myself to the film. Did your film mock certain religion?

Pablo: We really expect that kind of question when we were conceptualizing the film. I guess, it was not all about religion. It was all about the story and experiences we have as filmmakers. The scenes were also metaphorical in a way that interpretations are always welcome.

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Question: Why did your film title/name as such?

Vargas: I was acquainted with a poem by Conchinita Cruz where she also used “geography lessons”

Claveria: It has a double meaning. Wawa as in “Kawawa” (pitiful) and Wawa as in the dam in Rizal province where the film was set.

Pablo: Mater is the Latin word for “mother”.

Escobar: Actually, the first title of the movie when we were doing it was “Sino Ba ‘To?” but then it was replaced to Pusong Bato.

Novicio: We searched for the Filipino word of puppeteer. We even asked veteran ventriloquist about it and he said there was no Filipino word for that. Because we wanted to have a Filipino word as a title, we then just came up with Papetir.

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Short B Films synopsis, as seen by the writer.

Film: Lisyun Qng Geografia (Geography Lessons)

Director: Petersen Vargas

Synopsis: A story about best of friends in a world of conflicts, complications and out of norm relationship.

Film: Wawa

Director: Angelie Mae Macalanda

Synopsis: A story about a grieving child in a world of overflowing waters, boat and death.

Film: Mater

Director: Annemikami Pablo

Synopsis: A story about a girl (not a woman) in a world of over Catholicism, traditions, smoke, saints and death.

Film: Pusong Bato (Stone Heart)

Director: Martika Ramirez Escobar

Synopsis: A story about a “woman who fell in love with a stone” (Escobar)

Film: Papetir (Puppeteer)

Director: Darwin Novicio

Synopsis: A story about a ventriloquist in a world of colors and haunting memories.

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