CineMapúa upgrades to International Short Film Festival on 20th anniversary

CineMapúa, the country’s longest-running student film festival, has raised the bar of this year’s fete with its expansion into an international film competition. The contest’s transformation highlights its 20th anniversary, themed “Festivity of Global Cultures through Visual Storytelling.”

Although CineMapúa introduced a World Film Section exhibition segment last year, this is the first time it officially included an international film competition category. Nonetheless, the short film competition received an astounding 2,022 entries from 107 countries worldwide. The foreign submissions comprised 69.9% of the 2,892 total submitted film entries, the biggest number CineMapúa has received since 2002. Of the 2,022, 20 foreign films were chosen as finalists.

Foreign film entries came as far as the USA, Poland, United Kingdom, Brazil, Spain, France, Argentina, Italy, Iran, India, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Turkey.

“The amateur international film-making community’s warm reception of CineMapúa is indicative of the festival’s ability to recognize and hone talent, bridge the gap between cultures, preserve heritage, encourage communal harmony, and inspire collaborative efforts to effect social change,” said Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mapúa University, the host school of CineMapúa.

The immense number of foreign entries further solidified the cinematic contest’s credibility on the global stage and affirmed its standing with prestigious international universities and colleges.

Viewers of this year’s 20th CineMapúa should expect a competitive selection distinguished by their artistic and technical execution and storytelling.

“The criteria for international and local film entries will be the same since the evaluation focuses more on the quality of the film, which is both the quality of technical execution and film narrative. The only difference for this year’s Cinemapua International Student Short Film Festival is the composition of the jurors since we invited internationally-recognized film practitioners as part of the Board of Jurors,” said Prof. Benigno Agapito, Jr., the Dean of the School of Media Studies, which is the organizing committee and host of CineMapua.

The World Film Section finalists are “Agony” by Mohammed Abdulameer Saad from University of Baghdad, Iraq, “Coal” by Maksymilian Michorczyk from Warsaw Film School, Poland; “Divination” by Gopal Acharya, Oscar International College, Nepal; “Donkerster” by Frank van den Bogaart from Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Belgium; “Falling Moon” by Yingying Wang Zoe from Shanghai Vancouver Film School, China; “Giant & The Seed” by Sara Shabani from Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Germany; “Girl with a Mirror” by Nuno Dias from Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal; “Junko” by Minsho Limbu from Everest Film Academy, Nepal; “Lifeline: The Brothers Who Hold the Same Breath” by Abdullah Şahin from Işık University, Turkey; “Neon Phantom” by Leonardo Martinelli from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and “Present” by Anna Anat Gofman Banai from Tel Aviv University, Israel.

It also includes “Psycho” by Mostafa Davtalab from University of Tehran, Iran; “Rent-a-Friend” by Rafael Lopez Aguilar from Warsaw Film School, Poland; Safe” by Ian Barling from New York University-Tisch School of the Arts, USA; “Slouch” by Michael Bohnenstingl from Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, USA; “The Book Watcher” by Xinzhi Chen, from School of Visual Arts- New York, United States of America; “The Longest Night of the Summer” by Leila Jordi, from The University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest, Hungary; “Unanimous” by Touchamat Likitwattanaviboon from Mahidol University International College, Thailand; “Utopian Life” by Abhishek Dixit from State Institute of Film and Television, PLC State University of Performing and Visual Arts, India; and “Waiting For Your Phone Call’ by Aldis Elwan from Indonesia Institute of The Arts, Surakarta, Indonesia.

Organized by Mapúa University’s School of Media Studies, the event will also host film seminars and workshops with local and international filmmakers as speakers. Attendees and guests can also enjoy the onsite film exhibits and interactive booths.

Guests and participants can watch the official CineMapúa finalists onsite in the newly constructed Mapúa Cardinal Cinema in the Mapua Makati campus on March 13-18, 2023 during the week-long film festivity. They may also view them at the Mapua-Intramuros campus Audio Visual Rooms during those days. The Awards Night is on March 16, 2023, at the Mapúa Makati campus.