If your idea of a fulfilling love month is being cooped up in your room and watching films (because Cinema™ is your true love after all), there are more titles to explore beyond your usual streaming site. Case in point: Short films handpicked by the Locarno Film Festival.
In case you missed it, the annual Switzerland-based fest is having its fifth run of Locarno Shorts Weeks, a virtual spin-off event where they make short films from around the world available for streaming… around the world. Created by both young newcomers and established filmmakers, the 28 films in the roster were once presented in Locarno, so it’s also a good way to catch up with your festival watchlist. Don’t worry, the selection is free to stream until Feb. 28.
Among the exciting titles in the lineup include “Strawberry Cheesecake” (Singapore), which follows three rebellious school girls; “Les Démons de Dorothy” (The Demons of Dorothy) (France), a peek inside the life of a film director seeking comfort from her favorite TV show; and “Dear to Me” (Indonesia), where we learn about a myth of a reincarnated deer with 27-year-old Tim on vacation. The free-to-access catalog also includes Filipino film “Excuse Me, Miss, Miss, Miss” directed by Sonny Calvento, with screenplay by Arden Rod Condez (“John Denver Trending”).
Screened at Cinemalaya 2020, the social realist-slash-dark satire film that zeroes in on the plight of workers in the Philippines follows Vangie (Phyllis Grae Grande), a contractual sales worker who’s on the brink of losing her job. Eventually, she unearths the strange secret to regularization.
Apart from Locarno, the film has graced other A-list fests including Sundance in 2021—in fact, it’s the first Filipino short film that made its way to the festival.
Also, here’s a treat post-viewing: You can stand a chance to attend the 75th Locarno Film Festival IRL on Aug. 2 to 12, 2023. Just cast your vote for the audience choice award. Only one vote per person per film is allowed. The raffle’s second and third prize winners will win one pass each, while the first prize will get two passes.
Well, you know the drill. The “Excuse Me, Miss, Miss, Miss” team is calling everyone to vote for the film after streaming it on Locarno’s website. The winning film will take home 1,000 Swiss francs (P59,000+). “The amount can help us further fund the post-production of our newest short film. Sana matulungan n’yo kami. Maraming salamat! (We hope you can help us. Thank you so much!),” their Facebook page said.
If you’re looking for a sign to stream it, take it from me: The whole 15-minute narrative was a trip (read: humor, amusement, eeriness, and lots of anger in one sitting). Also, if you’ve memorized the “Trendysitas” jingle by heart, we can be friends.
Still from “Excuse Me, Miss, Miss, Miss”