True to its enduring values of quality, style, and elegance, leather goods brand McJim Classic Leather is unstoppable as it continues to gain international recognition for its troika of masterfully produced short films under its “Get Reel” online campaign.
Pitaka (The Wallet), Sinturon (Belt), and Bag have been selected to compete in a total of 22 prestigious film festivals—as of this writing—in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Australia, Mexico, and Venezuela, a record-breaking feat for a commercial brand.
Pitaka, the first of the three short films, was recently chosen as finalist in the 2018 Wales International Film Festival and received nomination for an award on Oct. 4.
Chris Cahilig, the director and executive producer of the three short films, said that the successive recognitions that the McJim viral videos have been getting abroad is proof that even branded shorts can be at par with the quality of commercially produced films.
“With its advocacy of delivering superior quality to its consumers, McJim is able to prove that it can produce not only world-class leather goods but also world-class films that are able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the international market. This is because the brand has always faithfully adhered to its timeless philosophy of style, quality, and elegance,” says Cahilig.
“It remains committed to bring out the best of the Filipino before the world. The numerous recognitions that its short films are getting are proof that the brand has been successful in carrying out this goal,” he notes.
Apart from the Wales International Film Fest, Pitaka was earlier selected to participate in international film festivals in Italy and the US, namely San Mauro Torinese International Film Festival 2018; Cefalu Film Festival in Palermo; Diwa Filipino Film Showcase of Seattle 2018; Culture of Life Film Festival 2018 in Memphis City; 2019 Dramatic Shorts Film Festival in Denver; and Los Angeles CineFest 2019.
The short film depicts fraternal love and the Filipino elders’ sense of responsibility as exemplified by Kuya, portrayed in the film by Karl Medina, who sets aside his personal dreams to provide for his younger brother, a character played by 1:43’s Art Artienda.
Following in the wake of Pitaka is the quirkier and more daring Sinturon, which tackles marital fidelity and features Mercedes Cabral and Kiko Matos. Sinturon made it to three international film fests, namely Nebrody Film Fest and Corti A Sud-Polla In Corto in Italy, and Love Shorts Film Festival 2019 in the US.
The LGBT-themed Bag, the last of the three short films, snagged 12 official selections in international film festivals for its honest portrayal of a gay-straight friendship. It follows the story of an openly gay young professional Paolo (Ross Pesigan), who, after a series of bad breakups, finds comfort and refuge in his straight best friend Carlo (Wayne Avellano).
“The brand shows its modern and mature view of gender issues through a gay-themed and stereotype-breaking content like Bag. What makes these short films a cut above the rest is how it tackles values and attitudes that build our society as a better and more progressive one,” says Cahilig.
The bold move has definitely paid off as Bag is poised to join the following film fests: the First International LGBTQ Coming of Age Short Films Festival, which will be held simultaneously in Paris, France, and San Francisco in September this year; the Los Angeles CineFest 2019; the 2018 LGBTQ Shorts Film Festival; the International Shorts Film Festival (Australia) 2018; Outflix Film Festival 2018 in Memphis; QUEER-Streifen Regensburg 2018 in Germany; Shorts Mexico 2018, the largest international shorts film fest in Latin America; Five Continents International Film Festival 2018 in Venezuela; OutReels Cincinnati 2018; London International Motion Pictures Awards 2019, Queerbee LGBT Film Festival 2018 in London; and 2019 Dramatic Shorts Film Festival in Denver.
Behind Pitaka’s visually poetic direction of photography is Cesca Lee, known for the films T.P.O., Purgatoryo, and Otso. Sinturon and Bag, meanwhile, were shot by cinematographer Patrick Ferrer. Archie del Mundo wrote the screenplay and was also line producer for the three short films.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.