Eight film students traveled to the International School of Manila (ISM) for the IASAS Cultural Convention for Art and Film where students explored their passions with fellow IASAS students and professional artists.
ISKL’s student filmmakers screened each of their four short films on the opening night as well as attending workshops during this jam-packed three-day event.
Here, we catch up with ISKL CULCON Film delegates to find out more about the workshops they attended, their inspirations behind the films they created and their most memorable moments.
Here are their stories:
Anderson W. (‘24) and Luca P. (‘24)
Please tell us more about the workshops and events you and your team attended during IASAS.
We attended one workshop led by a local filmmaker primarily working in advertising. He talked about his signature work style and showed us the equipment he uses to shoot footage. We also participated in an exciting workshop about narrative and the story circle looking at the film.
Even more impressive than the workshops were the film screenings, where we watched an entire film and then had a Q&A session with members of the filmmaking team. The two films were ‘Leonor Will Never Die’, a movie about a screenwriter who enters the world of her script (heavily inspired by Filipino action movies), and ‘Delikado,’ a thrilling documentary about land defenders in the Philippines protecting the environment by confiscating illegal chainsaws. In the Q&A session, we got to talk to directors, cinematographers, production designers, and actors – it was an amazing experience to learn from these skilled filmmakers.
Tell us more about the film, ‘The Game Night’, you created for the IASAS opening night. What inspired you to make this, and what are you most proud of?
Our team was inspired mainly by the film Juno (2007), which we had to review for an assignment. We especially tried to incorporate some camera angles/styles and the indie tone that was accomplished uniquely in Juno. Overall, I’m very proud of how we completed our film. We only had a few weeks to plan, film, and produce a piece, and due to other commitments, the shortened time our team could work on it was about a week. Due to this, we only had one day to film, doing everything in 7 hours and hoping it turned out how we imagined it. Thankfully, most of our footage was usable and surprisingly quite good, so I’m grateful for our hard work, including that of Maryam K. and Rosie P., our cinematographers. I was the editor, and despite the decent footage we acquired, there were still glaring continuity errors and inconsistencies throughout the film. My job was to put shots into a context in which certain things could be explained, as well as animations that were critical to the plot of our story. Overall, the edit took about 30-40 hours, including two full nights of editing. So what I’m most proud of is our collective ability to persevere and work together through many challenges in such a way that ensures we have a final film to show.
Describe your most memorable moments during IASAS.
Besides watching the incredible film screenings, the most memorable moments of the IASAS Culcon film came from the short film challenge. I loved getting to know a group of new people from different schools and hearing about their lives and experiences with filmmaking. Working together to plan, shoot, and edit a film in 3 short work sessions was fantastic, although incredibly stressful, experience. In the end, we produced a variety of fun, unique films that we’re all very proud of.
Catch Anderson’s Vlog of the entire event here.
Mark M. (‘24)
Do tell us more about any workshops and events you attended during IASAS.
An amazing event we attended was a screening of an experimental Filipino titled “Leonor Will Never Die.” The movie blew everyone away with its creativity and meta-aspect; I even saw elements of my own IASAS film. After the screening, we had the privilege of meeting the director and some crew and having an engaging Q&A. I gained a lot of perspective on making movies and the film industry, and I am inspired!
Tell us more about the film you created, ‘World’s Best Pal,’ for the IASAS opening night. What inspired you to make this, and what are you most proud of?
Our film was inspired by many existing works, like a manga by Tatsuki Fujimoto, Edgar Wright films, and just our interactions. I am most proud of my team and the effort we all put in. Everyone put a bit of themselves into it, and we all were really connected to it.
Describe your most memorable moments during IASAS Culcon.
There isn’t a specific moment, but meeting people from different schools and entering a new school environment was awesome. It was super refreshing to see new people and different dynamics and then fit into that. The activities made it very easy to make friends, and I found myself in a group of people from many schools who were really cool.
Hyunjoo K. (‘24) and Liz W. (‘25)
Tell us more about the workshops and events you and your team attended during IASAS.
We attended two workshops on days 1 and 3 during IASAS, where we got to learn with experienced directors from the Philippines, and they taught us how to make great movies and design narrative structures in films.
Also, we received a lot of information about film festivals that we can participate in and learned the necessary elements which are the basis for a successful film that needs to be secured. They encouraged us to perform to the best of our abilities and highlighted what we must do in the future.
Tell us more about the film ‘Blood Money, you created for the IASAS opening night. What inspired you to make this, and what are you most proud of?
We were at a loss when we discovered that “PAMANA” was the theme for this year’s IASAS, as we hadn’t heard of it! The word “PAMANA” has various meanings, such as family, inheritance, and heritage, so therefore we decided to focus on the meaning of “inheritance” to deal with the message, “How the human greed for inheritance (money) ruins themselves.” We expected it would create consensus with the audience since they are all human and wanted to draw the unfortunate and painful consequences of their desires when referring to Shakespeare’s novel, “Macbeth.”
It was quite a challenge to convey this deep message in 3 minutes. However, we eventually finished our film and are proud of the story plot, which is stimulating and easy to understand. Even though not many people realized the reference to Macbeth and that the heavy and dark subject matter did not capture the audience, this experience will undoubtedly be the foundation for our growth and development.
Describe your most memorable moments during IASAS.
First of all, it was a great experience, and it gave us so many precious memories of being with other school students to share our abilities and contributions. Being with other students has also stimulated my enthusiasm and dramatically improved my communication in films. Creating a short movie in 24 hours was a very tough project; however, the moment our team finished it, thanks to everyone’s contributions and efforts, and gave us a feeling of euphoria.
Above all, the time spent with my host family was my most memorable moment as they tried to make us experience as much as possible about Philippine culture. They encouraged us for our future and school life, and their advice inspired us for our project and overall mental attitude. Furthermore, they provided a comfortable environment to let us rest and work on our projects without interruption, and I feel so much gratitude for their efforts.
Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always has an anecdote to tell, loves to share some insights into their passions and interests, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.