The (relative) success of Philippine cinema has brought the rise of short films. Film schools, as well as media literacy classes in senior high school, has delivered a continuous and abundant supply of short films. In the past, cineastes either have to wait for annual school screenings, or the film festival limited runs. With the advent of the Internet and the social media, audience from here and abroad can catch Pinoy short films even after their theatre runs.
We listed below five online sites where you can catch some of the best Filipino short films.
Let’s begin with the most obvious. Since its inception, Facebook has become a thriving online community for Filipinos. In the site, we have seen films and videos made by amateur filmmakers as well as established ones. From time to time, you can even encounter Filipino auteurs choosing this medium to publish this site. The best way to catch these short films is to follow the like pages of your favorite filmmakers or film productions. Also, you can opt to wait for the next viral film to flood your timeline.
Films posted on Facebook often aim for virality. They may be socio-political campaigns or films produced by amateur groups that target high viewership more than anything.
One of the most established Filipino filmmakers, Mike De Leon has broken his years of hiatus through making short films uploaded on Facebook. You can watch one of his controversial works here.
Pinoy filmmakers often opt not to upload their works on this medium. For one, choosing this site usually sacrifices the quality of the film. What you can find here are film works created by groups or organizations to build their channels. We recommend subscribing to the YT account of TVUP. Follow their Maikling Pelikula playlist. Here, you can find some of the best works of the University of the Philippines Film Institute students. An additional feature are the interviews of the filmmakers. The filmmakers have a sit-down interview as they explain the production work behind their films.
Another tip, filmmakers often upload a copy of their films on Youtube as “unlisted.” This is the easiest way for them to allow festival organizers to screen their films. You can always ask your filmmaker friends if they are willing to share the “unlisted” link of their works.
This has maybe the largest collection of Pinoy short films online. Based in South East Asia, Vidsee invites short filmmakers to upload on their site. They have annual film competitions too so you can be assured that new films are uploaded regularly. There are films here that found a place after their short stint in the major film festivals. This is particularly significant because short films in the country are screened in theaters only in the duration of a film festival. After the festival’s run, only full-length films get commercial re-run.
Filmmakers choose to upload their films here after taking part in major film festivals probably to extend the “life” of their works.
In contrast to Youtube, Vimeo ensures the quality of the videos uploaded. Hence, filmmakers often choose to upload their works here. One caveat is that filmmakers often have to put passwords to access their films. This is to protect their intellectual property. Nevertheless, there are still a large number of short filmmakers who are willing to share their works on the site.
Award-winning directors even choose to upload their works here permanently or at a limited time.
Asia’s response to Netflix, Hooq has included in its list some Filipino short films. Currently, they added the participating films of the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). While this short list of films may not be a compelling reason for your subscription, it would be a strong motivation for demand streaming services to include short films knowing that there is a sufficient audience to sustain their viewership.
(The best short film in the 2016 MMFF can be found on Hooq.)