Manila, September 30, 2019 – Two outstanding Filipino short films, ‘Saint Nena!’ and ‘If Not (Kun ‘Di
Man)’, were honoured at the third annual Viddsee Juree Awards Philippines, an annual industry
pick award celebrating best short films from the Philippines. The awards ceremony was held on
September 29 at Pineapple Lab in Poblacion, Makati.
The Gold winner is Tim Rone Villanueva for ‘Saint Nena!’, a satire about a patron saint statue
that springs to life, and is commanded by God to bear the Messiah with Manuel, a heartbroken
boy. Made while Tim was a student in De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, the film has
previously received numerous accolades, including Honourable Mention for Best Students’
Short Film at the California International Film Festival X Davis Chinese Film Festival, 2018; and
Best Short Film (Student Category) at the CineFilipino Film Festival, 2018.
“In making this film, I wanted to tell the story of my hometown in Kawit, about God, religion and
faith. Santa Nena! Is about human desires, and how it leads to chaos and how it has its own
cunning ways to know our weakest spots,” said Tim.
Phyllis Grae Grande was named the Silver winner for ‘If Not (Kun ‘Di Man)’, which revolves
around two blind street singers who soon realise that their partnership goes beyond music.
“I had the idea for the film when I used to commute often, and would see these old people
singing in the stations; ultimately the film is about love, and how it is something that can be
found in so many places,” said Phyllis.
Lynn Ana Maria Lim also received a special mention for ‘The Sound of Silence’, a drama about
a sex slave who tries to escape her captor. It was inspired by historical heroines Gabriela
Silang, Melchora Aquino and Josefa Llanes Escoda.
The winners were picked by a jury comprising the Artistic Director for the Hawaii International
Film Festival (HIFF), Anderson Le ; established Filipino producer and film director Baby Ruth
Villarama; and Lucky Kuswandi , one of Indonesia’s most exciting young directors.
Gold and Silver winners were awarded film production grants worth PHP160,000 and
PHP80,000 respectively. The Gold winner also won a five-day Global Film & TV Program in Los
Angeles sponsored by the Motion Picture Association.
In addition to the grant, the Gold winner received a 14-day loan for RED Digital Cinema camera
equipment with a five-lens set of ZEISS CP.3 Lenses, while the Silver winner received a 14-day
loan of RED Digital Cinema camera equipment and the ZEISS Light Weight Zoom LWZ.3
21-100mm lens. Gold and Silver winners will also receive a 14-day loan for Sachtler tripod
system and Litepanels LED products provided by Vitec.
All ten finalists received a 12-month Creative Cloud All Apps subscription from Adobe.
Aside from the main awards, the Audience Choice Award went to ‘The Pieces Of Gone Dreams’
by Cyrus Kim Balasabas. The winner was chosen following a public voting period from Sept
Viddsee Original Premieres, Film Programmes and More
In the run up to the awards ceremony, Viddsee held a three-day programme at Pineapple Lab,
starting with the premiere of Viddsee Originals ‘Anak Dagat’, a short film from last year’s Gold
winner Ruello Zendo; and ‘I Killed My Mother’ by Christian Rae Villanueva, who was last year’s
Silver winner. Both films were made with the grant money that came with the awards, with ‘Anak
Dagat’ made with additional PHP80,000 raised from fan-powered platform, VEE by Viddsee.
“These two films demonstrate how Viddsee and the Juree Awards can play a role in
empowering filmmakers by raising their profile, and enabling them to tell the stories that are
important,” said Nikki Loke, Viddsee’s Head of Content. “Seeing the quality of films from this
year’s winners, we’re very excited for what Tim and Phyllis have in store for us.”
Also featured were a number of activities including talks on current topics such as developing
personal brands, tips for freelance filmmakers, and an international perspectives about the rise
of Asian filmmaking. Among the guest speakers during the event were filmmakers Mikhail Red
(‘Eerie’), and Annika Yañez, a finalist from last year’s Juree Awards.
The annual Juree Awards initiative debuted in Indonesia in 2016, and expanded to include the
Philippines in 2017, and Singapore in 2018. Find out more about the Juree Awards.
The public can learn more about the Juree Indonesia Awards Programme, as well as watch all
nominated and other out-of-competition films for free.
Jury Citations for Viddsee Juree Awards Philippines 2019
Winning Film : ‘Saint Nena!’
Director : Tim Rone Villanueva
Citation by Jury : Tim Rone Villanueva’s socio-religious satire hits us with the power of a freight
train controlled by John Waters. With a kaleidoscopic and very biting point of view, ‘Saint Nena!’
hits all the right marks in spoofing telenovelas and religiosity with the hormone-fueled zaniness
of teen sex comedies to paint a hilarious, at times cringe-worthy, provocative take on cultural
Winning Film : ‘If Not (Kun ‘Di Man)‘
Director : Phyllis Grae Grande
Citation by Jury : This is a genteel, heartwarming story of two people who are ignored by
society, but are able to find each other through the mutual admiration and tradition of Filipino
love songs. Love can find you in the tiny corners of society, no matter how invisible you are to
the ever-changing and fast-paced life of Manila.
Film : ‘The Sound of Silence’
Director : Lynn Ana Maria Lim
Citation by Jury : A film done at an ambitious scale, Lynn Ana Maria Lim’s film is
impressive–from bucolic locations, costume design, production design, and direction–to
produce a cogent story of female empowerment that is rooted in the violent history against
women. It is an intergenerational tale that resonates even stronger today, as the new generation
of womyn rise against the patriarchy to continue the fight for gender parity and justice.