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It’s Cinemalaya season once again! Last year, I forgot to review all the short films as I focused on reviewing the full-length entries. This year is different, I’m as ready as ever to give you guys all the goods. I’m back to reviewing the shorts, starting with Shorts A. Let’s do this.

Gatilyo – 7/10

Dir. Harold Lance Pialda

The film’s title, Gatilyo, is both literal and metaphorical. Gatilyo translates in English to trigger, as in the trigger of a gun, and it also shows us the triggers of someone living with PTSD. It does a good job in highlighting the importance of understanding mental health conditions, and in depicting the struggles of someone going through it and the people surrounding him. It provided the right amount of tension where it was needed, and Rocky Salumbides does a amazing job as a soldier with PTSD. Can’t say the same for the rest of the cast, though. It’s a good film and all, but it could’ve used a boost in the acting department.

Heist School – 8/10

Dir. Julius Renomeron Jr.

This is probably the most entertaining short film out of this batch. What it lacks in the technical side, it makes up for in every other aspect. The story, the writing, the acting, they’re all on point. It’s a smart, clever, witty, and often times hilarious film which makes it stand out from the rest. Also, the credits were a nice touch.

Sa Gabing Tanging Liwanag ay Paniniwala – 8/10

Dir. Francis Guillermo

I loved the vibe of this film. It successfully creates an eerie atmosphere through both the scoring and the setting, which is perfect for what the film is going after. The cinematography is excellent, and even in the darkest scenes, the film is well-lit, just enough for us to see what’s going on. It gets even more unsettling as it unravels its story, and I commend them for that.

Disconnection Notice – 6/10

Dir. Glenn Averia

Its quite ironic that the film’s title is Disconnection Notice, as I didn’t really feel any connection to the story. It’s hard to invest in the story when it doesn’t really give you enough to connect to it. For a monochrome film, it also gets inconsistent with its cinematography. Maybe it’s just me, I really can’t say.

‘Wag Mo ‘Kong Kausapin – 9/10

Dir. Josef Gacutan

This to me is the best film of this batch. It’s a well-executed and fully realized concept, that’s elevated even more by the creative methods of animation and excellent acting from the cast. The simplicity of the story is what I appreciated the most here, it talks about mental illness in a different light, in a way that’s more relatable and understable by many.

Stay tuned to My Reel Thoughts for more Cinemalaya 2019 reviews coming in the next few days.

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