Richard Soriano Legaspi’s “Pamatid-Gutom” (Hunger Pangs) and Seymour Barros Sanchez’s “Patron ng Laging Saklolo” (Patronage Politics) will compete in the short film and documentary category, respectively, of the 14th International Panorama of Independent Film and Video Makers to be held in the city of Patras, Greece from September 29 to October 6.
Both produced by Red Room Media Productions, the films are part of “EDSAngangdaan: The EDSA Stories Film Festival” which was organized and supported by Focus on the Global South – Philippines, a non-government organization, in commemoration of the 25 years of the EDSA People Power movement.
Starring internationally-acclaimed actress Mercedes Cabral, Legaspi’s “Pamatid Gutom” is a stark rendition of electoral politics in post-EDSA Philippines. A mother, desperate to feed her child, takes part in the feeding program of the mayor of a city. Upon seeing the favorable response of the wife of the mayor to her child, she undertakes a disturbing gamble.
On the other hand, Sanchez’s “Patron ng Laging Saklolo” is a short documentary of enduring patterns of patronage politics in the Philippines, chronicling the activities throughout a typical election season. By examining the fiesta mentality of Filipinos and their attitudes towards politics, several gripping comparisons will be drawn.
Patras International Film Festival, as it is also called, will be held “at a time particularly critical both at the economic and political front,” festival director Chionidis Panagiotis said. “At times of social crisis, the need to bring society closer to culture becomes more imperative.”
“The Festival welcomes art creations that reflect upon the problems, struggles and hopes of the individual and society as a whole,” Panagiotis added.
Legaspi recently won the Special Jury prize for his short film “Manenaya” (Waiting) in the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. He also won second prize for “Primera Bella” in the screenplay category of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature this year. He is one of the fellows of the Asian Film Academy of the 2007 Busan International Film Festival where he studied under renowned filmmakers Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Pen-Ek Ratanaruang.
Meanwhile, Sanchez also has a Palanca tucked under his belt, winning the grand prize for his screenplay “Hiwaga” in 2009. He currently teaches film, journalism, broadcasting, and other communication subjects at the Far Eastern University and the College of the Holy Spirit in Manila. He attended the Produire au Sud workshop under the World Film Festival of Bangkok.
Legaspi and Sanchez are both members of the Katorse Writers Group, which is comprised of graduates of Ricky Lee’s 14th batch of scriptwriting workshop for film and television.