Submissions for this year’s MKK Shorts were more diverse and successfully showcased Filipinos’ perspectives and experiences regarding climate change, but only 10 film entries with the strongest climate lenses and impeccable creativity will compete for Best Film.
The Oscar M. Lopez Center announced today the top 10 finalists for the Mga Kwento ng Klima Short Films 2023, powered by Samsung. They are as follows, in alphabetical order:
Airconditional by Studio/Room02 | Trailer
In the sweltering heat of yet another Manila heatwave, Kevin de la Cruz, long-time aircon repairman, bike-commutes to his next job. The streets are as unforgiving as the heat, as he almost gets sideswiped by Manila’s crazy inconsiderate motorists a couple of times – a daily reality he has gotten used to.
On the road, he gets a call from his wife- frazzled, uncomfortable, and concerned at what seems to be an irregularly warm day. Their kid seems unwell, and she asks him if they can purchase an additional electric fan. Worried but determined, Kevin sets off to do his job. However, all does not go to plan, as he botches his first split type of the day, and in turn gets a scorching reprimand from his boss. The film tells the story of the Filipino Everyman, who cannot even buy an electric fan, in yet another scorching Manila heatwave.
Alien by Ciete Cinco Creatives | Trailer
In a dystopian Philippines devastated by environmental collapse, people breathe through a bio-helmet, an oxygen concentrator that extracts air from plants. A young man embarks on a journey to reach the boundary wall between his barren hometown and the neo-Manila — a place still rumored to lead to a better life. Ignoring the beliefs and disagreements of others, his desperation for a more comfortable life drives him forward. With a firm resolve, he climbs ahead, not knowing what lies beyond the wall but firmly believing it holds the promise of a better life.
Ang Mag-uuma by Dalumat Film Production | Trailer
A month after the passing of a massive typhoon, Mang Ruben, a farmer whose livelihood revolves around his crops, provides for his family of four. Mang Ruben has always been eager to make up their living just with his crops alone. However, his wife, Teresita, felt like her husband’s way of living is not enough, especially with their family’s piled up debts and the extreme change of weather. What seems to be a happy family leads to a quarrel that turns out to be something more, blurring the lines between reality and imagination.
“Ang Mag-uuma” shows the life of a farmer and the extent of his human ability for optimism and perseverance while delving into the emotional journey of overcoming the problems of climate change. Ensuing the tragedy, the life of Mang Ruben reveals a powerful message about the devastating effects of climate change on individuals and their human psyche.
Bata, Bata, Alam Mo Ba? By Sinag Production | Trailer
Amid the scorching weather that torments the metro, unexpected rain induces fear in Nene’s mother and her clothesline. The fear of soaked-up linen made way for a clever pass-down saying warning her daughter of an invasive laundry-stealing creature if she does not keep an eye on them. Alone on their rooftop after a short conversation with her mother, a sudden gust of wind signals a turn of events. Nene’s idea of the creature manifests itself in their household supposedly distracting her from her duty. A series of disturbances lead her down the stairs only to see their house devastated. Curious as to what happened, she navigates the floor as a ghost simultaneously tries to communicate a terrifying message. As they make contact in the heavy rainfall, Nene in hindsight is led to a deeper understanding of the creature she once feared despite her failure to look out for the clothesline.
Fish Be With You?! by Underwater Playground | Trailer
Wanting to satisfy his pregnant sister’s craving for Sarsiadong Duhay, teen-aged Baste goes through an arduous journey in search of a specific fish that was once of abundance in their town.
Baste first scours the wet markets in Hagonoy, Bulacan but the vendors tell him that it is rare to catch Duhay fish nowadays. He then visits the fish ports where newly-caught fish are delivered. Still, none were available. Desperately, Baste joins a fisherman to the open sea, hoping they would be able to catch some, but to no avail.
During Baste’s search for the fish and his conversations with vendors and fisherfolk, he discovers that the gradual disappearance of fish is due to the changing climate. Baste learns that the problem caused by climate change is not just the inconvenience of unpredictable weather. It is possible that his soon-to-be-born niece or nephew may never get to taste the ocean’s blessings, such as Duhay fish.
Old Times by The Dolls | Trailer
A retired fisherman returns to his old hometown in a coastal barangay in Bulacan that is steadily sinking due to rising sea levels and land subsidence. Accompanied by his teenage grandson, they witness the current living situation of the residents who remained in his hometown.
As they visit the now-abandoned house he used to live in, he reminisces about the life he had and the bustling community that used to exist before the frequent flooding and the disruptive airport project came to their place.
Before the day ends, he pays his respects to a dear friend who died because of a supertyphoon and whose house is now also submerged in water. Consequently, he forms a deepened connection with his grandson as he shares his story of loss and longing for old times.
Roasted Chicken by Roland Cartagena | Trailer
Waking up from a sweaty nap, Pedro goes out to feed his father’s chicken only to find out that she is suffering from heatstroke. With no water and electricity to cool her, Pedro hastily visits his friend Salina, a maid working at an air-conditioned house. His sudden arrival distresses the feisty maid, but she nevertheless tells him that her master is away for a long time so there should be no problem. As Pedro’s chicken cools down, the two talk about their apprehensions toward the worsening climate until they are suddenly interrupted by loud knocks on the door—Salina’s master has unexpectedly returned, creating panic as Pedro disappears to chase after his startled chicken. Just as the young man is about to slip out of the house, he hears a scream and discovers a ludicrous mix-up: he had accidentally snatched a whole roasted chicken instead of his live, actual one.
