supported by the Norwegian Arts Council


Curator: Merv Espina, Shireen Seno

20.May, 2015


Overcoming institutional and personal lapses to give attention to little-seen works—some quite recent, some surviving loss and decomposition—this program collects loose parts in motion, a series of bangs, or kalampag in Tagalog, assembled by their individual strengths and how they might resonate off each other and a contemporary audience. Featuring some of the most striking films and videos from the Philippines and its diaspora, this initiative continues to navigate the uncharted topographies of Filipino alternative and experimental moving image practice from the past 30 years.


The program will be presented by artist-curator Shireen Seno.

All works in this program are screened with the kind permission of the individual artists, the Mowelfund Film Institute and the Ateneo Art Gallery.


Curators’ Biographies

Shireen Seno is a lens-based artist whose work addresses memory, history, and image-making. She and John Torres form Peliculas Los Otros, a film and video production house dedicated to creating and supporting films with unique personal voices.


Merv Espina is an artist and initiator of GEN_LOSS, a moving image research platform; cook-janitor for media art festival WSK; program director for Green Papaya Art Projects; and co-founder of the institute of Lower Learning (iLL), based in Saigon and Manila.




By Miko Revereza / Philippines

2014 / 7.21 mins / Super 8




DROGA! is a close examination of cultural identity, about the Los Angeles landscape and American pop culture through the lens of Filipino immigrants.



Miko Revereza was born in Manila and grew up in San Francisco before relocating to Los Angeles in 2010. His films explore issues of identity and the Americanisation of the Filipino immigrant.


Once Upon A Time

Minsan Isang Panahon

By Melchor Bacani III / Philippines

1990 / 4.00 mins / 16mm




An experiment in optical printing using Super 8 home movies and hand-coloured found film material, this film was created during the influential Christoph Janetzko workshops, in collaboration with the Mowelfund Film Institute (MFI), Goethe Institut and the Philippine Information Agency.



Melchor Bacani III was an active participant of the Christoph Janetzko workshops in the late 1980s and early 1990s.



By Rox Lee / Philippines

1985 / 5.22 mins / Super 8


An advocation for a new and personal take on the alphabet reveals multi-layered, comical meanings. ABCD is an experimental animation, decidedly crude in approach and part socio-political commentary and surrealist whimsy.



Rox Lee is a celebrated animator, visual artist, musician, filmmaker, comic-strip artist and icon of independent and underground cinema in the Philippines. Lee received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Animation Council of the Philippines in 2010.


Riddle: Shout of Man

Bugtong: Ang Sigaw Ng Lalake

By Ramon Jose ‘R.J.’ Leyran / Philippines

1990 / 3.20 mins / 16mm


Rumoured to have been salvaged from a commercial movie studio dumpster, Riddle: Shout of Man is a commentary on Filipino on-screen macho culture and one of the rare surviving works produced in the brief filmmaking career of respected Filipino stage actor R.J. Leyran.



Ramon Jose ‘R.J.’ Leyran was known as an actor who appeared in several television soap operas, commercials, and movies, including Radio (2001), Ikaw Lamang Hanggang Ngayon (2002) and The Great Raid (2005).


Very Specific Things At Night

By John Torres / Philippines

2009 / 4.29 mins / SD Video


On New Year’s Eve in Manila, the inhabitants of Mahiyain Street (Shy Street) witness a series of explosions near the house of controversial politician Chavit Singson, whose testimony led to the 2001 overthrow of then-President Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada.



John Torres is a Filipino experimental filmmaker and musician known for his idiosyncratic style of filmmaking featuring prominent on- or off-screen spoken texts, often including the poetry of local writers.


Johnny Crawl

Juan Gapang

By Rox Lee / Philippines

1986 / 7:18 mins / SUPER 8




A man searches for his destiny while crawling on the streets of the metropolis at the height of EDSA Revolution.



Rox Lee is a celebrated animator, visual artist, musician, filmmaker, comic-strip artist and icon of independent and underground cinema in the Philippines. Lee received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Animation Council of the Philippines in 2010.


Chop-Chopped First Lady and Chop-Chopped First Daughter

By Yason Banal / Philippines

2005 / 1.54 mins / VIDEO


The lives and antics of Imelda Marcos, the First Lady of the Marcos dictatorship, and Kris Aquino, the First Daughter of the post-Marcos era, are juxtaposed through archival film footage and a gory horror film re-enactment of Philippines’ infamous ‘chop-chop lady’ murders.



Yason Banal studied Film at the University of the Philippines and Fine Arts at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His works have been exhibited at Tate Modern, Frieze Art Fair and Singapore Biennale.


The Retrochronological Transfer of Information

By Tad Ermitano / Philippines

1994 / 9.33 mins / 16mm


Inspired by the works of physicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and philosopher Enryo Inoue, this 16mm film documents the experiments of a modern-day scientist who attempts to communicate with Jose P. Rizal, the Philippine National Hero who was executed by the Spanish in 1896.



Tad Ermitano studied biology at the University of Hiroshima, philosophy at the University of the Philippines, trained in film and video at MFI, and was co-founder of pioneering multimedia collective Children of Cathode Ray.


Ars Colonia

By Raya Martin / Philippines

2011 / 1.13 mins / 35mm + Video




A conquistador counts his blessings in this hand-coloured elegy evoking old, silent film iconography.



Raya Martin was born in Manila in 1984 and is the youngest artist on Cinema Scope magazine’s 2012 list of the 50 best filmmakers under 50 years old. His ambitious, constantly evolving body of work of more than a dozen films includes fiction features, documentaries, short films, and installations.



Class Picture

By Tito & Tita / Philippines

2012 / 4.41 mins / 16mm




A lyrical, nostalgic piece evoking faded memories and the archetypal class picture, develops alongside the crashing of waves on a beach in the background.



Tito & Tita is a young-artist collective specialising in film and photography. Their works have been featured in various festivals, galleries, and art institutions.


By Martha Atienza / Philippines

2012 / 8.08 mins / HD Video




An ethnographic document of the antics during an annual festival in the artist’s hometown of Madridejos, Bantayan Island, Cebu.



Martha Atienza lives and works in the Netherlands and Philippines. Her works are sociological in nature, reflecting a keen observation of her direct environment.


The Moon Is Not Ours

Hindi Sa Atin Ang Buwan

By Jon Lazam / Philippines

2011 / 3.31 mins / HD Video




Travel footage from a family holiday on the island of Bohol, Philippines, is captured in black and white, without sound, on a basic video camera. This film is a contemplation on lost love, distance, resignation and sadness.



Jon Lazam is an experimental filmmaker based in Manila. His works have been screened in Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Montreal, Paris and San Francisco.





By Cesar Hernando, Eli Guieb III, Jimbo Albano / Philippines

1990 / 6.33 mins / 16mm




One of the most prominent and well-crafted films that emerged from the Christoph Janetzko experimental film workshops, Rust is a satirical piece crafted together using found footage of war, sex, and pop culture, revealing the destructive repercussions of fascism.



Cesar Hernando is best known as a production designer on several important films including Mike de Leon’s Kisapmata (1981) and Batch ‘81 (1982).

Eli Guieb III is a filmmaker and award-winning fiction writer.

Jimbo Albano is one of the Filipino artists that noted German filmmaker Ingo Petzke will never forget. For one of his films, he walked for several days to completely encircle Manila, coming up with a marvel of a structural film in single-frame shooting.