MANILA, Sept 13 – Two outstanding Filipino short films, ‘The Boy Who Bleeds In The Middle Of The Sea’ and ‘Day of Danger (Petsa de Peligro)’, were honoured at the Viddsee Juree Awards Philippines 2020, an annual industry pick award celebrating best short films from the Philippines. The awards ceremony, which was held virtually for the first time, was broadcasted live on Viddsee, YouTube, and Facebook on September 13.

The Gold winner is James Allen Fajardo for ‘The Boy Who Bleeds In The Middle Of The Sea’, a complex coming-of-age drama centred around a teenage boy who experiences menstruation while he was out fishing, and confides in his best friend to avoid bullying in his school while his parents contend with larger issues about their livelihoods.

The film is no stranger to the film festival circuit, having been screened at the Toronto Queer Film Festival 2018, and InShort Film Festival 2018, and was honored at the Black Beret Competition 2018 with the Special Jury Prize and Best Editing; and at the Indie Un-film Festival 2018 with the Special Jury Prize and Best Screenplay.

"I’d like to thank the judges and organisers for sharing a platform for our films, and to everyone who helped me create this film. It’s been two years since I made this film, and with the passage of the anti-terrorism bill, the film continues to remain relevant. Just like the father of Simon, anyone can be considered a terrorist, even though they’re just fighting for their rights and lands. It’s important to emphasise the idea that activism is not, and will never be a form of terrorism,” said James, whose previous works includes ‘A Letter to the Person I Have Met on Tinder’ and graduated magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines Diliman.

Cynthia Saluba was named the Silver winner for ‘Day of Danger (Petsa de Peligro)’, a dark comedy that revolves around a young woman who is forced to come out of her shell after she accidentally kills a man she was having an affair with.

"This is a big deal to me since this is the first time my film was shortlisted and won. To all the judges who chose my film, thank you so much! My film wouldn’t have gotten this far if it weren’t for the hard work and talent of the cast, crew, family, as well as my creative consultants at Benilde. And to those who have watched the film, I hope you didn’t just enjoy it, but also thought about the moral choices of these marginalised people depicted in the film,” said Cynthia, a newcomer to the Filipino filmmaking scene who wrote, produced and directed the short film.

Ken Leviste also received a special mention for ‘Peter’s Last Semester’, a film shot during the lockdown in Manila about an underprivileged graduating student struggling to cope with school demands during the pandemic.

The winners were picked by an international panel of judges that comprises film producer and founder of Indonesia-based Tanakhir Films, Mandy Marahimin; Filipino director, writer, and producer Jade Castro, whose directorial debut ‘Endo’ won the Cinemalaya Grand Jury Prize; and Los Angeles-based film festival programmer Eseel Borlasa, who has executed film festival campaigns at Sundance, SXSW, TIFF, LA Film Festival and more.

The Gold winner was awarded the Filmmaker Gold Kit, which includes a 13-inch Macbook Air, Adobe’s 12-month Creative Cloud All Apps subscription, a gold plaque, and exclusive Viddsee merchandise. The Silver winner took home the Viddsee Filmmaker Silver Kit, which includes a silver plaque, Adobe’s 12-month Creative Cloud All Apps subscription, and exclusive Viddsee merchandise.

All 10 finalists will be awarded Adobe’s 12-month Creative Cloud All Apps subscription and finalist certificates.

Aside from the main awards, the Audience Choice Award went to ‘Sixteen (DIECISÉIS)’ by Christian Paul Lim. The winner was chosen following a public voting that closed on September 10.  

Supported by TikTok as its Social Community Partner
This year’s Juree Awards was the first all-virtual awards programme, which was supported by TikTok as its Social Community Partner. Among the activities that were held leading up to the awards ceremony on September 13 was the TikTok challenge #PinoyCreativeKid; a creator workshop that taught filmmakers on how they can best use the platform to create engaging short-form content; and a livestream of Juree films, curated around themes of mental health and internet safety.

