Zambales Short Film to Represent PH in Berlinale
MANILA, PHILIPPINES, FEBRUARY 2, 2022 —The short film It’s Raining Frogs Outside directed by Maria Estela Paiso and produced by Gale Osorio will be representing the Philippines at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival on February 10-20, 2022 in Berlin, Germany.
After last year’s hold on in-person events, the Berlin International Film Festival, which along with other related events such as the European Film Market, Berlinale Talents, and Visitors Programme are collectively known as the Berlinale, have invited films and their filmmakers in this year’s onsite film fest ceremony at the Berlinale Palast at Potsdamer Platz as the main festival venue.
Paiso’s debut film will have its international premiere in competition with twenty other shorts in one of the top three most important t film festivals in the world together with Cannes in France and Venice in Italy. It is the only Filipino film selected to participate at the much-anticipated gathering of film professionals from all over the world screening various genres, categories, lengths, and formats for this year’s edition.
The first-time director also has the honor of being the first Filipina director to join the Berlinale Shorts Competition and the fourth Filipino to represent the country in the said section. Director Paiso describes the whole journey as “a form of baptism by fire,” considering the technical challenges and the sensitivity of the subject matter.
Ampangabagat Nin Talakba Ha Likol, the film’s original title in Sambal, is the first film in the Sambal language throughout the history of Berlinale. It tells the story of Maya, a girl from the province of Zambales who confronts her personal encounters with her haunted past.
Although celebrating a lot of firsts for the film, this is not producer Osorio’s first foray into the international film festival scene. She was also the producer for the short film Babylon, the second Filipino film selected into the Berlinale Shorts Competition in 2018, and participated in many other national and international film events.
“This is a truly promising film and it’s inclusion in the Berlinale is already a huge win for the Philippines. Kudos to those who made this film’s fruition possible. It is our pleasure to have two empowered Filipinas join the Philippine delegation on the international stage; we send them off with our pride and joy,” Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) CEO and Chairperson Liza Diño said.
The thirteen-minute short film gained praise at the recently-concluded QCinema International Film Festival last December 2021, where it received the Gender Sensitivity Award.
Osorio notes, “the timing of our premiere at QCinema fits perfectly with the Berlinale's submissions—it is opportune that it will also have the chance to have its international premiere in such a prestigious film festival such as the Berlinale. I have a lot of trust in the amazing work our team put into this short film.”
This year’s one shot to bring home yet another esteemed “bear” prize for PH is a momentous event for Paiso and Osorio. Paiso shared her admiration and appreciation for the rest of her team with whom she has worked with on various other projects.
Paiso and Osorio are both proud to showcase their project after pushing through with the production despite all the struggles they went through while filming during a pandemic. “We wanted to ensure our crew's safety while shooting in Zambales, even if there were only six people on set,” the director added.
The film’s premiere night will be on February 13, 2022, 9:30 PM at the Cubix 9. It will have three other screenings across various cinemas in Berlin on February 14, 18, and 19.
Both Filipina filmmakers thank the Agency’s support, especially during these uncertain times for the industry, with Osorio highlighting that “the agency is part and parcel of my filmmaking.”
Aside from It’s Raining Frogs Outside’s participation in the competition, the Philippines will be sending a delegation including the FDCP, who will be joining other online events in the Berlinale namely: the European Film Market, Berlinale Co-Production Market, Berlinale Talents, and World Cinema Fund, that will happen simultaneously during the two-week festivities.