Binisaya is a Cebu-based film festival, organized by award-winning director and CAFA-USC alumnus Keith Deligero and started in 2011 with the installment labeled “Biyernes! Biyernes!”. This year’s episode was themed “Sabado! Sabado!” and showcased 7 15-minute short films by local directors. Three of the filmmakers whose works are featured in the 2012 festival are students of the USC Fine Arts programs namely Karl Dominic Lucente, currently in his fourth year as an Advertising Arts major; Neil Angelo Briones, a first year student under BFA-Cinema; and Gale Osorio, currently one of the first students to enroll in the Master of Fine Arts in Cinema program of the University.
Karl Lucente’s short film, “Way Sapayan”, is about a girl mourning her father’s death. Overwhelmed by her grief, she resorts to alcohol and drugs. Suddenly, she sees someone – seemingly unfamiliar at first – running out of her house. She follows the person and manages to catch the latter. Getting a closer look at the intruder, she is astounded at how exactly they look like each other. This doppelganger of a girl then drags our first main character into a house that is identical to hers. Inside, she sees what easily seemed to be her father – alive. The story then takes an abrupt turn as the first girl sees the doppelganger kissing the former’s boyfriend. One has yet to see what happens next in this plot that will take definitely take the viewer spiraling from one emotion to another.
“Bana-bana”, the short film by Neil Briones, is about a rich man pretending to be a street hobo – going around Cebu reading tarot cards to random people. His deck is called “Tarot ng Kaduluman” (Tarot of Darkness) and every after 11 seconds of flipping the last card, misfortune comes to those whom he gives the readings to. He enjoys one unfortunate event unfold after another until he meets a girl who holds the “Tarot ng Kahayag” (Tarot of Light). The female tarot reader, instead of giving out misfortune renders the opposite. In the end the two get hemmed in a chase scene. Finally, the girl gets hold of the man’s deck and throws at him the “Tarot ng Kahayag”.
Gale Osorio entered the pseudo-avant garde story about a girl living in a house in the mountains and a stagehand. The voice of a man serves as the main POV, and he tells of how the stagehand falls in love with the ballerina, mustering the courage to ask her out. Meanwhile the girl starts takes a walk around the mountains, until she goes to the park to play hide-and-seek with the stagehand. The ballerina hides while the stage-hand is “it”, but when the latter is not able to find her cannot find her, he decides to go home. The ballerina waits, but the stage-hand does not return.
In this ambush interview, the writer talks to the three up-and-coming filmmakers about their entering their respective Binisaya Festival films.
Today’s Carolinian: How does it feel to be a part of this year’s Binisaya?
Karl Lucente: I’m pressured, it’s a different feeling compared to just working in Southernlads because [with Southernlads], we make short films when we feel like it and most of the time it’s basically just us. Now it’s different because we three joined Binisaya separately and each did his own short.
[Editor’s Note: Southernlads Productions, an independent and emerging small-scale film productions group, is composed of young USC students. Karl, Neil, and Gale are some of its members.]
Neil Briones: It’s exciting, it’s my first time.
Gale Osorio: Feels great! Part man sad mi sa Binisaya last year—we (Southernlads) were asked to document the event. This year we’re actually making shorts as entries to the festival and it’s a great chance for us to experience what it’s like to screen our films in the big screen.
TC: What can we expect from your short film?
Karl: Just don’t expect anything. I’m relatively new to this and there is always the pressure. I’m not sure if the result would be nice. There’s a challenge because I’m not the only director joining this. There’s seven of us and everyone has pretty good ideas.
Neil: It’s average and yet somewhat critical because I want to join, but camera is not breathtaking or an accelerating thing.
Gale: My short story actually came from a dream and dreams, as we all know, don’t dwell in reality so just expect for my story to not really make sense.
TC: Where did you get your inspiration for your short ﬁlm?
Karl: I got pressured because we had a lot of ideas. It came a point when we had to think hard about production because the grant was small. We realized that it’s time we took everything really seriously and that’s where I drew inspiration from.
Neil: Actually, my friend gave me the idea for this film. She told me to do something that hasn’t been seen in the local film scene yet. I agreed with her idea and was excited at the prospect of creating such a short film.
TC: Are you nervous about your short film being publicly screen?
Karl: Kind of, my concept is doable and I have no idea where I got it.
Neil: Sometimes no, sometimes yes. The reason I get nervous is because I have a lot of things going on; I have my majors which are CIN212 (Basic Screenwriting) and FA114 (History of Arts). And then there’s a documentary that I have to color-grade. If I didn’t have to work on those things at the same time then I wouldn’t be nervous.
Gale: Not really [nervous] since I have the guys to help me and we’re getting a lot of support from the Binisaya organizers so there’s nothing to be nervous about. Hopefully [the film] turns out to be something I can be proud of.
TC: After Binisaya, where do you see yourself?
Karl: I guess it’s just back to normal for me.
Neil: I guess it’s back to becoming a student, a dying student.
Gale: Padayon lang ko with what I do, continue to explore film. However I don’t see myself as becoming a director or anything. Right now I’m taking up Cinema studies and I’ll just see where it goes from there.