Pinoy short film gets top honors in US contest

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 05 2011 04:58 PM | Updated as of Apr 06 2011 01:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A short film done in 24 hours by a Filipino filmmaker recently won the top award at the US National 24-Hour Film Racing Tour 2010.

"Creative License," directed by filmmaker and commercial director Paolo Dy, represented the borough of Brooklyn and was named the Best Overall Film.

'Creative License', winner of the 2010 US National Film Racing Tour, stars Christopher Fabregas as a Pinoy immigrant struggling to make it in the big city.

It won over entries from Chicago, Vancouver, Minneapolis, and New York City.

The film, which was shot in New York and written in Filipino, also won awards for Best Direction, Best Sound Design and Audience’s Choice.

"Creative License" is about "a young Filipino immigrant struggling to make it in the big city."

“The film was inspired by conversations we had with Pinoy friends living in New York and elsewhere,” said Cathy Azanza, who wrote the screenplay. “Like most immigrants, they are very willing to give up certain luxuries and make sacrifices to build a life for themselves. But, of course, their families back home worry. Out of love, they find that at times they have to get ‘creative’– just like the character, played by Christopher in the film – to stop their families from worrying.”

Paolo Dy (right), director of the 2010 US National Film Racing winner 'Creative License', with Film Racing co-founder Charlie Weisman in New York City

 Dy explained why they wrote the film in Filipino: “We were very conscious about making the film, about what was close and real to us, which is why we chose to write it in Filipino. At the heart of it, we just hoped we could tell a story people could relate to and a character people could feel for – no matter what language we used. More than a Filipino story, we hoped to tell a very human one.”

Aside from Azanza, theater actor Christopher Fabregas assisted Dy in making the film.

As the name implies, the 24-Hour Film Racing Tour competition calls on filmmakers from the US and Canada to write, shoot, and complete a short film in 24 hours. Filmmakers have to follow a theme and include a surprise element.

“At 10 o’clock in the evening, the night prior to the deadline, we received our assigned theme,” said Dy. “The theme was ‘Exaggeration’. And our surprise element: Pizza.”

Dy and Azanza received their prize package in New York: cash prize, a one-year scholarship with Writers Boot Camp, and professional film and audio editing software from Sony Creative Software. Film Racing co-founder Charlie Weisman awarded the prizes.

Photos courtesy of 'Creative License' team