A short film led by Filipinos in the UAE is gathering international attention and recognition, particularly in Algeria, India, and Austria.
The film 1820 Mga Pabulong na Balingawngaw is screenplayed by Renato Nicdao and directed by Gilbert Belleza.
The story revolves around a man named Mathew whose child was waiting for him in the basement. He waited for his child only to be met by his own illusions. After learning what happened to his daughter, he got trapped in his own paranoia–his mood, mental state, and behavior deteriorated to a point he perceives everyone as his enemy.
Michael Deo Macaraig, the short film’s lead actor and a Dubai-based eventologist and freelancer, told The Global Filipino Magazine that it hasn’t been shown publicly as it’s being sent to some festivals for competition.
According to Macaraig, shooting the film was ‘extra’ challenging as they needed to abide by the local protocols to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 and prevent themselves from getting afflicted with the virus. He further revealed that the film, which was entirely shot in two places in Dubai, was filmed in one week only.
“There was a deliberate effort to limit the location to two places only without sacrificing the essence of the story that we would like to tell. We conducted a lot of pre-production meetings, workshops, and practice via Zoom to make sure that everything is set and in order to have less contact in the set,” the actor added.
As of this writing, the 1820 film is the winner in the Bronze Gate’s Best Short Film Category in Algeria; second Best Director in the Gully International Film Festival in India; and officially selected for Best Actor and Best Horror Film in Vienna, Austria.
Along with their previously produced films Abo, 17:14, and Bahaghari, which have also received international accolades, the team is planning to showcase these films in a bigger venue when the Covid-19 safety protocols have been relaxed.
Other cast members include Sherizze Seam Cirate Acot, Lianne Jhuriz Sauler, John Michael M. Manalo, Jolrean Salao, Jennifer Jereos, Emmanuel Domdom, and Patricio Miguel Tuyo.