Manila, SEPT 29 2018 – Two outstanding Filipino short films, ‘Divine XY’ and ‘The Lessons of the Night’, were honoured tonight at the Viddsee Juree Awards Philippines, an initiative that celebrates and supports filmmaker communities in Asia.
The Gold winner is Ruelo Zendo for ‘Divine XY’, a 14-minute short film that follows Divine (played by Divine Aucina), who finally gets her dream job but hits a snag when it comes to her paperwork that identifies her as a male.
Said Ruelo: “The film is a message for people across the oceans to be open to other possibilities and accept the change that could affect our lives. I was inspired to do it after watching Divine Aucina’s physicality and comedic acting, and wrote the script around her talents.”
Taking Silver was Christian Rae Villanueva, whose 15-minute drama ‘The Lessons of the Night’ centres around Juanita, a teacher battling depression who conspires with her delinquent student to retrieve her own baby from her estranged husband. The film depicts the responsibility of a mother to her child, and how finding solace can affect humans.
Said Christian: “This film is a love letter to all single mothers. I grew up with a single mom, so I wanted my film to be about my mother, but of course, exaggerated it. The actors learned a lot from the films I liked, especially ‘Two Days, One Night’ by the Dardenne brothers (Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne) that also inspired this film.”
The two winners were picked by an international panel of judges that comprises Malaysian publisher, writer and filmmaker Amir Muhammad; Tribeca Film Festival Shorts Programmer Ben Thompson; and actress Cherie Gil Eigenmann, the three-time Best Supporting Actress winner in the Metro Manila Film Festival, and recipient of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Ani ng Dangal award.
Gold and Silver winners were awarded film production grants worth PHP160,000 and PHP80,000 respectively, along with audio equipment provided by RØDE Microphones. The Gold winner also won a five-day Global Film & TV Program in Los Angeles sponsored by the Motion Picture Association. All ten finalists received a 12-month Creative Cloud All Apps subscription worth US$560 each from Adobe.
Aside from the main winners, Kenneth De La Cruz won the Audience Choice Award for his romantic thriller ‘Tears Of The Stars’. The winner was picked based on the most number of ‘likes’ it received on Viddsee.com during a two-week period.
Said Kenneth: “The film was sponsored by the Department of Tourism, and meant to showcase the beauty of the Guimaras Island, and the values and culture that we have in the region that’s different from Manila.”
In the run up to the awards ceremony on September 29, Viddsee and venue partner FDCP Cinematheque hosted a two-day programme that included screenings of short films available on Viddsee, panel discussions with the directors, as well as a sharing session by Cherie Gil.
The Juree Awards initiative began with Juree Indonesia in 2016, followed by Juree Philippines in 2017 and Juree Singapore in 2018. This year marks the first time that the Juree Awards will be held across Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines. Find out more about the Juree Awards at https://www.viddsee.com/channel/juree.
The public can learn more about the Juree Philippines Awards Programme, as well as watch all nominated and other out-of-competition films for free on https://www.viddsee.com/channel/juree/philippines2018
For more information, stills, and press images of the directors, visit https://drive.google.com/open?id=1AqAandSlWZEVPN7Mp3BRPhwz1zWuSh_B
Gold Winner | Viddsee Juree Awards Philippines 2018
Winning film: Divine XY
Director: Ruelo Zendo
Citation by jury member Ben Thompson: “In this film we are introduced to a wonderful character who guides us through her story with both humour and heart. We were particularly impressed by the filmmaker’s strong and unique voice and how they were able to demonstrate so poignantly that something as small as a single letter on a form can have such a dramatic effect on a person’s life. We commend both the filmmaker and actress for their bravery and vision in exploring this story and are delighted to award ‘Divine XY’ with the Gold Jury Prize.”
Read our interview with Ruelo about his film here: https://buzz.viddsee.com/meet-viddsee-juree-ph-2018-finalist-ruelo-zendo-divine-xy/
Silver Winner | Viddsee Juree Awards Philippines 2018
Winning Film: The Lessons Of The Night
Director: Christian Rae Villanueva
Citation by jury member Amir Muhammad: “A taut and skilfully controlled film about escape. The filmmaker intrigues us to find out more as the narrative unfolds in an almost elliptical but wholly satisfying manner.”
Read our interview with Christian about his film here: https://buzz.viddsee.com/meet-viddsee-juree-ph-2018-finalist-christian-rae-villanueva-lessons-night/
About Ruelo Zendo
Ruelo Zendo was born, raised, and based in Quezon City, Philippines. An alumnus of the Mowelfund Film Institute, most of his films were grant recipients from art and media institutions. Ruelo previously worked as a director for notable television documentaries. He is currently a resident artist at Casa San Miguel, Zambales. Ruelo works as a director for film, television and video.
About Christian Rae Villanueva
Christian Rae Villanueva hails from Sta. Mesa, Manila, but has spent most of his life growing up in Santa Rosa, Laguna. He was inspired to become a director after watching Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Kill Bill Vol. 1’ at the age of seven, and made his childhood ambitions come true after enrolling at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB). ‘The Lessons Of The Night’ is his capstone project for the college.
About Viddsee Juree Awards
Viddsee Juree Awards is an initiative celebrating the entertainment industry’s picks of Asian short films from all genres: fiction, documentary and animation. For the Viddsee Juree Awards Philippines 2018, stories were picked from the brightest talents and upcoming filmmakers, and judged by a panel of international judges and showcased online. Juree is part of Viddsee’s commitment to celebrate and support filmmakers and film communities in Asia.
Viddsee is a leading video entertainment platform for short premium content. With over 1 billion views powered by data insights and a trusted community, we empower storytellers by enabling the creation of films and amplifying stories to targeted audiences.
Media contacts: John Lim