Philippine Daily Inquirer
PH SHORT FILM COMPETES IN CANNES’ CRITICS’ WEEK
Carlo Francisco Manatad’s short film, “Jodilerks dela Cruz, Employee of the Month,” will compete in the 56th International Critics’ Week (Semaine dela Critique) of the 70th Cannes Film Festival, to be held in the south of France from May 18 to 26.
Established in 1962 by the French Union of Film Critics, the International Critics’ Week is the oldest parallel
section of Cannes. It aims to “discover new talents.” The likes of Bernardo Bertolucci, Ken Loach, Wong Kar-Wai and Alejandro González Iñárritu “were first introduced to the public at La Semaine.”
Manatad’s short film follows a gas station attendant, played by award-winning actress Angeli Bayani, on her last day of work in a dilapidated station slated for foreclosure. Also in the cast are Ross Pesigan and Ogie Tiglao.
Manatad recently won the best comedy honor at the Oscar-qualifying festival, the 26th Aspen Shortsfest, with his short film, “Fatima Maria Torres and the Invasion of Space Shuttle Pinas 25.”
“I am so grateful to my cast and crew, who were willing to help out in this shoot that was thrown together in less than two weeks,” Manatad related. “My intention was to direct a short with a narrative structure similar to the feature film I’m developing, as well as to work on a project with the same team as the feature film.”
He described the shoot as “a great experience” and being selected as part of Critics’ Week as “priceless.”
“It’s an incredible honor to be the only film representing the Philippines in Cannes this year. It still feels surreal,” he quipped. Manatad is one of the honorees of the Inquirer Indie Bravo! last December.—