The Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc. celebrated the talents and skills of professional and promising Filipino cartoonists and creators at the recently-concluded 16th Animahenasyon Philippine Animation Festival.
Motivated to provide a venue for Filipino creatives to showcase ideas and meet established industry experts, the annual competition included a series of plenary sessions and classes, technical workshops, and exhibitions.
The Student Division of Animahenasyon competition was dominated by the homegrown talents from the Animation Program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of New Media Arts (SNMA).
Benildean Mikayla Elise Lariosa swept the Grand Prize and the Best in Storytelling titles for her three-minute short Dear Friend. Revolving around the bond between a semicircle toy and a piece of clay, it shed light on the importance of social support system.
“As a person who still struggles with accepting the way I look, I wanted to inspire people to start opening up to each other about the way they feel about themselves,” Lariosa shared. “If we share the experience together, we can help each other feel less alone in dealing with our own pressures—creating safe spaces for people to process the irrational thoughts they may have about themselves.”
Frankie Aldana took home the Best Non-narrative Animation and Best Production Design recognitions for It’s Just a Cupcake, a commentary and an awareness film about eating disorders. It starred Bo, whose anxieties around food took shape into a spiky little shadow monster.
“I wanted to focus on sharing the feeling over anything else because I wanted my film to encourage understanding through empathy,” Aldana explained. It’s Just a Cupcake likewise clinched The John Martin Award, an annual recognition given to a professional or a student participant per year.
Mitzi Lim earned the Jury’s Special Citation for Binhi, which circulates about the journey of a lumberjack, a forest spirit, and the implications of excessive logging.
“I wanted to show the consequences of our choices,” she declared. “I think it is important to relay this message given the current environmental crisis our country is going through.”
To complete the roster of winners, Dionisio Bacudio III from Jose Rizal University won the Best Technical Award for Guhit.
The Collector by his schoolmates Gerry Garcia, Austine Leigh Abedejos, Elvin Matthew Nido, Creshane Zaslove Pausal, and Jong Won Teves bagged the First Place for the Audience Choice Award.
Meanwhile, Mitolohiya by Seth Floreven Evangelista Biagtan, Carlos Dikker Adelantar, Carl Andre del Mundo, and Owen Ualat of the FEU Institute of Technology finished Second Place.
Under the Professional Division, Klikbot Guardian: Kalamity by Carlyn Ceniza of Fizzbuzz, Inc. secured the Grand Prize and Best Storytelling Awards while Grow by Marvin Paracuelles of Grow Studio bagged the Best Technical Award.
Meanwhile, Mark Mendoza of Friendly Foes Creative Studio, an alumnus of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Multimedia Arts, nabbed the Best Non-narrative and Best Production Design honors.
Entitled Bad Tourism, his work is a tourism ad gone haywire in telling some hard truths. ‘‘It is a short sarcastic skit,” he clarified. “The film hopes to close some gaps between how we perceive things and facts.”