The Philippines, 2000, 13’, Tagalog with English
Directed by: Raymond Red
Script: Raymond Red
Photography (color): Raymond Red
Editing: Raymond Red
Producer: R. Red (Mistulangpelikula/PelikulaRed)
Cast: Ronnie Lazaro (the photographer), Eddie Garcia (the angry driver), John Arcilla (the man in black), Ronnie Pulido (street boy), Ermie Concepcion (old woman in church)
Date of First Release in Territory: June 1st, 2000
The only time the Philippines won a Palme d’Or in Cannes was thanks to Raymond Red, back in 2000, with his remarkable short film Shadows (Anino). In about 12 minutes only, Raymond Red, one of the foremost figures of Indie cinema in the Philippines (Bayani, Sakay, and many short films), draws a moving and realistic portrait of Manila and its social contradictions.
The main thread to this urban tale is the atypical character of a poor naive man (Ronnie Lazaro) trying to survive by taking pictures of people in churches or in the streets. Going out of the Malate church, he meets a strange “man in black” (John Arcilla) who tells him in a rough way that “real people are on the street, not in the church.” However, as the hungry photographer goes to the streets, he also meets his exact opposite: a rich older man (Eddie Garcia), angered by the traffic jams, and ready to kill anyone to make his way. Meanwhile, the photographer has his camera snatched by a nice street kid, who looks so friendly... Shadows of life. The interconnection of all those characters who meet at random is both real and symbolic, in a city where anything can happen.
Thus, most of the contradictions and social inequalities of the Filipino society are put to a boiling point in only a few minutes by Raymond Red, who directs and photographs the film in a stunning melange of fiction and documentary, with perfect balance, showing the multiple levels of life in Manila, in a cruel tale of urban city.
A well deserved Golden Palm indeed.
One of the pioneering figures of modern Filipino alternative cinema, Raymond Red (b. 1965) is one of the pioneering figures of modern Filipino alternative cinema. He established himself with groundbreaking short films in the 1980s, and then moved on to independent full-length features in the 1990s, with Bayani and Sakay. He got international recognition in 2000 with his short film Shadows, which won the Golden Palm in Cannes for best short. He went on with more feature films like Manila Skies (2010), Kamera Obskura (2012), or Mga rebeldeng may kaso (2015). He was honored at the Sandaan Philippine Cinema Centennial celebrations in 2019.
1983 – Kabaka (short)
1988 – A Study for the Sky (short)
1989 – Pepe (short)
2000 – Shadows (short)
1992 – Bayani
1993 – Sakay
1997 – Kamada
2009 – Manila Skies
2012 – Kamera Obskura
2015 – Mga rebeldeng may kaso