Filipino short film vies for top prize in Middle East’s biggest children’s film festival

“Pipo,” a short film starring veteran actor Lou Veloso, Chanel Latorre, and Maliksi Morales, will compete in the upcoming Children’s International Film Festival, United Arab Emirates 2015 edition. This annual event is the biggest international film festival in the Arab World that is solely dedicated for children. The festival will be held from April 23 to May 2 at the Madinat Jumeirah and the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, UAE.

Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker and UNESCO Laureate artist Richard Soriano Legaspi, the lone entry from the Philippines in the competition program of the festival is vying for the Audience Choice Award in the International Short Category. Pipo tells of a young boy’s dream to have his family picture taken. It is Legaspi’s second installment from his “Collective Memoirs” short film trilogy. It shows the relationship of memories and how the past and present will marry in a simple narrative. The film was a competitive grant winner of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and with the support funding from Università delle Idee and ILLY – Italy.

Legaspi’s achievements gained more importance when he represented the Philippines in major festivals and won a prestigious award in Italy. His first full-length film “Paano Ko Sasabihin?” starring Enchong Dee and Erich Gonzales, won the Special Jury Prize, Audience Award and Best in Editing at the 2009 Cinema One Originals and was a finalist at the Babel Film Festival in Italy. He is also the director and writer of award-winning films like “Manenaya,” Special Jury Prize winner at the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and the opening film of Asiatica Film Mediale in Rome in 2012, and “Ambulancia,” which earned the Miglior Montaggio Award at the San Gio Film Festival and was a finalist at the Dubai International Film Festival (IFF).


A prolific filmmaker, Legaspi also directed “Pamatid-Gutom,” “Kinulayang Kiti,” “Pagtakas sa Kawalan,” “Dimensions of Belonging,” and “Fare L’Amore con il Vento.” His first documentary “Ang Walang Kapagurang Paglalakbay ng Pulang Maleta” (L’instancabile viaggio della valigia rossa) was produced by GMA News TV under the CineTotoo International Documentary Film Festival 2014. His works are more focused on raising consciousness and creating space for dialogue on communal issues, responsible transformation of society and creative activation through contemporary art.

A two-time Gawad Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) awardee in 2010 and 2011, Carlos Palanca Awardee for Literature in 2012 for the screenplay “Primera Bella,” and a Gawad Urian nominee for “Manenaya,” he received the prestigious UNESCO Laureate artist recognition in 2013, eventually becoming a resident artist of the Università delle Idee, Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto and ILLY CAN PRIZE WINNER – Art for Social Change in Italy.

Filipinos in Dubai will have the chance to see “Pipo” on its international premiere at the Vox Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates on Saturday 25th April at 3:00pm (UAE time).


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