Katorse Shorts Review

Review by Pat (http://everybodyleaves.multiply.com/reviews/item/6?mark_read=everybodyleaves:reviews:6&goto=0#reply0)

Category:    Movies
Genre:     Independent

I was really excited about watching Indie Sine, while most of other film buffs were rushing to Shangrila cinemas to catch the free viewing of the French film festival i on the other hand, couldn’t wait to feel inspired and to get new ideas from some of the best of our local independent film makers today.

I gotta say that out of the 7 shorts that was shown i only really absolutely liked Puwang and Walong Linggo, a film by Anna Isabelle Matutina (ate sunshine).

I’m not making this review about Puwang and Walong Linggo just because I personally know the director of the movie. But really because i loved it. for me, it was the best among the 7 short films shown in Indie Sine. I know it isn’t a competition and the purpose of Indie Sine is really to orient the viewers to different styles and genres of movies but considering all aspects in film making, for me these two films are at the top of the class, it stands out among the rest.

The screenplay is captivating. it engages the audience into the story, it’s different in itself without disregarding if the audience can relate to the story and understand the message. the cinematography stands out compared to the other shorts, it’s nearly flawless. The scoring was original in Walong Linggo, it sort of dictated or signaled the emotion the characters were feeling and what the audience should feel as well, because it is after all a silent movie. I was afraid at first that i wouldn’t like Walong Linggo coz I’m not exactly a silent film fan but the story was really cute and lite and was presented in just the right amount.

In the end, you have on the one hand that feeling that you want more out of the story because it has already captivated you, but on the other you are at peace because you know it’s complete.

I’m gonna pass on commenting about the other short films, because i don’t want my inexperienced self broadcasting to the cyber world what my inexperienced mind criticizingly thinks. as we all know, it is of course easier to say something good than to say something mean in stuffs you don’t know much about. But Please Please don’t take my word for it, my inexperienced self might be wrong about the other shorts. you can still catch Indie Sine: Katorse Shorts at Robinsons Galleria until Tuesday, June 17. Go to the Links below to watch the trailers. :)

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INDIE SINE: Katorse Shorts Trailers

Walong Linggo Trailer:

Puwang Production Stills


A scene from the film. Arlene (Roence Santos) reads a book while her father (Elmo Redrico) looks on.


Cinematographer Alma dela Pena with Assistant Cameraman, Ferdinand Rada.


Elmo Redrico feeling like an abandoned father.


Anne (Lorena Landicho) is about to give birth while Arlene offers comfort. Sasi Casas as the doctor.


Previewing the blocking for the elevator scene. Assistant Director, Hector Macaso, stands in for Arlene.


Cinematographer Alma dela Pena and Seymour Sanchez as Arlene’s husband, Robert.


Preparing an actor before a scene.


Elmo falls asleep during set-up.


Hector Macaso reads through a scene with Elmo Redrico.


Production Designer, Richard Legaspi, and assistant, Sunny Completo, fix needle on Elmo’s hand.


Previewing one of the most difficult scenes.


Lorena Landicho takes a cigarette break.

Puwang Write-Up

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
–Leo Tolstoy

“Puwang” offers an poignant and starkly real look into a family on the verge of falling apart in the face of impending death.

Talented indie actors give life to film’s uncommon yet familiar characters. Roence Santos plays Arlene, the eldest daughter who has been working too hard in caring for her bedridden father and keeping both her families together. She is unable to disguise her resentment toward her absent brother Angelo, played by Bon Reyes. Lorena Landicho plays the youngest sister Anne, fearful not only of her father’s death but also for the future of the child she will give birth to. Elmo Redrico delivers a brilliant portrayal of the invalid father.Penned, directed, and edited by Anna Isabelle Matutina, “Puwang” is her third film and the second one to be a finalist in the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.

Known to her peers as Sunshine, this 27-year old works a freelance film and TV editor slowly making a name for herself in the Philippine Independent film scene. Her previous short film “Ika-9 na Palapag” was the only Filipino film in the recent Creteil Women’s Film Festival in France. She has also edited award winning works like “Lata at Tsinelas” and “Ang Pamilyang Kumakain ng Lupa” by Khavn de la Cruz, “ICU Bed #7” by Rica Arevalo, “Blood Bank” by Pam Miras, and “Anak ng Tinapa” by Jon Red, among others.

“Puwang” is told with the grit of realism in Richard Legaspi’s production design in contrast with the muted clean elegance of Alma de la Pena and Wowie Hao’s cinematography. The music of Lionel Valdellon provides the backdrop of this taciturn short.

This film is the first production of Digital Cheese in cooperation with Red Room Productions, makers of the Katorse short film compilation DVD, and Brass Knuckles, Inc., long time producers of several digital films and music videos.

– written by Pam Miras (July 13, 2006)

Puwang (Space Between)

Official Selection: Lyon Asian Film Festival 2007 (France)
Finalist: Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2006
In Exhibition: Cinemanila International Film Festival 2006


Short Narrative 2006 / Colour / 25 min / Philippines


After a mysterious falling out with his father five years ago, Angelo, the favorite son, has not shown his face to the family. Arlene, being the eldest and the least favorite, took upon herself the demanding task of taking care of their very sick father even while she tends to her own husband and children. Anne, the youngest, is single and pregnant with no one to turn to except her older sister. When the father is finally confined in the hospital for two weeks, his relentless requests to see his long lost son, Angelo’s stubbornness and supposed disregard for their father’s welfare, and Anne’s constant need for attention start to bear down on Arlene, leaving her weak, weary and very much alone.

Cinematography: WOWIE HAO and ALMA DELA PEṄA
Production Design: RICHARD LEGASPI


2007 Official Selection: Lyon Asian Film Festival, France
2006 Finalist: Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival
2006 Exhibition Film: Cinemanila International Film Festival

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Watch the trailer: