A short film which tackles brotherhood, parenthood and belongingness recently bagged the Audience Choice Award in the Active Vista International Human Rights Film Festival short film competition.
Seymour Sanchez‘s Caretaker tells the story of a new caretaker (Rolando Inocencio) who comes in to replace the previous keeper of a vacation house of a wealthy family. He is a single parent trying to make ends meet while taking care of his two sons (Jomari Angeles and Luis Ruiz). He meets his boss (Raymond Riñoza), the owner of the house, and is informed the family will be using it for the holiday. He starts cleaning the house in preparation for the family’s arrival. Meanwhile, the owner’s son (John Paul Duray) has other plans. The caretaker is caught off-guard when the owner’s son comes home one night, with his fraternity brothers. Moreover, the caretaker is unaware that he is in for a big surprise.
Naglalahong Pamana, a documentary by Lucy Lavirotte, Jerrica Manongdo, Berna Sastrillo, and David Simantov-Levi, won Best Short Film “for giving a relevant, poignant, and sensitive discourse on a tribe’s loss of land and culture because of minings and plantations.” Manongdo also took home the first runner-up trophy for her Ipinanganak na Nakayapak short film “for taking the audience in an uneven yet captivating journey in the joys and struggles of a proletariat.” Meanwhile, Hayop by Robert Mark Liwanag got the second runner-up award “for exposing torture and violence in a harrowing narration.”
Richard Legaspi of Red Room Media Productions received Caretaker‘s award from Lourd de Veyra of film festival organizer DAKILA-Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism on behalf of filmmaker Sanchez during the Alab ng Puso: Stand Up for Human Rights program at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani last December 10.
Caretaker, which Sanchez co-wrote with Kristine Camille Sulit, previously won second place in the short fiction category of the sixth CAM International Festival for Short Films in Cairo, Egypt last October. It also received the Golden Philippine Eagle Festival Director’s Choice award and Best Actor trophy for Inocencio in the short film category of the third Singkuwento International Film Festival co-organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts last February. The short film was also shown at the 22nd annual Filipino International Cine Festival (FACINE) at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco, California and the International Film Festival Manhattan at the Producers Club in New York City.
Sanchez is an advocacy filmmaker, freelance writer, communication and film professor (De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Far Eastern University-Manila and College of the Holy Spirit-Manila), and a former producer for news and current affairs programs (CNN Philippines, Solar News and TV5). He is a graduate of Ricky Lee’s 14th scriptwriting workshop and Brillante Mendoza’s first film directing class.
Active Vista features short films that tell compelling stories of people whose freedoms and rights are trampled upon and give voice to those who suffer in silence. The films dwell on human rights issues and stimulate passionate discussions about human rights and capture the intensity of these filmmakers as they view the world in their own perspectives. Completing the list of short film finalists are Sa Loob at Labas by Bernice Dy, Mga Handuraw sa Kahilitan by Amaya Han, Supot by Jelford Teves, Magkabilang Panig by Noni Abao, Kahilom by Jude Gitamondoc and Phoenix by Marti Salva.
The Active Vista International Human Rights Film Festival is a mobile cinema platform that allows audiences opportunity to debate, discuss, and spark conversations on human rights that can shape society. DAKILA is a group of artists, students and individuals committed to advocating social consciousness formation both among their industry peers and their immediate audiences.