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3 Compelling Films by Cinemalaya Best Film Director Carla Ocampo

Carla Pulido Ocampo is especially known for her documentary films about Philippine culture.

The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival’s first virtual Award Program has recently concluded with Tokwifi winning not only the Best Film award, but also the NETPAC Jury Prize.

According to the jury, Tokwifi won “for its highly original take on love between two persons coming from different areas and worlds, and how identity and tradition could best be bridged by common humanity.” The 20-minute short film was directed by Carla Pulido Ocampo and tells the love story between a Bontoc Igorot man and a 1950s actress trapped inside a television set. 

“In this film, I wanted to reflect the fact na outsider ako dito eh, ang dami kong insecurities being part of the Bontoc community. It symbolizes that. So, I decided na i-merge ang mundo ng mga bituin — a Manila star — at mga tiga Bondoc,” Carla said when asked about her inspiration for the film. (Read: How Can Knitted Toys Help Save Ifugao’s Rice Terraces?)

Carla Pulido Ocampo might be a new face in the Philippine film industry, but the Tokwifi director has already accomplished notable projects over the years. She is especially known for her compelling documentary films about Philippine culture and the lives of different Filipino people. Read on to know some of them!

Walang Rape sa Bontok

Carla was one of the writers of Walang Rape sa Bontok a documentary film directed by Lester Valle in 2014. The film touches on the timely and relevant issues of rape culture in the country. (Read: Catholic Nun on Rape Culture: ‘Stop Victim Blaming’)

Walang Rape sa Bontok follows the journey of two women, both victims of sexual abuse, as they search for a society where women can live without being sexually violated. Their curiosity leads them to the study of a renowned anthropologist June Prill-Brett, Ph.D., who suggests that they might find it in the Bontok of the Cordilleras, where a community lived for eras without an incident of rape or harassment against women.

Ang Babae sa Likod ng Mambabatok 

Ang Babae sa Likod ng Mambabatok is a documentary film by Carla and Lauren Sevilla Faustino. The film shows the viewers a closer glimpse into the life of Whang Od, the 103-year-old woman of Buscalan who has been called the “Last [Traditional] Tattoo Artist of Kalinga.” (Read: Apo Whang-Od Receives NCCA Dangal ng Haraya Award)

Dapol Tan Payawar Na Tayug 1931

Carla was also a part of a 2017 documentary film by Christopher Gozum. Titled Dapol Tan Payawar Na Tayug 1931, the film follows the story of the Philippines’ unknown folk hero, Pedro Calosa, and the historic Tayug Uprising of 1931. (Read: Five Filipinas who fought strongly for what they believed in)

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