january 23-30, 2002
greenbelt cinema 1, makati city
metro manila, philippines






Read the festival review of .MOV as reported by Todd Verow in the upcoming issue of RES Magazine (Volume 5, Number 3), the leading publication dedicated to digital filmmaking.


pp. 72-73 

.MOV: The First Philippine Digital Film Festival

January 23-30, 2002 / Manila 

By Todd Verow 

As festival and industry types continue to proclaim, “DV has arrived!”, what they really mean is the digital filmmaking revolution has finally been co-opted by Hollywood. Write a crappy script, throw a “star” in it, shoot it in DV, and voila! You have the latest “edgy” indiewood yawn fest. Let the bidding war begin! <READ MORE>

Have no fear though: the real digital filmmaking revolution is still very much alive, although you may have to travel to a festival in the Philippines to witness it.

.MOV, the first digital film festival in the Philippines, took place in Manila. Khavn Dela Cruz, founder of Filmless Films (a Manila-based digital production company) organized the festival as the Philippines’ long-awaited answer to the rousing call of the Digital Revolution. Accoding to Dela Cruz, more and more independent filmmakers in the Philippines are enticed to make films because of the liberating qualities of the digital medium.

The opening night was packed, with people sitting on the floor and standing in the aisles. Instead of the usual opening film, the festival staged a digital film concert --- an hour-long blast of simultaneous sight and sound that included excerpts from the full-length digital films featured at .MOV with live effects and music from a 14-piece band. The overall effect was very successful, managing to be both a celebration of digital film and a preview of the features that would be shown later on. This was followed by the much awaited screening of the Silvershorts, a short digital filmmaking competition for local filmmakers. Filipino filmmakers Raymond Red, Kidlat Tahimik, and Lav Diaz served as the judges for the competition. First Prize went to Jolly Feliciano’s “Kawala” (Release) in which the lead character has recurring dreams which eventually replace his waking life. Second Prize went to Mo Zee’s “Sulyap” (Glimpse) in which an encounter with a sampaguita vendor turns weird. Arleen Cuevas and Elizabeth Balitaan took third prize for their film “Taguan” (Hide and Seek), a story of a rigid family seen through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy.

Features screened at the festival included local filmmaker Jon Red’s “Still Lives” in which the camera does not move as we uncomfortably witness the dead end lives of characters hooked on using and peddling “shabu” or poor man’s cocaine. Another popular local feature was “Motel” by Ed Lejano, Chuck Escasa, and Nonoy Dadivas, in which we see a variety of lovers having their climactic moments in a motel room.

The festival wasn’t without controversy as Rob Nilsson’s “Stroke” could not be shown because it received an X-rating from the government censors because of pubic hair exposure. Remarkably, my feature “Once & Future Queen” managed to sneak by the censors. Other “pubic hair free” features that screened included: “Crashing the Party” by the Independent Media Center in Los Angeles; Rob Nilsson’s “Chalk” and “Winter Oranges”; two award-winning films from Digital Talkies (the first digital film festival in India) --- “Urf Professor” and “Divya Drishti”, as well as the Dogme95 films “The Celebration” and “Mifune”. 

According to festival director Dela Cruz, the festival will be back again next year, and they have already received invitations from arts organizations all over the Philippines to tour .MOV in their cities.


With stills from:

Erik Geronia’s “The Sakrilej”

Dino Ignacio’s “Mongo Droids”

Kidlat Tahimik’s “Holy Wood”

Chuck Escasa, Nonoy Dadivas, & Ed Lejano’s “Motel”

Khavn Dela Cruz’s “Greaseman”

Mo Zee’s “Sulyap”

Gatla Gunawin’s “Datgilab”.


About the Author:

TODD VEROW’s first feature film was the controversial adaptation of the novel “Frisk”. Since then, he formed his own production company www.bangorfilms.com with his producing and writing partner Jim Dwyer. He has made 10 digital features including the award-winning “Little Shots of Happiness”, “Once & Future Queen”, and “Shucking The Curve”, and in the process has become a spokesperson for the digital filmmaking revolution. Todd currently resides in Boston, MA. 


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Copyright © 2001 .Mov: The 1st Philippine Digital Film Fest and Filmless Films. 
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