Written and Directed by Kenneth Mandrilla
Cinefilipino Film Festival 2016
Bugoy and Mikko are two friends who barely have any similarities between them; Mikko is chubby and clumsy, while Bugoy is slender and agile. Despite their differences, the two friends make things work and make sure to meet in their favorite playground every day.
One day, the two friends end up fighting due to Mikko’s attempt to keep a mango Bugoy picked for himself. Furious, Bugoy pushes Mikko, not knowing the river was right behind him. Bugoy then rushes home to inform his father that Mikko has drowned, and his father decides to cover up for him by burying Mikko’s body in the playground.
One year later, Bugoy returns to the playground and finds a mango seedling, and with the belief that it’s his friends essence, pulls it out and keeps it to himself. Mikko’s phantom painfully stares at Bugoy as he walks away from the place that separated them.
Punla is a story about the sudden and unexpected loss of someone close to your heart, and the need to find something to remember them by due to the suddenness of it all. Bugoy never had a chance to apologize, he never had the chance to say goodbye. Mikko served as the Punla, and the seedling served as his spirit and memory that will carry on through his absence.