International Academy of Film and Television Filmmaking Alumnus, Christian Paolo Lat, has once again dominated the Sinulog Short Film Festival, an annual showcase of local filmmakers held in Cebu, Philippines. Lat’s short film, “Ginhawa” (Breathe), a story about a boxer who finds the meaning of life, won Best Short Film, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, and Best Production Design this year. Last 2016, his entry “Igsoon,” also bagged the top prize at the same festival.
How did you feel after sweeping the awards including winning the grand prize at the Sinulog Short Film Festival 2018?
It was a familiar feeling because the last time we joined we had sweep most of the awards. Even though the lack of preparation, time and budget these are factors that would always be against your odd all you can do is make the best of what you have. Since I knew I had a really good team and they were very supportive of my vision we knew that we were going to win.
What was your inspiration in doing the film “Ginhawa”?
I’ve just wanted to do something different and challenge myself as an actor and a director. I grew up watching Pacquiao and boxing. It’s also gave me a reason to get back in shape after having quite an unhealthy lifestyle you know how it is in filmmaking.
What are the challenges you’ve encountered in making the short film and how have you overcome it?
It is always the usual. I’ve just set my mind that as long as you stay focus and have a positive mindset there will always be a solution or I just learnt adapt in any situation. We had 5 days to shoot and edit the movie almost felt like we weren’t going going to make it on the deadline but once again I had a great team that has my back. Teamwork makes the dream work.
What’s next for Christian Lat and/or the film Ginhawa?
Another Film is always in the making and there’s lots of content we’re releasing this year from film, commercial and music videos.
Advise to aspiring filmmakers?
If you don’t plan to take it seriously then consider finding a different occupation because this isn’t for everyone. You must really want it and willing to work the hardest. If you truly believe that this filmmaking thing is for you then keep on going. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes but instead learn from it.
Another big winner at the Sinulog Film Festival this year is IAFT Filmmaking Alumnus, Eli Razo, who also won multiple awards for his short film, “Merci,” including Best Story and Screenplay, 2nd place for Best Short Film and Nicolas Ampatin as Best Supporting Actor.