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Student film, lone PH entry in Asia’s 2nd biggest shorts fest



A short film about a teacher battling depression, who convinces an infatuated student to retrieve her baby, will compete at the 8th Kaohsiung Film Festival (KFF) International Short Film Competition in Taiwan from 19 October to 4 November.

After a four-month selection period involving more than 3,200 submissions from 93 countries, Christian Rae Villanueva’s “Ang Mga Turo ng Gabi” (The Lessons of the Night) emerged as one of the 65 short films from 30 countries in the official selection.

CHRISTIAN Rae Villanueva

Considered “the second largest short film festival in Asia and a unique platform for creative short films in Taiwan,” KFF will be held at the Kaohsiung Film Archive with 24 short film programs and more than a hundred shorts in total.

“One of my dreams is to have an international premiere for my film,” said Villanueva, who recently graduated from the Digital Filmmaking program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts.

THE young director said the movie also touches on the subject of depression and mental health.

His capstone project will vie with 45 other films previously selected by prestigious international film festivals such as Cannes, Rotterdam, Locarno, Clermont-Ferrand, Annecy, Tokyo Shorts and Busan, among others. “It is an honor to be lined up with these films that won in Cannes, Busan and other major film festivals,” he added.

The short film will also contend for the Asian New Wave Award against entries from China, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. KFF introduced the award to encourage films with unique viewpoints inspired by the Asian context.

BATTLING depression, the teacher managed to convince an infatuated student to retrieve her baby.

Starring Sheenly Vee Gener and Dylan Ray Talon, the film previously won Best Editing and Best Performance at Pelikultura: The Calabarzon Film Festival. It was shown as part of the Diwa Filipino Film Showcase of Seattle in Washington.