Un-Film-spiration: online shorts to get at your inner auteur

Un-Film-spiration: online shorts to get at your inner auteur

With the Indie Un-film Festival just around the corner, we’re rounding up our favorite film shorts to get you started.

Screenshot from BP Valenzuela’s “Steady” music video

Film today is more accessible than ever. Reels and cinemas now lie side by side with smartphones and Netflix subscriptions, and whether we love it or hate it, the digitalization of film today is a fact of life that isn’t leaving anytime soon.

Same goes for the filmmaker, which is what our friends over at the Indie Un-film Festival have recognized. Entries are ongoing for all college and university students across the nation until May 25, so put on your best Spielberg impression, grab a few buddies, and get to work. And, on the off chance that you guys have been at work and are stuck for inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few quick shorts we hope tickle your fancy.

The banter is snappy and its take on love wry, but what makes this film a winner is the frankness of the whole concept. The filming is straightforward; the actors’ expressions and conversations make the film. Our point: it often isn’t merely the technique or the flashiness of a concept that makes a good filmmaker. A watchful eye for talk and a strong grasp for emotion — which this film has in spades — do just as well.

Taya (2013)

Adi Bontuyan and Francis Beltejar’s Cinemalaya-winning project strikes deep because it humbles. Games as cheerful and noisy as agawan base and bangsak, level with smash-cut stills of picket lines and stark police clashes. The film disarms precisely because of how it connects viewers to the plights they witness on screen by alluding to everyday childhood stories. Strong messages tell through sharp contrasts.

I’m Busy (2015)

It’s barely over a minute long, which makes for great inspiration fodder, especially when you’re stressing over that film submission deadline. It’s a cutesy stab at what it means to procrastinate, told through desktop panels and jazzy background music: an everyday message made fresh through its story’s format. Don’t be afraid to try something different, is what we’re saying. Film after all is about looking. If you got a fresh perspective, bring it.

Steady (2015)

BP Valenzuela and Petersen Vargas collab-ing on a love story-cum-music video. What’s not to like? A minute into it, both lover-protagonists clink Nissin cup noodles to celebrate their first date. The image disarms precisely because of how jarringly encapsulating that image is of the rest of the video, and because, well, cup noodles.

Moments and stills like these are many times what makes a film tick. There may be more recent projects by the two out there (*ahem* 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten *ahem*), but we decided to show Steady precisely because through stills as fleeting as the cup noodle scene, we see the power of film today. Namely: its ability to now, more than ever, distill and preserve a moment, wherever you are, whomever you are, however strange and personal it may be. Go make some.

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