QCinema 2021 unveils entries to Asian Shorts lineup

The program includes Petersen Vargas' 'How To Die Young In Manila'.

QCinema 2021 has just announced the entries to its Asian Shorts program, one that hopes to “shine a spotlight on emerging Asian names in the festival circuit.” Among the entries are two Filipino films having their Philippine premieres: Rafael Manuel’s Filipiñana and Petersen Vargas’ How To Die Young In Manila.

Following a ‘hybrid’ setup this year, QCinema is all-set to bring the film fest experience to Pinoy cinephiles. The films below, including the in-competition short films, will be available to access via KTX.ph come festival premiere.

Here are the six entries to QCinema 2021’s Asian Shorts program:

Dear To Me

An Indonesian queer story “tackling themes of repression and myth,” Monica Vanesa Tedja’s Dear To Me follows a young man who goes on vacation in hopes of finding his soulmate. The short film won Special Mention at the 2021 Locarno Open Door Shorts.

Sunrise In My Mind

Danech San’s Sunrise in My Mind is a romance set in Phnom Penh, Thailand, between a hairdresser and a delivery man. It premiered at the 2020 Busan International Film Festival and later screened at Malaysia’s SeaShorts Film Festival.

New Abnormal

Sorayos Prapapan’s New Abnormal is a comedy that follows “human life during the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand and follows different characters from various scenarios”.

Live in Cloud Cuckoo Land

Live in Cloud Cuckoo Land depicts the “love story of a woman who works at a wedding dress shop and a local busker.” Co-directed by Vũ Minh Nghĩa and Phạm Hoàng Minh Thy, the film is described as “a modern tale of Kafka in Vietnam.”

How to Die Young In Manila

Petersen Varagas’ latest short film, How To Die Young In Manila, stars Elijah Canlas and Kokoy De Santos (Gameboys: The Movie). Making its Philippine premiere with QCinema, the film follows Canlas’ character as he charts the hustler-ridden streets of Manila looking for his hookup. The film is co-written by Vargas, Jade Castro (Zombadings Part I: Patayin Sa Shokoy Si Remington), and Kaj Palanca (Contestant #4).

Filipiñana

Rafael Manuel’s Filipiñana is “about Isabel, the new ‘tee-girl’ in an exclusive golf club who’s struggling for ways to subvert the system.” The short film earned the Silver Bear at this year’s Berlinale.


QCinema is slated from November 26 to December 5, 2021. As aforementioned, the festival will take on a hybrid approach, having onsite screenings at Gateway Cineplex 10 (following IATF protocols) and online screenings via KTX.ph.

Follow QCinema on Facebook for updates.

Armando Dela Cruz

Editor-at-large and co-pilot of this crazy project. A self-proclaimed scream queer out of the '90s, I like writing about horror and cinema. Apart from Unreel, I write for Rappler, Screen Anarchy, and other places.

Geoffrey Ledesma

Will kill Jedi for food.
When I'm not in the movies, I'm posting food porn at geoffreview.com.

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