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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 26, 2017

Young Filmmaker Carlo Francisco Manatad's Short Film, 'Jodilerks De La Cruz, Employee Of The Month', Lucky To Be The Only Philippine Entry In The Cannes FilmFest In May

CARLO FRANCISCO MANATAD is a young filmmaker who first gained international acclaim with his 15-minute short film that was shown at the Locarno Filmfest in Switzerland and other festivals, “Junilyn Has” starring Hasmine Killip (who’d later win awards for “Pamilya Ordinaryo”), about the lives of nightclub dancers during the time of the Papal Visit of Pope Francis. It is comic in tone but raises themes of hypocrisy, courage, morality and empowerment in its story.

Two other short films of his won awards recently. “Fatima Maria Torres and the Invasion of Space Shuttle Pinas 25”, won best comedy at the 26th Aspen Shortsfest in Colorado, while “Sandra”, about a girl in a sorority slugfest, won best international film in Romania’s Timishort Filmfest.

Born a Waray in Tacloban City on October 4, 1987, Carlo is the eldest of two kids. In UP, he started taking up business management but he realized he didn’t like this course, so he shifted to film which is more to his liking. His first short film “Hungkag (Hollow)” was awarded as best thesis film in 2011. He also studied at the Asian Film Academy, the DocNet Campus Project in Jakarta, La Fabrique Cinema in France and the Berlinale Talent Campus.

He then became the favorite film editor of another Waray, director Chito Rono in “Badil” (for which he won the Star best editing award), “Golden Boy”, “Feng Shui 2” (for which he won the Famas), “The Trial” and “Etiquette for Mistresses”. He won the Cinemalaya best editing award for “Pamilya Ordinaryo” and the Cinema One award for “Dagim”. His last work as an editor is “I’m Drunk, I Love You”.

Now, his new short film, “Jodilerks de la Cruz, Employee of the Month”, qualified to compete in the 56th International Critics Week of the 70th Cannes Filmfest to be held from May 18 to 26. This section of the filmfest aims “to discover new talents” and internationally acclaimed directors like Wong Kar Wai, Bernardo Bertolucci and Alejandro Inarritu first gained public attention in this section. 1,700 short films were submitted from all over the world this year. Only 10 were chosen and “Jodilerks” is lucky to be one of them.

A collaboration between Atty. Joji Alonso of Quantum Films, Plan C and Singapore AAND, Manatad’s movie is a black comedy that stars Angeli Bayani as an attendant on her last day at a gas station that is about to close down. She co-stars with her real life BF Ross Pesigan. How does it feel to be part of the Cannes Filmfest?

“It’s incredible and a great honor and experience for ‘Jodilerks’ to be the only film representing the Philippines in Cannes this year. For me, it still feels surreal up to now.”

Carlo will be going to Cannes this May with Angeli to represent our country. He is now developing his first full length film, “Diri Maupay na Panahon (A Wrong Season)”, about the effects of Typhoon Yolanda in his native Tacloban City.