Sun Star Manila, July 13 2005
When Anna Isabelle “Sunshine” Matutina, a freelance editor for TV shows and digital films, completed the final cut of “Panaginipan” (The Dreaming) after graduating from the Mowelfund Film Institute last year, she heaved a sigh of relief that she finally has a short film that she can call her own. However, when her directorial debut made it as a finalist in the short film category of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2005, she was doubly ecstatic.
In “Panaginipan,” two young, deeply disturbed women meet and discover a different kind of bond despite their contrasting personalities. Mona, despite her seemingly calm and controlled façade, has already reached a point in her life wherein she can no longer hope that life will ever get better. Sara, on the other hand, wishes to escape the constant and pointless pain of her uncontrollable need to fall in love.
Both women have already attempted several times to kill themselves, seeing that death is their only escape from this repetitive suffering of the human soul. After exhausting all means of suicide, they discover a foolproof way to end it all – that is, to consciously decide to stop breathing. “Panaginipan” is Matutina’s first digital short, which she wrote, directed, and edited.
Matutina edited soap operas for ABS-CBN for two years before resigning to devote more time to the local independent filmmaking scene. Aside from “Panaginipan,” the TV/film editor has also completed “Ikasiyam na Palapag” (Ninth Floor), her second work which was screened at the 12th Pelikula at Lipunan in SM Megamall last February. A broadcast communication graduate from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, she seriously began thinking about directing her own films when she joined Ricky Lee’s 14th scriptwriting workshop three years ago.
At present, she also counts Ogi Sugatan’s “Ang Kapalaran ni Virgin Mario” (The Fate of Virgin Mario), Khavn De La Cruz’s “Lata at Tsinelas” (Can and Slippers) which competed at the Berlinale and “Ang Pamilyang Kumakain ng Lupa” (The Family That Eats Soil) shown at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rica Arevalo’s “ICU Bed #7” which is a finalist of the Cinemalaya full-length feature category, Pam Miras’ “Blood Bank,” her co-finalist in the shorts category, and Jon Red’s “Anak ng Tinapa” and Topel Lee’s “Dilim,” both of which will be shown at the Cinema One Originals Digital Film Festival 2005, among her editing portfolio.
“Panaginipan” is a Kill the Chicken Cinema presentation and a Core24 production starring Marie Ronquillo and Regina Estrada. Supporting Matutina in her first-time attempt at filmmaking is cinematographer Sugatan, musical scorer Pinky Aunaryo, and co-producer EJ Salcedo.