A children’s short film with a twist is competing for the top prizes in the Three Shots Film (3SF) Festival awarding ceremonies on November 12, 8 p.m.

Update: FEU Short Film ‘Sakaling Makalipad’ bagged the Jury Silver Prize in the Three Shots Film (3SF) Festival.

3SF festival organizers Media Underground or MUD Studios will award the Best Cinematography, Best Director, Jury’s Choice, People’s Choice, and Best Film to some of the films included in the Top 20 finalists.

Among the finalists is “Sakaling Makalipad,” a short film directed by Rainner Cion of Far Eastern University-Manila, which tells the story of a young boy (Gavin Jake Zamora) who musters all his strength and playfulness with the hopes of getting back his kite which is stuck on a tree.

Teaming up with Cion and Zamora in “Sakaling Makalipad” are screenwriter Rachelle Magalona, director of photography Andrea Gonzales, production managers Abby Sangalang and Caroline Fajardo, production designers Stephanie Andres and Ralph Dustine Reyes, voice actors Raymond Lumibao and Queen Ricohermozo, and creative consultant David Corpuz.

Cion shared that the story is very close to his heart, “Growing up in Nueva Ecija where farming is the main source of living, I have seen the lack of support for our farmers and the continuous deprivation of their rights. That is why I was inspired to create ‘Sakaling Makalipad,’ to shed light on this situation and to tell the story of our farmers and their families. The Three Shots Film Festival is a perfect platform to showcase this story to a wide range of audiences.”

Meanwhile, Magalona revealed that life inspired her to write the script for the film. “Something that is taken away from someone and that means a child has to go through such pain of losing a loved one. I like the idea of a child’s innocence, the thought that their dreams could grow into them,” she explained.

“But what really inspired me is not just to tell a story about what happened to these Filipino farmers but to also commemorate – to remind everyone, especially this administration, to stop the killings. I wrote ‘Sakaling Makalipad’ because I believe that as citizens, we cannot afford to lose more heroes in this country,” she added, referring to reports that farmers are now among the victims of extrajudicial killings in the country.

MUD Studios challenged Cion and other students to make a short film using only three shots and three cuts for a story composed of a beginning, middle and end, with a minimum running time of one minute and a maximum of 15 minutes.

MUD Studios founder and director August Lyle Espino said that they are offering “an alternative content platform that offers a catalog of independent films, festival entries, and original content dealing with a wide variety of real-life themes” through their website, https://www.mud-studios.net/.

Aside from cash prizes and certificates of recognition, 3SF organizers will give away three pieces Selens Redhead Lights with light stand kit, and a four-lens kit worth 12,000 pesos, including a travel case bag, 7.5mm fisheye lens, 16mmwide-angle lens, 25mm macro lens, 65mm telephoto lens, two clip mounts, and cleaning cloth courtesy of Kase Lens PH, as special prizes.

Cion, who is currently taking up Bachelor of Arts in Communication at FEU under the Digital Cinema track, previously won Best Director, Best Editor, and Best Picture at the 2018 Sinebuyas Film Festival for “Si Cheche at si Choco” and Best Picture at the 2020 Quarantine Film Festival for “Day Off.” The latter was also a finalist at the 7th CineMandirigma Interschool Film Competition organized by the University of the East’s Silangan Film Circle.

The student filmmaker is now working on his next short project entitled “Kung Nakikinig ang Buwan.”