Many of today’s biggest Hollywood directors honed their unique style of storytelling through short films, among them Richard Linklater (“School of Rock”), George Lucas (“Star Wars”), John Lassater (“Toy Story”).
With their growing popularity and prominence this unique medium has spawned international festivals in many countries such as Cambodia, Iran, Latvia and Spain, Tahiti and the U.S. Annual program of major film festivals abroad include dramatic and documentary features; series and episodic content, as well as, short films. International award-giving bodies have also honored outstanding short films alongside major features.
Recently, Filipino filmmaker Alvin Belarmino’s “Tarang” (Life’s Pedal) has earned raves in international festivals abroad. It was adjudged best film at the 36th International Short Film Festival 2020 in Berlin. It was also honored among the Top Asian Films for 2020 by Asian Movie Pulse (AMP).
“It’s realistic and artful at the same time while avoiding the reef of the misery porn with flying colors,” said Panos Kotzathanasis in his review for AMP.
Produced by Cut Print Productions, it tells the story of Rodel, a pedicab driver who lives along with his wife, a prostitute, and their daughter in the slums of Manila.
In most dramas about poverty, characters are portrayed to be vulnerable but at the same time resourceful and selfless providers. Much like mainstream films, the family is an important aspect of the story telling in short films. In “Tarang”, Rodel’s small community includes a mother who has huge ambition for her daughter to become a star, and a husband who’s hoping to save enough money to bail his wife out of jail.
“The most striking quality of this film is its candid, blunt and sincere storytelling in which all film departments are equally important. From the first scene on, it captures the audience inviting us into the character’s realities instead of judging them,” says Isabella Parkinson, a German Brazilian theatre and film actress, about the film.
“Tarang” is one of short films featured in the 20th edition of Pelicula-Spanish Film Festival streaming free online from Oct. 1-10, 2021. Watch full length Spanish and Latin American films with subtitles in the main selection and audience awards catalogue free via www.pelikula.es