A Digital Filmmaking student of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde made history by being the first Benildean to be accepted in the 22nd Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) to be held in South Korea on Oct. 12 to 21.
Carlo Fajarda will have his short film entry titled “Suerte” premiere in the BIFF, which is regarded as one of the most prestigious film festivals in Asia.
“It’s a great honor to be part of the festival, isa sa mga pangarap ng mga starting filmmakers na katulad ko na makasali sa ganto, also it’s an absolute privilege to represent Benilde Film and our country,” Fajarda said in an interview with The Benildean.
This year’s festival is set to screen 298 films from 75 countries, inclusive of World Premieres and International Premieres. Fajarda’s entry is part of the 100 World Premieres that highlights 76 feature films and 24 short films while International Premieres has a total of 29 entries, 24 feature films and five short films.
“Suerte” is a 16-minute film that tells the story of two student filmmakers shooting a documentary about drug trade that quickly transcends into a dangerous obsession. With brothers Betong and Roel as guides to the precarious trade, the students eventually become characters in their own film, crossing the line between observer and creator.
“It’s very close to me, the characters in the film are based on real life and the story is based on what’s happening everyday here in our country right now,” Fajarda shared.
In addition, the film student disclosed Suerte was his thesis and his producers, Bianca Balbuena and Bradley Liew, were the ones who submitted his work in various film festivals abroad. Fajarda also made it to the exhibition of 2017 Locarno International Film Festival (LIFF) in Switzerland but chose BIFF because this is where the short film passed for the main competition.
“Just thinking about it still feels surreal. I’m proud to say that I’m the first Benildean to ever join the main competition,” Fajarda added.
Held annually, the BIFF is a hub of Asian cinema that showcases new films and promotes young talents for first-time directors.