FESTIVAL REPORT: Likha Adarna (2nd Sem, A.Y. 2015-2016), Day 1

The first day of Likha Adarna (2nd Semester, A.Y. 2015-2016) showcased a total of 18 of the 28 thesis films of the UP Film Institute undergraduate students at Cine Adarna, UPFI, University of the Philippines Diliman.

SUNDO

Bittersweet in its tone, it has a worthy tinge of nostalgia on the surface. Interesting to note that it was shot 16 years ago. Reviving it in the midst of current trends and techniques is valiant as it took the step to digitize the film.

KUBLI

Strong symbolic devices coupled with its quirky music keep this experimental film engaging as the real meaning of its narrative, while being kept hidden, is open for everyone’s interpretation.

PHILIPPINE AERONAUTICS AND SPACE AGENCY

This goes back to one year ago where the first output was problematic. This time around, things are still ambitious, given the limitations of its form, but it is still not able to detach itself from the storytelling of the previous version shown last May 2015.

LOVE IS THE SERVANT OF CHAOS

Tries to be affective but loses its magic with its drowsy poetry. Hypnotic many times in between as it is inventive in form. Could have been compact but serviceable on its tangible layer.

PANSAMANTALA

Its solid story is enough to make it outstanding. It has a very good screenplay that fluidly escalates the mood. What more with its well-acted performances and the kind of direction geared to perfection. I want to watch it again soon.

INDAK

A dialogue-heavy piece of meh which is a better piece of literature than a cinematic output.

DUAY-YA

Clearly the intention is to bring back all those pieces of broken memories: make it sad, make it very sad and nostalgic. But with this kind of exposition, it is hard to relate to its main character. It feels too dragging, the atmosphere too foreign, and the acting—well—terrible.

ALINLANGAN

There is an interesting juxtaposition of rotten meat infested by insects and the tension felt by a party crasher doubtful of the guests’ acceptance toward her presence. It speaks of itself through silence and alluring musical score that equally breathe life to a rather plain story.

MAIA

Has a lot of good concepts moving inside its science fiction realm but ends up incoherent in pointing out what it really wants. It begins tough in using low-quality video and explaining through its narrative a technological advancement in filmmaking, only for this founding idea to get lost as the story opts to shift from one focus to another. Despite all lost opportunities, it has a commendable rhythm that still makes it entertaining.

SOFTER BODIES

It’s a rarity among UP Film Institute undergraduate thesis to present a documentary film, but whenever it does, it manages to appealingly tackle a small issue that grows big as it gets along the discourse of women who have PCOS.

HILOM

The mixture of the storytelling is inconsistent but it keeps one guarded all throughout due to its production value and the underlying tension of a twist bound to happen.

UWIAN NA

Teeming with striking production design from end to end: well orchestrated and structured with passion. A visual feast that jives well with a soft-spoken narrative. The people behind this film are to watch out for.

SINA IGME AT GANI

Breathtaking cinematography does not always make a film as remarkable as the imagery it renders. Along the winding road it paves, the narrative turns out to be tedious with its stretched out pace. It’s a good thing the lead actors are mature in their roles despite their young age.

FISH OUT OF WATER 

May budget mag-shoot sa Korea! Yamanin! Plus Yayo Aguila! A strong contender at this year’s Cinemalaya. It stands robust and confident, boasting its grand production value and sincere depiction of Filipino-Korean life overseas.

LOLA LOLENG

A fascinating take on rotoscope animation that could be a vibrant companion film to last year’s MANANG BIRING. It works like magic as it creates its own relatable world of wartime memories. And isn’t that poster reminiscent of THE GREAT GATSBY?

PITONG DAAN AT ISA

Anchored by pain and longing, the emotional discomfort is too personal that it wards off quick connection to its audience. Could have had a clearer plot (granted there is much to be explained) but still a sad picture set in the picturesque Hong Kong all the same.

ANG HIGH SCHOOL AT SI OLIVE

A well-acted slice-of-life that depicts reality between two girls in love with each other, and the various struggles they encounter amidst social and familial norms. Terrific at its core as it stays neat and honest through and through.

TATWA

A nice exercise on the psychological thriller genre. Could have been tighter but works just as fine on the surface.

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