IT-based school iAcademy's iNdiegenius program has chosen two winners of the short film grants each worth P500,000.
The recipients of the grants are Shane David's "Muli Na Ka, Merlie" and Maria Kydylee Torato's "Bisan Abo, Wala Bilin."
The program iNdiegenius launched earlier this year is backed by Netflix's Fund for Creative Equity.
According to iAcademy, the program aims to support voices in the Philippines that have strong regional perspectives by providing young filmmakers with development opportunities to strengthen concepts and to produce short narratives, animation and documentary projects.
"The program is designed to give young Filipino filmmakers access to resources and encourage those with regional roots and indigenous backgrounds to ensure creative inclusion and diversity," it said.
Jurors lauded "Muli Na Ka, Merlie" for “using the coming-of-age narrative as the vehicle to address urban displacement and for effectively marrying protest art and whimsical storytelling.”
The jurors also cited "Bisan Abo, Wala Bilin" for its “simple and poignant portrayal of community belief and the perils of urbanization through the eyes of a child.”
“Both films articulate experiences of children from different marginalized communities,” said Keith Sicat, iAcademy Vision Creative Director and iNndiegenius Program Lead.
“It is imperative to support young filmmakers with their authentic stories since they know these narratives through first-hand experience. This is the gap iAcademy through iNdiegenius is attempting to bridge," he added.
The winners will start filming next month and are committed to finishing their films before the end of this year.
The program received around 300 applications from young and talented filmmakers all over the country. —NB, GMA Integrated News