by Stefano Ortiz
In this edition of PPP4 Spotlight, we will be covering “Winged Dreams to the Blue Heavens,” one of the 12 finalists of the CineMarya Women’s Short Film Festival currently streaming for free at the 4th Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP).
“Winged Dreams to the Blue Heavens” won the Special Jury Prize (alongside “She’s Perfect”) and the QCinema Award at this year’s edition of CineMarya. It was written and directed by Aimee Apostol-Escasa, a filmmaker hailing from Iloilo.
In 2012, Apostol-Escasa produced a feature-length film titled “Asin” which received a grant from the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). Additionally, her 2015 short film “Katapusan Nga Handum” won five major awards at the CineKasimanwa Western Visayas Film Festival, including the festival’s Best Short Film, Best Direction, and Best Cinematography for that year.
“Winged Dreams to the Blue Heavens” is part of CineMarya at PPP4, a short film lab initiative founded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government in partnership with the FDCP, Quezon City Film Development Council, and Philippine Commission on Women.
CineMarya aims to celebrate and empower filmmakers who use their medium to shed light on and tackle women’s issues. Films screening under CineMarya feature women-centered narratives that tackle relevant issues regarding gender and women’s rights. We have previously covered “Noontime Drama,” which won Best Film and Best Screenplay at this year’s edition of CineMarya, in a past edition of PPP4 Spotlight. You may read the Spotlight here.
As part of PPP4’s Short Film Showcase, the 12 CineMarya films are screening for free from October 31 to December 13. In addition to CineMarya, the PPP4 Short Film Showcase also includes five films from past editions of the Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition and 63 films from 21 regional film festivals across the country.
For more information regarding the festival and to know about the different subscription options, you may visit the FDCP Channel (fdcpchannel.ph) and the PPP Facebook page (www.facebook.com/FDCPPPP). You may also contact [email protected].
“Winged Dreams to the Blue Heavens” (2020)
Directed by Aimee Apostol-Escasa
CineMarya at PPP Section
In “Winged Dreams to the Blue Heavens,” filmmaker Aimee Apostol-Escasa tells a story inspired by the influential and prominent Ilonggo writer, Magdalena Jalandoni. Apostol-Escasa provides a brief portrait of Jalandoni in her youth, at the tender age of six, as her dreams of a literary career begin to emerge.
“Winged Dreams to the Blue Heavens” shows the young Jalandoni brimming with creativity, uniqueness, and curiosity, alongside a preternatural gift for storytelling. From the early moments, it is clear Jalandoni is destined to be a writer.
But in her youth in 1897, in the midst of the Philippine revolution, such a dream for a young woman is unheard of. At six years old, the young storyteller already faces the problems of gender inequality. Just as she starts to dream, societal expectations regarding the “proper” roles of women begin to clip a young girl’s dream.
Apostol-Escasa shows that this “clipping” begins at home, from our elders. To pursue her emerging passion, the young Jalandoni must therefore resist societal norms upheld by her own family.
“Winged Dreams to the Blue Heavens” tells this story with an aesthetic emphasizing a serene, lush, rural life. Muted colors provide a sense of simplicity in Jalandoni’s surrounding world, and the serenity of these surroundings enter into Jalandoni’s subsequent literary works.
Through these, Apostol-Escasa’s film provides a brief, insightful, and curious look into a crucial moment in time during the youth of a female writer. With this look into the past, “Winged Dreams to the Blue Heavens” provides us a story from which we can certainly still draw lessons from today.
To watch “Winged Dreams to the Blue Heavens” and other CineMarya films for free via video-on-demand, visit fdcpchannel.ph.
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