- A Filipino filmmaker is the only Asian to be shortlisted in the Cannes Short Film Competition
- Imago by Raymund Ribay Gutierrez is one of only 10 short films to be screened this year
- The 23-year-old is a student of another Cannes veteran, Brillante Mendoza
Another Filipino filmmaker officially made his debut in the Short Films Competition at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in France.
The work of 23-year-old director Raymund Ribay Gutierrez, titled Imago is the sole entry of the Philippines and the only one from the whole of Asia to be screened in the short films category.
Another Filipino work, Ma’Rosa by veteran filmmaker Brillante Mendoza, is the official entry of the country in the Main category.
Incidentally, Gutierrez himself, who graduated with a degree in Multimedia Arts and Sciences at the Mapua Institute of Technology, is a student of the award-winning director Mendoza.
Competition in the short films category is intense as a total of 5,008 entries from all over the world were screened by the Cannes selection committee but only ten made it to the shortlist for the final screening.
Gutierrez’s film Imago tells the story of Inday, a single mother to a child with special needs, having to hustle through the slums of Metro Manila doing her rather unusual job as a funeral agent, offering funeral services to prospective customers.
“The important thing here is that I was able to show into an international level and the most [respected] festival which is Cannes. Doon ako na-excite. Pangarap ko lang makagawa ng pelikula. Hindi importante kung saan makarating pero ‘yung mas makagawa ng makabuluhang pelikula. ‘Yun ‘yung tinuro sa akin ni Direk. [That’s what excites me. My dream was just to make a film. It’s not important where it ends up in but more on being able to make a meaningful film. That’s what Direk taught me],” Gutierrez shares with ABS-CBN News; noting the lessons he learned from his mentor.
For his part, Mendoza says he is proud of his student.
“Ngayon ko naramdaman na ang sarap ng feeling na parang na-validate ang lahat ng pagod mo, na nakakasilip ka ng isang inspirasyon, na uusbong, na alam mong ipagpapatuloy niya ang ginagawa mo. [It is only now that I felt it’s so nice to be validated for all your hard work and to see that you have inspired someone to grow and continue on with your work],” Mendoza said.
Watch the trailer of Imago here: