MANILA, Philippines - Psychological short film "TheRapist" by budding Filipino director Maria Diane Ventura maybe just that, short, but it has surely put a strong message across thus its nomination in the 2012 International Film Festival Manhattan.
Ventura's directorial debut will compete against 41 other short films from countries like USA, Taiwan, Australia, Belgium, Russia, United Kingdom, South Korea, Italy, France, and New Zealand, among others.
The 15-minute film starring prime actress Cherie Gil explores the many sides to the issue of rape. It follow the story of a young man (Marco Morales) accused of rape and was sent in for a psychiatric evaluation. As he recalls and narrates the details of what transpired the night of his alleged assault, his therapist (Gil) investigates through psychoanalysis the veracity of his statements.
Also featured in the 2011 Cinemanila International Film Festival, the ingeniously titled and executed "TheRapist" also boasts of incredible music score by singer-songwriter Ely Buendia, who happens to be Ventura's ex boyfriend-turned-business-partner.
In a previous Bulletin Entertainment report, Ventura related that enlisting Gil for the film was shot in the moon as they've not known each other at all. Fortunately, after sending the script to the veteran actress, the former obliged and signed up for the project.
"But she was careful not to step on my toes. Cherie is collaborative as artist but respectful, too, in that sense," Ventura related.
In a release, the director-producer was quoted as saying, "'TheRapist" is about female empowerment and "about not allowing yourself to be put in a position where you shouldn't be..."
Other than the "TheRapist," award-winning independent films namely Aureaus Solito's "Busong," Paul Soriano's"Thelma," Adolfo Alix Jr.'s "Haruo," Will Fredo's "The Caregiver," and Jerrold Tarog's "Aswang" have been nominated in the IFFM.