Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival

Filipino Guest Programme

Filipino Guest Programme2021-12-26T18:08:23+00:00

Filipino Guest Programme – “Unrhymed Couplets”

Presenting 10 short films by 5 Filipina artists, recontextualized into 5 discursive distichs

Curated by Franchesca Casauay for HERESY

HERESY is a Manila-based female-curated art platform that pushes for a more gender-inclusive new media arts community and increased visibility of women who work with various forms of creative technology. Launched in 2015 by Franchesca Casauay and Joee Mejias, HERESY has since produced shows for WSK Festival of the Recently Possible and Fringe Festival Manila, and have held performances in Pineapple Lab, Green Sun, Power Mac Center Spotlight Theater, and Ateneo de Manila’s ARETE, featuring female artists as main cast and collaborators in performances that incorporate experimental music, sound design, choreography, moving image, scenography, and dramaturgical techniques. The platform has also hosted public talks and workshops featuring female practitioners at the College of St. Benilde-School of Design and Arts in 2017 and at Green Papaya Art Projects in 2018.

Total Run Time: 59:40 minutes


Twice Removed (2017)

6:00 (loop) / sound
Annie Pacaña, Philippines

This work draws from a video an audience member sent me, of footage he took after viewing my previous work “Nonlinear.” I thought it was amazing that the work crawled to its viewer and resulted in another transformation. He said he went on a “cleansing trip and back to toxicity.”

I then translated the video that he sent me back into the form of animated vector lines. The work seemed to come into full circle as I transformed his video to this new work. I am fascinated with the connectivity and mobility of the works (one line to another, one experience to another, one work to another), the experience and the cross-platform transfer that happened, and all with the support of technological infrastructure which is also the main subject matter of the piece. “Twice Removed” is the second iteration of the work “Once|More” from the exhibit “Still|Moving” in May 2017.

Unbury The Meaning (2018)

5:07 / sound
Pauline Despi, Philippines

We paint a picture in our minds that the ‘white’ exists because of the black; that ‘ugliness’ is a benchmark for beauty; and that ‘lies’ are extractions from the truth. There is an internal struggle to look for the exact meaning of things for the deeply curious. We beg answers to “What is truth if not for a little lie? What is beautiful if you have not seen the ugly?” When we were taught to look for truth, kindness, and beauty we are left to our own devices and often it takes time. Pauline Despi waited almost two years to produce a new film. In her new video UNBURY THE MEANING, the artist attempt to draw pictures and write words in a seemingly endless line-work. Perhaps to uncover what is true, ugly or beautiful in her nature and in her art, only to be lost again in the process.

COUPLET II: symmetry

Babel (2011)

3:52 (loop) / sound
Pauline Despi, Philippines

Employing cinematic techniques, animation, and choreography, the artist creates a tower of writhing human bodies; grinding and clutching one body after another as they oscillate to a blanket of noise. The bodies mimic mechanical movements of a building machinery, slowly progressing its way to the top and eventually failing. Babel loops at 3:52 to complete a cycle of building and rebuilding. The video is done in collaboration with Pauline’s husband, Ivan Despi; Pablo Galleries; Dear Prudence; and Yves SJ.

Kaleidoscape (2018)

3:22 (loop) / silent
Annie Pacaña, Philippines

In further distorting images I took of urban chaos in my daily encounters with the city (power lines, pylons, railroad tracks, billboard steel structures), I bring the blurring boundary of reality and fantasy into fore. Order and disorder is pressed against each other, intensifying one’s bewilderment in the abstract forms and patterns that create calm from the chaos. The compounding chaos and dysfunction that we see (and tend to ignore) everywhere in our environment (at least in Metro Manila) seeps into our lives and we should be made aware of it.


Eye Work (2018)

1:00 / silent
Mariah Reodica, Philippines

Eyework is an exercise in notation. Here, it’s a binary code between sound and absence of sound, or an eye opening or closing. Through the system of Western classical notation, we conduct waking up.

To Remain Is To Have Been Left (2018)

4:44 / sound
Pam Miras, Philippines

A woman about to jump off a building gets caught in an unending time loop.

COUPLET IV: translations

Pusong Bato (Heart of Stone) (2013)

11:15 / sound
Pam Miras, Philippines

A man and woman help each other survive on a desert island, while clinging onto hope of one day returning to their lives back in civilization. But theirs is an unlikely alliance. The film was shot on 16mm film, developed via hand-process methods.

Upset (2016)

2:42 / sound
Martika Ramirez Escobar, Philippines

A young boy and his younger brother search for an ocean in the city.

Note: This was an entry for a music video contest in Manila wherein participants were asked to choose a song from a playlist. Then it’s up to them to create the music video they want for the song. I wanted to join because I was drawn to one of the songs in the playlist – Upset by Filipina musician Teenage Granny (Alyana Cabral).

COUPLET V: Parafictions

Quadrilaterals (2017)

16:44 / sound
Martika Ramirez Escobar, Philippines

Quadrilaterals is a failed fiction shoot turned documentary about a family of Overseas Filipino Workers in their home in Manila. Prisco Escobal, their breadwinner, worked in Saudi Arabia for almost three decades. Today, at 67, Prisco is back home with his wife, sharing stories about the days when they were apart, their children, and their idea of an ideal family. It is now their four children who are away from home, following their father’s footsteps of working outside the islands of our country in hopes of having a better life.

Apathetic Anaesthetic (2016)

4:53 / sound
Mariah Reodica, Philippines

A dental extraction takes a turn for the absurd as rusty nails, used condoms, and a blooming rose spring forth from a patient’s mouth. It ends, however, as how all dentist appointments should–with confetti.




Franchesca Casauay (b. 1984) is a freelance creative and cultural worker with multidisciplinary interests, working with sound, video, and poetry. She holds a degree in Sociology from the University of the Philippines and has attended graduate classes in cultural studies and film production. In 2015, she co-founded female-focused art platform HERESY, and in 2017 was co-director of WSK AXIS, a joint production of Manila’s WSK Festival of the Recently Possible and Japan Foundation Asia Center. She has been an international delegate to festivals and cultural exchanges in Paris, Taipei, Tokyo, Sydney, Jakarta, and Yogyakarta, with forthcoming engagements in Yokohama and Sharjah. Franchesca is based in Metro Manila, Philippines, for now.

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