Special Features

Ilokano-made short film “Miss You, George!” hailed champion at international film fest


After bagging the championship award for best short film at QCinema International Film Festival last year, an Ilokano filmmaker once again proved his artistry as he was hailed champion for his short film entry in an international film festival, last May.

Mr. Mark Lucas Moneda is a filmmaker and a professional Radiologic Technologist from Laoag City. He is the director of “Miss You, George!” the film that was awarded “Best Short Film” at the International Film Festival Manhattan Spring 2021 (IFFMS).

The story of “Miss You, George!” revolves around a boy trapped in the middle of Enhanced Community Quarantine, interconnected with his “long-distance” friend who is a frontline health worker, thru a video call application. The parallelism of their lives under the same circumstance binds them together. It also tackles the struggles and frustrations being faced by medical frontliners amid the pandemic.

The entry also won “Jury Awards Best Short Film” and “Audience Choice Award,” and was nominated for “Best Actor,” “Best Director,” and Best Performance of the Festival” under the short film category.

“Miss You, George!” was also an official selection for 2021 Health For All Film Fest by the World Health Organization in Switzerland, last May, representing the Philippines under the health emergencies category.

“I’ve been writing and making short films since I was 11 years old. My parents were avid movie fans. Siguro, sila rin po talaga ‘yong greatest influence ko, along with the late Direk Emmanuel “Maning” Borlaza, who directed “Dyesebel”, “Darna” movies, and “Bituing Walang Ningning” is my dad’s nearest kin from Laguna,” Mr. Moneda stated.

He has been participating in various competitions initiated by the Provincial Government, including the recent “Tan-ok Film Festival.” He was the writer of the entry, “Ang Mga Nawalang Pag-asa at Panlasa” which was awarded as 1st runner-up, and was qualified as an entry for Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.

“I really love my craft and I’ve been pursuing this passion for almost half of my life. It makes me happy and it’s my dream to turn every imagination into reality, and witness how it affects every viewer, how it touches their soul, how it can change their perspectives. It feels so great to be a part of someone else’s personal development,” Mr. Moneda expressed.

“What I want to share with the youth, particularly to aspiring filmmakers is to listen to their own voice and let their heart speak. Never compare their selves to others and they should grow by learning new things. Most importantly, always put God at the center in everything they do,” he concluded.

The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte continues to provide avenue for amateur and professional film makers through various competitions and programs.– Stewart C. Ocampo