Filipino filmmaker Rafael Manuel‘s featurette Filipiñiana bags another international recognition as it’s among the films nominated at the British Independent Film Awards 2020.

The film, which took home the Shorts Silver Bear Jury Prize at the 70th Berlinale, was shot on location in various golf courses and country clubs in the Philippines in 2019. Its story centers on the new “tee girl” Isabel, who is looking for loopholes to subvert the system and societal structure present in her work.

It explores themes of exploitation and hierarchical issues, and uses the golf course and country club as a mirror of Philippine society. Filipiñiana presents power differences practiced by women on women, from managers down to the tee girls. These tee girls are in-charge of cleaning the courses and attending to the needs of the guests and golfers. To really dive into their world, Rafael also casted real-life tee girls in his short film.

“The crew and actresses like Andi spent countless hours over the course of several months with these tee girls to understand the various aspects of their peculiar profession,” the director posted on Instagram. “Filipiñiana is—beyond everything else—an ode to these tee girls. Every contribution you make to our crowdfunding campaign makes sure that their story is told.”

Rafael together with his team are gearing up to create a full-length version of the film. According to its website, “the feature-length sees Isabel venture through the various alcoves of the country club, uncovering a slew of situations involving both country club members and employees—tableaus that raise various questions about Philippine society as a whole.”

Since 1998, BIFA has been honoring the most innovative independent films and filmmakers in the UK. It’s founded by Elliot Grove and Suzanne Ballantyne, who also founded the Raindance Film Festival in 1993.

Watch the short film’s trailer below.

Source: Manila Bulletin (