Mapua student wins Russo brothers' short film competition


July 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino student filmmaker Adam Dominic Dumaguin's short film "My House" reflects his vision of creating heartwarming movies.

It won third place at the recently concluded inaugural No Sleep 'till Film Fest 2021 international competition held by the AGBO production company owned by Marvel film directors Anthony and Joe Russo.

“As a future filmmaker, I aim to produce stories that closely resemble Pixar's (Pixar Animation Studios). I want to make heartwarming stories in the face of tragedy. I would also love to do drama, thriller and action,” the first-year Digital Film student of Mapua University said.

"My House" sees Dave, a 12-year-old boy, who loves to narrate about his favorite features of his house.

His entry is among the 700 film entries from across the globe for the 48-hour competition. Entries must be kid-friendly with a run time of within three minutes.

The 20-year-old freelance photographer, videographer and film student is hands-on when it comes to his filmmaking. In his winning entry, he is credited as the writer, director, cinematographer, key grip, sound mixer, art director, editor and colorist.

“The goal of the film was to deliver an impactful message within a short period. Before entering the contest, I extensively studied and dissected famous Thailand short films on YouTube. Because of this, I was able to apply the same principles, timing and structure of Thailand Short Films to my story,” Dumaguin shared.

He received a Talent Scholarship for Fine Arts Bachelor’s degree in the New York Film Academy based on his portfolio back in 2020. Dumaguin, however, chose to stay in the Philippines and enroll at Mapua University due to the pandemic.

Dumaguin shared that his main goal as a filmmaker enrolled at the university was to make mistakes as much as he could, understanding that the school is a safe space to make mistakes and to learn from them.

“By knowing that I can afford to make mistakes, I always try out new things and be myself without the pressure of the industry. Because of this, I wrote my first grammatically incorrect screenplay, my blurred camera shots and my awful directing," he said.

The student filmmaker added that even if he had won in a competition, he still has a lot to learn and understand.

Southern California native Kali Davis won first place with her entry "Happy Day", about a Polish cleaning woman who makes her way through workday, struggling with the birthday unit on her English learning podcast.

Actor-filmmaker Stephen Ford placed second with his surreal action comedy "Pineapple". It explores the blurred line of reality and film, in a world where everyone seems to be a filmmaker, one director has to fight to upload his short film to meet the deadline in a 48-hour film contest.


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