Building on its previous initiatives of surfacing climate stories through film, the OML Center partners with Samsung for Mga Kwento ng Klima (MKK) Short Films 2023 powered by Samsung.
The competition opened in April 2023 to all professional and independent Filipino filmmakers who can create and produce a five-minute live action film narrating a Filipino experience of climate change shot entirely with a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
General Assembly and Climate Film Labs
Out of 45 submissions, fifteen filmmakers passed the preliminary screening and attended the General Assembly and Climate Film Labs (CFL). All were provided a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra phone for film production.
The CFL is a mix of synchronous and asynchronous sessions that provided the participating filmmakers support in their story development.
Below are the CFL mentors for MKK Shorts 2023:
- Mr. John Jamir Benzon R. Aruta, Expert on Environmental Psychology, Mental Health, and Planetary Health from the De La Salle University
- Ms. Nazrin Camille Castro, Branch Manager of The Climate Reality Project Philippines
- Mr. Alfi Lorenz Cura, Knowledge Production Assistant Manager at the OML Center
- Mr. Timothy James Dimacali, Science Fiction Writer, Science Journalist, and Science Communications Head of the University of the Philippines – Diliman College of Science
- Mr. Zig Dulay, Director & Writer
- Mr. Ludwig Federigan, Executive Director of the Young Environmental Forum
- Mr. Raymund Ribay Gutierrez, Director & Writer
- Mr. Ralph Lumbres, Founder of Salikhain Kolektib
- Mr. Carlo Obispo, Writer, Director & Producer
- Mr. Harvey Perello, Project Manager at Save Philippine Seas
- Ms. Carissa Pobre, Strategist for Creative Communication at Agam Agenda
- Mr. Wesley Samson, member of the Product Marketing Team of Samsung Philippines
- Ms. Hera Sanchez, Executive Producer at ABS-CBN DocuCentral
- Ms. Ayn Torres, Knowledge Production Manager at the OML Center
- Ms. Joyce V. Villaflor, Content Programming and Content Curation Manager at iWant TFC.
Top 10 Short Films
After the submission eligibility and technical quality screening, ten (10) entries proceeded to final judging and Film Screening and Awarding Ceremony held on August 2023 at Cinema 1 of Powerplant Mall in Makati.
The MKK Shorts 2023 awarded the following:
- Best Film – Php 50,000 + Php 130,000 worth of Samsung products, including the latest Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
- Second Place – Php 30,000 + Php 30,000 worth of Samsung products
- Third Place – Php 20,000 + Php 11,000 worth of Samsung products
- 2 Special Jury Awards – Php 20,000
The remaining finalists received Php 10,000 each, and an additional Php 10,000 was given to the winner of the Audience Choice Award.
Below are the MKK Shorts 2023 Top 10 films. All films were approved and received a Parental Guidance (PG) rating from the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board:
Old Times by Chaela Tordillo
Award: Best Film
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.
Alien by Ciete Cinco Creatives
Award: 2nd Place
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 from 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.
Tumba Balay by Alfa Productions
Award: 3rd Place
“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 in fighting for the preservation and healing of our Mother Nature.
Uwan Init by Bulalakaw Productions
Award: Special Jury Award – Cinematic Lens
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 airconditioned 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.
Fish Be With You?! by Underwater Playground
Awards: Special Jury Award – Climate Lens, Audience Choice Award
Wanting to satisfy his pregnant sister’s craving for sarsiadong duhay, teen-aged Baste goes through an arduous journey in search for 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
Airconditional by Studio/Room 102
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.
Ang Mag-uuma by Dalumat Film Production
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 Productions
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.
Roasted Chicken by Roland Cartagena
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.
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.
All ten films will soon be available on iWant TFC for unlimited free streaming for six months.
Individuals / institutions may also request copies of the films for private screening here.