Coinciding with the Juree Awards is the launch of Viddsee’s Filipino podcast ‘Off Script’, which is aimed at film enthusiasts who want to learn anything and everything about films through conversations with industry experts. The podcast is available now on Spotify and Anchor, and will soon be available on Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts.

The annual Juree Awards initiative debuted in Indonesia in 2016, and expanded to include the Philippines in 2017, and Singapore in 2018. 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/philippines2019

Jury Citations for Viddsee Juree Awards Philippines 2020

Gold Winner
Winning Film:  The Boy Who Bleeds In The Middle Of The Sea https://www.viddsee.com/video/the-boy-who-bleeds-in-the-middle-of-the-sea/n8ukq
Director: James Allen Fajardo
Citation by Jury: A meditative film that leaves the audience with a desire to know more, this coming-of-age is set against the backdrop of land-grabbing, abuse of authority and personal injustice that comes with the curious case of a teenage boy. Like a storm that melts away before it makes landfall, this film set in a disputed coastal community had brewing issues left for the audience to resolve.

About James Allen Fajardo
James Allen Fajardo graduated magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines Diliman with a degree of BA Film. He has also taken courses on Gender and Media studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. His previous works such as ‘A Letter to the Person I Have Met on Tinder’ and ‘The Boy Who Bleeds in the Middle of the Sea’ were awarded and selected in different international and local film festivals. Currently, he is working as a freelance multimedia artist and filmmaker.

Silver Winner
Winning Film: ‘Day Of Danger (Petsa de Peligro)
https://www.viddsee.com/video/petsa-de-peligro/tfrif
Director: Cynthia Saluba
Citation by Jury: A beautifully assembled film thanks to its sleek editing, great actors and exciting pace that’s very accessible, this dark comedy about a young prostitute who accidentally killed a dirty old politician in the middle of an intercourse, was indeed a success in many departments.

About Cynthia Saluba
Cynthia Saluba is an aspiring film producer from Manila, Philippines. While still studying, she also works as a freelancer and a production intern on several independent film projects at the same time. Last year, she was given the very first opportunity to become an associate producer in a film that competed at a local film festival.

Special Mention
Film: ‘Peter’s Last Semester’ https://www.viddsee.com/video/the-sound-of-silence/qw81y
Director: Ken Leviste
Citation by Jury: One of the silent casualties of the pandemic, access to education is right under everyone’s noses in this deeply divided country. Shot entirely during lockdown, with the director juggling as his own actor, this emotionally-charged film makes it crystal clear how education favors the privileged more so during this time.

About Ken Leviste
Ken Leviste is a film director, writer, and editor from Arkos Digital, a startup production house in the Philippines. He is a graduate of Multimedia Arts specialized in Digital Cinema. He is a realist filmmaker and most of his films are about poverty, and social drama. He wants viewers to see the harsh realities of our society and how it affects people in their daily lives. His film ‘Last Sem Na Ni Peter (Peter’s Last Semester)’ has been selected in multiple international and national film festivals. One of his most notable experiences was being a Script Supervisor for the full- length film: Alas-Siyete (2019). It received the Audience Choice Award from Gawad Sining Film Festival. He also directed Far Eastern University's ‘Valentine Specials: Mumu’ (2019), a romantic short film.

About Viddsee Juree Awards
Viddsee Juree Awards (‘Juree’) is an annual industry pick award celebrating best short films from Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. In each edition, the countries’ brightest talents and storytellers submit their films to a panel of international judges, who will then handpick the winning entries. Viddsee amplifies the out-of-competition entries and finalists to our audience communities. Juree is part of Viddsee’s commitment to grow a network of prestigious storytellers, to support local film communities, and to inspire a new generation of storytellers across Asia.

About Viddsee
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
For Filipino press: Luigene Yanoria luigene@viddsee.com
For International press: John Lim john@viddsee.com