Scavenger’s Hunt by Noob Concepts Inc. | Trailer
In the year 2099, a decade after a devastating flood submerged Manila into a dystopian nightmare. We follow Enzo, a resourceful survivor navigating a world depleted of air, food, and water. To secure basic necessities, he scours the desolate city for valuable tech scraps to trade for sustenance and life-sustaining supplies.
However, when a heartless shopkeeper cheats him during a transaction, desperation fuels Enzo to retaliate and pilfer some of the merchant’s goods. While indulging in a stolen meal, memories of his mother’s cooking transport him to a time when life was simpler, before the flood’s tragedy claimed her life.
Haunted by the past, Enzo is determined to see his mother in his memories again, by finding the food that triggers his memory. In his journey he’s able to get another chance to see his mother, but at an expense. “Scavenger’s Hunt” is a dystopian film that explores the negative impact of loss when climate change takes its toll.
Tumba Balay by Alfa Productions | Trailer
“Tumba-Balay” is a heartwarming film that follows nine-year-old Ronron and his friends in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, as they engage in traditional Filipino games on a riverbank. Each game suggestion triggers powerful flashbacks to his experiences during Typhoon Odette, revealing the resilience and struggle his family and their community faced during the catastrophe.
However, the traumatic memory of Ronron’s father’s death during the typhoon serves as a reminder of the urgent need to address climate change seriously to prevent future disasters. The story highlights the learning experience of Ronron and his realizations on the importance of being a warrior of the environment, and offers hope to the younger generation.
“Tumba-Balay” depicts the resiliency and solidarity of Filipinos in moments of catastrophe and serves as a wake-up call to every generation especially to the young ones, to be part of fighting for the preservation and healing of our Mother Nature.
Uwan Init by Bulalakaw Productions | Trailer
Two girls with different backgrounds go through a normal day in their lives. Girl 1 is a daughter of a small-time farmer and sells vegetables for a living. Girl 2 is a virtual assistant working from home.
Girl 1 wakes up to the sound of a rooster crowing while Girl 2 wakes up to her phone alarm. Girl 1 gathers vegetables to sell while Girl 2 cooks herself a meal. Girl 1 rides at the back of the truck while Girl 2 drives her air-conditioned car. Girl 1 displays the vegetables by the roadside while Girl 2 buys vegetables from her. Girl 1 waits for customers hour after hour under the scorching heat while Girl 2 works in her room and turns on the air conditioner. When it starts raining, Girl 1 grabs her worn-out umbrella and what vegetables she could salvage while Girl 2 looks out the window, appreciating the weather. Girl 1, soaked from head to toe, finds shelter in a small hut while Girl 2 wraps herself with a blanket and lies down on her bed. Girl 1 gets her phone and worriedly texts her father that a lot of the vegetables went to waste while Girl 2 tweets about how nice the weather is.
Watch all trailers on our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/MKKShorts2023Trailers
Out of 45 initial pitch submissions, the OML Center and Samsung selected 15 qualifying pitches to participate in the Climate Film Lab sessions. These sessions aimed to educate filmmakers on science-based climate storytelling, as well as best practices and techniques for low-budget mobile filmmaking, through the guidance of climate and film experts.
The submitted short films underwent eligibility, technical reviews, and final judging. The final judging panel selected the top ten finalists and the winners of the competition.
The finalists are evaluated by juries consisting of climate science experts and film critics. The members of the jury are listed below:
Dr. Rodel D. Lasco, OML Center Executive Director
Dr. Carlos Primo C. David, Undersecretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Dr. Rafaela Jane Delfino, Professor, Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology, University of the Philippines
Ms. Rica Arevalo, Education Division Manager, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP)
Mr. Butch Ibañez, Vice Head, National Committee on Cinema, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)
Mr. Dominic Nacorda, Marketing Communications Manager, Samsung Philippines
Film Showing and Awarding Ceremony will be on August 5, Saturday, at Cinema 1, Power Plant Cinema, Power Plant Mall. Limited seats may be opened to the public and will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration will be posted on the social media channels of the OMLC in the coming days.
The competition shall award the Best Film that will win P50,000 + up to Php 130,000 worth of Samsung products, including the latest Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, while the second and third placers will win Php 30,000 + Php 30,000 worth of Samsung products and Php 20,000 + Php 11,000 worth of Samsung products, respectively.
Depending on the judges’ scores, the MKK Shorts 2023 may also present a Special Jury Award with Php 20,000 cash prize. The remaining finalists will get Php 10,000 each.
An onsite voting for Audience Choice Award will also commence during the showing day.
All 10 finalists will be streamed for free on iWant TFC, the official media partner for MKK Shorts 2023.
The Mga Kwento ng Klima Short Films is an annual mobile filmmaking competition that showcases locally-made films that highlight climate change and its impact on Filipinos. The OML Center holds this year’s MKK Shorts in collaboration with Samsung and iWant TFC, with the support of FDCP and NCCA.