15th Sinepiyu Film Festival – Interschool Category

We take a look at the short films that will be screened at the Interschool Category of the Sinepiyu Film Festival which will take place from May 2 – 6, 2023 at the Cinematheque Centre Manila and Far Eastern University — Manila, and will be screening online via Juanflix: the FDCP Channel.


Ang Pangungumpisal by Minnesota Flores

Spanish-ruled Manila, 1896. A troubled wife confides to a priest, wanting to find solace for her husband’s sins. But when the priest uncovers a plot that will endanger the church and the state, the routine confession quickly descends into an interrogation.

Dahon by Janelle Patrice Basallo

When a six-year-old child finds out about her mother’s debt, she starts collecting dried leaves to pay off what is owed until she learns that money does not grow on trees, changing her perception of the concept of money, debts, and reality.

Kokuryo: The Untold Story of BB. Undas 2019 by Diokko Manuel Dionisio

Mindy Jane has just won the Bb Undas 2019. While de-dragging and untucking backstage, she opens the envelope containing the cash prize. Mindy Jane is surprised when she finds out that the envelope containing the prize money is insufficient. Mindy Jane immediately tells Diding – her best friend, that she only got half of the prize. Right after telling Diding, Mindy Jane decides to embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous robbery. From fighting against drunkard transphobes, blasting off the sponsor’s house and being summoned in a barangay hall; their rip-roaring odyssey leads them through a physical and emotional rollercoaster ride of a lifetime.

Malikmata by Jean Evangelista

Aling Nene, the mother is pregnant and almost at her due date. She’s cleaning the household while Tatay Rode, the father, and Elai, the eldest daughter is taking care of the harvest. The youngest son, Detoy is still asleep in their room when Aling Nene decides to wake him up with a fried egg. Detoy plays around the mountain and then gets himself tripped. However, Aling Nene sees an “Aswang” near their house and she starts to panic.

Ramon’s Special by Angelika Espejo

About a Filipino businessman who holds a Chinese-themed restaurant by his generation who suffered a financial loss in the present. As much as he wants to revive it, inflation has risen in the Philippines. The character’s lost hope returns as he thinks of a more sustainable solution for him, and by that, his business starts to run smoothly and grows more and more.

RRRWGHHRW (Carabao Noises) by Jannela Kyla Dela Peña

“RRRWGHHRW! RRRWGHHRW! RRRWGHHRW!”” How far will you go to reach your dreams? Let Eloy tell you how. Eloy Macapagat is a grade school student who dreams of becoming an artist someday. You’ll most probably see him acting inside his room with movie posters. So, when given the chance to act in a school play as a carabao, Eloy accepted the role. That’s his chance!

Sayaw Sang Buhi by Rikkilyn de la Cruz

The film follows a pair of polar-opposite best friends who share a passion for dancing. Upon learning that his best friend, Jai, is taking advantage of a girl, Jigo creates a fake social media account to expose Jai’s wrongdoings. As they are practicing for an upcoming dance performance called Himaya, a cultural dance about healing, freedom, and awakening, Jigo’s actions backfire and spark an unfamiliar feeling within him. Jigo tries so hard to hide his secrets from everyone, which confuses the oblivious Jai. With his identity and their friendship at stake, Jigo is torn between keeping the truth to avoid further chaos or letting the truth set him free.

See You Yesterday by Ethan Dela Cruz

An average family is planning to take their dream trip. As Gaboadventures through the reality of life with his two siblings, Ben and Yna, their trip gets pushed back.

Sorry, I didn’t Mean To Pry by Jermaine Tulbo

Two unemployed fresh graduates living together in a house apartment for years, both stuck in debts, unemployment, and the Philippine government crisis, discovers the harsh reality through the urgency of a deprived landlady.

The Rats of The City by Elaissa Bautista

A radio news report announces that an earthquake had hit a province as the images of the city flash. A young woman in a wedding dress briefly stays in a convenience store to eat and ponder her choices. Then, she forcibly responds to a phone call before going out of the store to throw her phone away. Later that night, she explores the city with her luggage. She rides a train and ends up sleeping on a worn-out couch on a sidewalk near an underpass.


Dal Segno by Hassmir Kielsilos

Dal segno is a short musical that depicts the cage of oppression and liberation. It is an experience of the ones whose faced with choices and decisions – as to everyone’s journey through life. Two man is welcomed with a rack of white clothes somewhere in the middle of the forest. They fought with each other until eventually becoming teleported into a blank dimension and had a glimpse of what the white clothes was all about.

