Viddsee tilt celebrates Filipino short films

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Dustin Uy’s “Impeng Negro”

Yes, shorts are films, too.

Not a few observers, here and abroad, have noticed that Filipino filmmakers are making waves, not only with full-length feature movies, but also with short films.

Viddsee, a Singapore-based online entertainment and technology platform, recognizes the potential of short films from the Philippines.

Derek Tan, Viddsee cofounder, told the Inquirer: “We have definitely seen exciting opportunities for short filmmakers to make a brand name for themselves, while allowing the industry and the audience to pay attention to their works.”

Ho Jia Jian, Viddsee cofounder, concurred: “We have witnessed a wellspring of creativity in the Philippines. We hope to help this community grow and…create content together eventually.”

In prestigious film festivals like Cannes and Busan, Filipino short films have been garnering accolades, related producer Alemberg Ang. “This got Filipinos excited about short films, too.”

Away from the film-fest circuit, “short films are gaining more attention from the industry and the audience via the internet,” Tan noted. Case in point: Viddsee has generated over 1 billion views through its mobile applications and platforms.

Che Ramos in Relyn A. Tan’s “Para Kay Ama”

Accessible platform

Ang pointed out: “With sites like Viddsee, there is now an accessible platform to watch films, made by both Filipino directors and those from neighboring Asian countries.”

Ang asserted that what sets Viddsee apart from other online viewing sites is that “it’s absolutely free, without any ads disturbing your viewing.”

To help promote and invigorate short filmmaking in the country, the site is launching the Viddsee Juree Awards for the Philippines.

Ang, who is the project’s awards director, described it as “a filmmakers’ program, where 10 short films will be selected and showcased in screenings across the country.” De La Salle University and University of the Philippines are on the list of screening venues.

An awards night will be held in November, and the top two winners will score a Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K camera, a Da Vinci Resolve Micro Panel, and a five-day film immersion course in Los Angeles.

Among the jurors are programmer Loïc Valceschini, producer Marcus Manh and filmmaker Antoinette Jadaone.

“The Viddsee Juree Awards is our commitment to celebrate filmmakers and their works,” Tan remarked. The project, which started in Indonesia, aims to “bring film communities, industry partners and the audience together in the same space to grow and create new opportunities.”

JC Santos in Gini Jose’s “Basaan”

The Film Development Council of the Philippines, Tan stated, is Viddsee’s partner in this endeavor.

Viddsee hopes to build a network of bridges connecting filmmakers from different Asian counties.

“When I was starting in 2009, only a handful of people were aware of indie filmmaking,” Ang recalled. “But now, there is a sense of community among the country’s film practitioners. Just post a cry for help on Facebook, and there’ll be someone who will rush to your aid.”

Forging alliances across provinces and islands will help practitioners “craft better films and maximize resources,” Ang quipped.

The next step, Ang added, “is partnering with filmmakers from Southeast Asia and other Asian countries.”

Tan affirmed: “We see short films as a wonderful way to build a filmmaker’s consistency…It’s also a great means for local and regional audiences to be engaged with Filipino stories. We are looking forward to working with the community, not just in curating and marketing its members’ works, but also in creating new short films together.”

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