Posted January 29, 2015 by Yuri Mangahas in Events

CINEMAPUA 2015: Bigger, Bolder, Better

Photo: CineMapua

Photo: CineMapua

After months of preparation, the annual CineMapua film fest have opened their doors once again alongside the week-long festivities of Mapua Institute of Technology’s foundation week.

The event started last January 27th, and is expected to run until the 31st, the concluding day of the institute’s foundation week. Screenings were held at AVR 1 and 2 of the Intramuros Campus, with the final day set at the Makati Campus.

Students are eagerly waiting in queues for the screenings to start.

Students are eagerly waiting in queues for the screenings to start.

Under the supervision of its adviser, Prof. Benigno Agapito, this year’s film fest has been touted as the biggest yet, due to its entry count of 20 shorts. Unlike previous iterations, CineMapua gave way to a new “Intercollegiate” category, which allowed student filmmakers from other schools to submit their works for the competition. The staple “All-Mapuans” category, on the other hand, paved an opportunity for Mapuans of all levels to showcase their potential.

FlipGeeks got the opportunity to chat with two of the directors from the Intercollegiate Category regarding their entries.


The film tells the story of a young girl who often receives a call from a stranger named Harold. Turns out, there’s more to it than she ever imagined. cmtc

FLIPGEEKS: Can you share to us how you conceived the idea for the film?

The writer actually got the idea from staying up late at 3am. Originally, it was 12 midnight. It was our finals back then and everything got stressful that it made us stay awake until 3am, and during those hours, we came up with the idea for the film.

FG: How long did it take for the short to be finished?

We only did it for one day. Approximately, it took around 7-8 hours.

FG: Say, you guys were given an opportunity to turn this short into a full-length film, are there any elements you’d like to add?

We’ll be adding a whole lot. Even during the shooting day itself, we were discussing several elements which we’ll be adding in case of a full length iteration. We’re supposed to add a few accidents and scenes which will give more depth to Harold’s character.

FG: Do you have any plans of joining other film fests like Cinemalaya?

Yes. We’re supposed to join last year, but we didn’t have the luxury of time.


The film is a quirky take on the anniversary date of two, old individuals who attempt to reignite their relationship.

FG: How did you come up with Uban?

I have this writer who came up with the concept from her grandparents. cmub

FG: Wow, really? So their story’s similar with the short?

You can say that. Her grandfather has a hobby of driving the jeepney with her grandmother, and that’s where the idea started to cook up.

FG: Here’s the interesting part. Nanding Josef and Idda Yaneza are both known staples in TV and indies. How were you guys able to contact them for this project?

Actually, when we were conceiving the movie, their names were the first to pop out from our heads for the casting. I told myself before that if this film pushes through, they are the ones I’ll be inviting for the film. I got in touch with them long before this project started and gave them a gist of the concept.

FG: How did it take for your team to finish the short?

We were able to shoot and finish everything in two days.

FG: If this becomes a full-length film, will you be adding other elements in it?

Probably, no, since everything that we’d like to tell in terms of the story’s condensed with this short. During the screening earlier, we listened to some of the feedbacks, and it feels great that they were able to absorb the ideas we intend to tell.

Prof. Benigno Agapito(far left) with the members of FEU's Ekselente Production.

Prof. Benigno Agapito(far left) with the members of FEU’s Ekselente Production.

FG: How about any plans of joining CineMalaya, or other film fests?

Actually, we joined one of CCP’s film fests, but we weren’t able to win since there were a lot of great entries. (laughs) But yes, probably in the near future. We’re actually graduating this year, and we might have our own jobs after school, but we’re yet to see if our team could find time in developing a new movie.


Prof. Benigno Agapito also shared his thoughts about this year’s CineMapua, and how it evolved throughout the years.

FG: How is this year’s CineMapua different from the previous ones?

When it comes to the audience and dissemination, it’s a whole lot better with the inclusion of the Intercollegiate category. Even before, other schools would take time to watch films from the All-Mapuans category. Another thing is that the coverage is much bigger this year.

FG: CineMapua’s running for more than a decade now. How does it feel knowing that you guys have reached this far?

We’re really happy, because we didn’t really expect that CineMapua would be this appealing, since from a point of view, we could say it’s just a typical Mapua activity. We started this originally as a classroom activity way back 2003 in Mapua Makati. I coordinated then with students to come up with full-length movies per section. Since there were five sections, I decided to turn this activity into an actual film festival. As the years passed, this event started to evolve, and the Mapuans aired a positive reception, which lead to CineMapua becoming an institutionalized activity. Like I said earlier, we added the Intercollegiate category this year, but we didn’t really expect that we’ll be receiving a huge number of entries.

Prof. Benigno Agapito discussing CineMapua to members of the media.

Prof. Benigno Agapito discussing CineMapua to members of the media.

FG: How many submitted this year?

For the All-Mapuans category, there were 60 entries, or more. The Intercollegiate side on the other hand, received 30 entries. We both trimmed the finalists to 10 each.

FG: Say, in the near future, would CineMapua also open its doors for veteran filmmakers, actors, and the like?

Probably, yes. We were planning to set up seminars and workshops about filmmaking, in which we’ll be inviting high-quality directors and personalities who are prominent in mainstream and independent films, so they can share their knowledge when it comes to movies.

FG: It may sound unfair, but do you have any favourites from the entries?

It’s fine, since I’m not part of the judging committee. But to avoid being bias, there are films which are really bold and fierce in terms of the concept this year. I’d leave it to you guys to find out which those entries are.

CineMapua continues today at the Intramuros Campus from 8am to 7pm at the AVR1 and 2, and at the Makati Campus on the 31st from 8am to 5pm. For more details, please visit their Facebook page

(NOTE: Interviews were conducted in casual Filipino and translated into English and flow was arranged for reading purposes.)


Yuri Mangahas

Yuri is magnanimously juggling between two managerial jobs: A technical manager position for an advertising/copy-writing company, and an associate editorial position for a fashion and lifestyle magazine. Nevertheless, he still finds time taking photos and seeking for geek nirvana.