Glitters by Darryl Villafuerte

Glitters is an experimental film wherein a fish seeks through the sea of plastic waste that is now blending in with marine life and finds itself trapped in its own habitat. The fish gets transferred to an empty glass aquarium but tries to escape the way of human captivity, as the aquarium gets filled and crowded with aquatic designs made of plastic. The aquarium is clear and empty at first just like how spacious and clean our ocean was; now slowly gets polluted by human plastic waste that confines our marine life – just like a fish in captivity with no way to be free and propagate. The aquarium starts to bleed due to pollution and draining its sustainability and life. Glitters then get mixed that clouds the whole aquarium, suffocating the fish, mirroring how these plastic wastes consume our marine life. After all, these millions of specks of trash circle our oceans; although elegantly colorful-looking dust, it contaminates just by it as the size of ‘glitters’.

Ilusyon by Johan Gonzales

Speaking through filters. Filters created by a greater force that is threatened by the very people they swore to serve. Filtering what they allow us to see and hear, and blocking out things that speak the greater truth. The illusion of having freedom, where in reality we only have freedom to say what we are told to say. The illusion is that what we see and what we consume is unfiltered, but if truth be told while we continue to consume these things, we are slowly being gutted without us even knowing. What we see is not always what it seems.

Mind Body by Josh Van Ulric Campo

His heartbeat feels like a slow knock on his unyielding rib cage. He pours slightly warm water into his transparent glass. With him appearing to be spaced out, the water that he is pouring overspills and he starts feeling a fast rush of panic and anxiety. He starts breathing deeply. His heart is pounding so fast that he strokes gently his pummeling chest. His stomach feels troubled and uneasy. His body numbs while there are hurried trembles that muddle his flesh and bones. He is trying to calm himself but the terror inside only gets worse. He is sweating. He feels like dying.

Oculus Sinister by James Magnaye

When a paranoid man feels that he’s being spied on, he tries to cover every hole and every space he could find in order to escape the recurring nightmare of someone watching.


Arapaap (Dreams) by Ryand Angelo Ugalde

A student by day and a carnival worker from noon until past midnight. This documentary follows the story of a young dreamer who continues to pursue his aspirations with the ‘perya’ by his side. In a place where happiness and excitement are felt by many, adversities and crises led him to experience the total contrast.

Daing by Jan Darryl Villafuerte

Daíng is a multi-character short documentary film focusing on the lives of three subjects in the community of Pamarawan. Ka Odi and Ka Edgar, are both experienced “mambabaklad”, an underwater fishing technique that sets a type of net that acts as a fish cage; and Nanay Aring who is a normal resident of the island. The documentary will show their daily lives and ways of trying to earn money, bringing home food for their family, catching fish outside of their natural habitat, and the risks they endure for their family. Their style of attaining basic necessities in daily life as people of Pamarawan will be highlighted – starting from their daily routine to venturing into the community and the sea, actual fishing activity, and as Nanay Aring, Ka Odi, and Ka Edgar sells their product/fish and them coming home to their respective families.

Life Stream by Rubenich A. Reyes

At a young age, Paolo vowed to help his blind mother, Tess, raise their family. Paolo became unstoppable and steadily climbed up the corporate ladder, until his eyes started to blur. In 2013, he was diagnosed with optic atrophy. Depressed by the criticism, he chose to leave his work and return to Baguio with his family. How did Paolo rise above this situation?

Lusong by Nolz Sanders Dela Cruz

The documentary focuses on Kuya Noel, a fisher, so-called “Mangunguryente,”(electric fishing)  in barangay Biclat, located in San Miguel, Bulacan. Kuya Noel uses an inverter machine and rod in electric fishing. He comes along daily with his brother, but they often separate ways and gather more (Fish, Eel, and frogs). The documentary will show his everyday life in their home with his family, how they do “pangunguryente,” and how they sustain and survive just doing “pangunguryente” to earn their living, knowing that not all the time there is always plenty catch and sometimes none, knowing that this kind of activity is illegal.

Sota by Mae Tanagon

SOTA is an observational documentary film that follows the life of Arnel Arguelles and Leonardo Yambao — horse caretakers at San Lazaro Leisure and Business Park, Carmona, Cavite. This documentary film presents their occupational welfare and living conditions while working in the horse gambling industry in Manila Jockey Club Inc.

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