“Titser Gennie,” a highly moving documentary about an Aeta teacher’s sacrifices in fulfilling her calling while surmounting various challenges, was named Grand Prix winner at the recent 2021 MBC Short Film Festival.
Produced and directed by Elijah Prades, a broadcast production alumna of the University of Makati (UMAK), the film first took home the category win for the Documentary Film genre before being voted by judges Laurice Guillen, Quark Henares, and Joey Reyes as over-all best movie in the first ever film festival launched by Manila Broadcasting Company.
From a storyline originally developed by UMAK students Eudel Ayuban, Leda Razel Miranda, Yvonne Clarisse Dalusong and Jean Pearl Silvestre, Prades used her learnings as a former intern at Probe Team to follow the journey of Gennie Panguelo, who pursued her dream of becoming a licensed teacher, trekking three hours daily through lahar roads, streams, and mountains just to teach her fellow Aetas in Sitio Tarukan, Capas, Tarlac. Prades and her team earned a total cash prize of P165,000 for the Grand Prix win.
Sonny Calvento’s “Excuse me, Miss, Miss, Miss,” which provided a comic view into the life of a contractual saleslady was named Best Short Feature, while “Stay,” a heartwarming story about the relationship of a dog and his human, directed by Irenea Catalina Valencia, was named Best Animated Film. Both took home P90,000 each.
The films of Prades and Valencia were joined in the top 15 final roster by three other student works from the University of Makati: “Mga Batang Anipa,” by Maria Fyl Gultian and Alundra Villanueva; “Home” by Bryan Kent Abias; and “Last Piece” (directed by Andrea Bonagua and Anthony Santiago), which also won the award for Fan Favorite.
The broadcasting network group of MBC, which is continuously developing events for its digital platforms, launched the film competition to celebrate the extraordinary creative energy of Filipino filmmakers nationwide, and called for entries depicting human interest stories based on real-life characters/situations in which the Filipino triumphs over adversity The competition also served as the centerpiece of the anniversary celebrations of MBC’s flagship station DZRH.