The power of storytelling through film.
The Balangay Film – Mga Kwento ng Klima Short Films is a film competition that features three (3)-minute short fiction films. The short films, produced using mobile phones, capture the unique Filipino experience of climate change, and more importantly, convey the need for urgent climate action.
In generating climate stories that inspire action, this project aims to increase awareness and understanding of Philippine climate change towards national resilience building.
The OML Center invited professional and independent filmmakers to submit entries to Mga Kwento ng Klima Short Films and showcase climate stories told from the local context, highlighting unique climate realities and notions of resilience, in local languages.
Submitted films underwent a two tier-screening process – submission eligibility and technical quality – before reaching the final judging.
Eight (8) films bested other entries and made it to the final round of judging. They are as follows:
Dalaw by Underwater Playground
An unwanted habitué pays a visit to a kid’s home every Day of the Dead and Christmas Season. But instead of drowning them in gifts, it submerges them in problems. As the kid grows older, it takes him greater effort to pay a visit to his late grandfather.
Award: Best Film
Those who were drowned and missing by Antipara Films
Amidst fine weather, a son contemplates about how a sunny and humid day contradicts the news of an upcoming typhoon. As he waits for his mother to come home, the rain suddenly starts to pour.
While the downpour escalates, the water starts to flood the house. As the rapid rising of the water brings the son to an alarming situation, he is left with the thoughts of his mother.
Award: 2nd Place
Groot Chat by Gyoza Films
“Groot Chat” is a short film that imagines a reality where plants and trees could communicate with each other through their own form of social media — their groot chat. Work frustrations, gossip, and unfulfilled hopes are vented out among the plants as they continue to feel undervalued in their efforts to fight climate change all while their superiors — us; humans, wallow in excessive lifestyles and show little support for the movement.
Award: 3rd Place
Pungsod Sang Lawod by Ocean Trekkers
Nature questions humanity about its limits, while humanity limits itself to their own species. In the search for conquest, mankind soon realizes that their world is rapidly changing and they can no longer adapt fast enough. As their empire rises, so does the sea level. The short film illustrates the uncertainty of humanity’s fate, and how far nature can give in.
Every minute, the need to protect nature becomes more and more desirable. As we burn and trash our way to “progress”, we are getting farther from resetting our degrading planet. The changes we infuse to our oceans may not be observable in a span of a year, but collectively in the past few generations, our species is single-handedly killing itself.
Award: 3rd Place
Pagpatak ng Ulan by Sinag Production
On a sunny day in September, a woman in her early 20s is seen carrying what appears to be a baby wrapped in a blanket. Amused by the fine weather, the woman speaks to her baby in a relaxed tone. It is later seen that she carries no baby but instead is a crumpled white cloth. While she hums her “baby” to sleep, a group of passersby notice her odd actions and start making fun of her. Her cry echoes through the wind as the sudden fall of rain mirrors her sorrow. A sneak into her recent past reveals a tragic event that led to her insanity. A child who once was filled with love by his single mother is set to face a devastating fortune caused by a ruthless flood. Witness how their story unfolds and how an unfamiliar face shelters her amid a disaster.
Baga by PLM INDEPENDENT FILM AND ARTS
Within the highly urbanized city of Manila, A conversation between Luningning and Flora unravels the memories rooted deep within the land. Opening up the battle against climate change isn’t just about the harsh and unpredictable weather that it brings, but the silent killers that lurk around our polluted air. Flora enlightens Luningning with this fact, as Luningning pieces together the story she realizes something that leaves her breathless. The battle against climate change is a steep road, and not everyone is willing to fight. But in the last lung of Manila, Luningning speaks for the people who believe in hope, to believe in a better, greener world. Starting with our capital city.
There’s No Summer in The Philippines by Sakto Films
The sea is coming, as per Ma’am Kara. The thought fills Sari as she goes home. She heads straight to her room and locks the door. Her grandfather, Tatay, is completely puzzled. Sari, panicked and powerless, screams at the top of her lungs, as Tatay threatens her to open the door. Counting up; ONE, TWO! Sari kept screaming. Tatay at a loss, let it be and continued his daily routine of watching TV. A news report airs, Typhoon Meldy is nearing landfall and before the report could finish, Tatay swiftly changes channels to his favorite teleserye. Sari finally goes out, now with a life vest. Tatay sees Sari and goes out to try to understand her ailings. Sari pleaded the upcoming doom, and Tatay’s efforts are pointless as she just laughed at Sari. ALMOST A DECADE LATER, with everything submerged; there will be no more summer in the Philippines.
Entalpi by Asimov Cascade Productions
The title ENTALPI comes from the word “ENTHALPY” which is the total heat present in a thermodynamic system, and it is very related to climate change. We chose this term to atomize the science and localize the concept by changing the scientific term to a “Filipino-like-accent” structure so the audience will know who is doing what. In this cautionary tale, the two young boys represent the past who had a healthy atmosphere to breathe in, and then the overlapping sequence of two adult versions of them represents the unpredictability of weather, much like how old people with desolated presents reminisce about the good times. The key takeaway of our story is how climate change may also affect any dynamic. It’s owing to the fact the human element of our world is for us, what matters. Would we let the repercussions of our wrong doings in the nature reach our inner quintessence?
Prizes were awarded to the top three (3) films and selected finalists during the MKK Short Films Awarding Ceremony held during the thanksgiving and 10th year Anniversary of the OML Center at La Mesa Eco Park, Quezon City in November 2022.
MKK Short Films is the continuation of the Mga Kwento ng Klima produced by the Oscar M. Lopez Center in 2019.
Mga Kwento ng Klima is a 60-minute documentary that features an engaging story of the changing climate, its impacts on the country, and how Filipinos have been adapting to it. Envisioned to be a narrative of the Filipino experience and how the climate has shaped the Filipino culture and identity, Mga Kwento ng Klima (MKK) aims to set off a chain of climate stories told from the local context, highlighting their unique climate realities and notions of resilience, in their local languages, to reach information-deprived audiences. The documentary received a Silver Screen Award in the Environment category of the US International Film and Video Festival.
The documentary can be viewed in parts here: https://bit.ly/MKKYTPlaylist