Maricel Cariaga

I graduated with the course Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering at the University of La Salette, Santiago City, Isabela Philippines in the year 2005. Then finished Masters of Science in Information Technology (2006) and Master of Arts in Education – Educational Management (2014) at the same university. I also took up eighteen (18) units in the Bachelor of Secondary Education – Major in Mathematics and passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers last August 2014.

In the year 2005, I started working as a college instructor at AMA Computer College. Then went to teach at my Alma Mater, University of La Salette in the year 2010. I resigned April of 2014 to pursue a course in Filmmaking.

I studied Motion Picture Production at Asia Pacific Film Institute, Quezon City, Philippines, in June 2014 and finished March of 2015. IMAHE (Image) is the first short film I did with my classmates at film school and made it into local competitions. It was in competition at Singkuwento International Film Festival 2015 and Won Best Actor for Soliman Cruz. I was the Assistant Director, Production Designer and Producer for the short film. The film also made it as finalist in the UP Piling Obrang Vidyo 2015, and also won Best Performance for Soliman Cruz.

I attended the 2nd Brillante Mendoza Film Workshop in April 2015 and came up with a short film entitled Lapis (Pencil) which was awarded Best in Cinematography during the culminating event last May 8, 2015. I was the director, writer, cinematographer and producer of the film. LAPIS also made it as a finalist in the Metro Manila Film Festival HOOQ Short Film Competition 2015.

I joined the Sineng Pambansa Climate Change Scriptwriting Contest spearheaded by the Film Development Council of the Philippines sometime in April of 2015. I was announced first place winner amongst 187 entries last September 17, 2015, for the Short Narrative entitled ‘Ang Bisikleta ni Lolo Kiko (Grandpa Kiko’s Bike)’, which was inspired by the visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines, earlier in the year.

Then came the opportunity to write a farmer story for the 1st ToFarm Film Festival in the Philippines. My script, Pitong Kabang Palay (Seven Sacks of Rice), was chosen as one of the SIX finalists, amongst 69 submissions. My debut full feature film emerged as one of the most awarded films in the Awards Night that happened last July 20, 2016. It won 2nd Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Ensemble, Best Supporting Actor for Micko Laurente, Best Sound and Best Music. It also won Best Children Film Badal Rahman Award at the 15th Dhaka International Film Festival, Dhaka, Bangladesh last January 20, 2017. The same film will also be part of the Agape Choice at the 14th Seoul International Agape Film Festival, Seoul, South Korea on April 20-25, 2017.

Pitong Kabang Palay (2016)

Film type: FULL LENGTH

Synopsis
On the rice fields of Isabela, the dela Cruz family lives a simple, frugal life, devoid of electricity or any luxury, making ends meet by planting rice and gathering what the season offers. The young Balong dreams of graduating and helping his parents, as he and his siblings witness the daily struggles their parents’ experience. As his mother Deling and father Jaime try to find ways to feed the family while supporting their studies, Balong and his brother Lito try to compensate by studying hard and earning honors at school. Dreaming of a better life, Balong counts the sacks of rice they have left, the money they need, and the little moments that led to an inevitable departure that will leave them all affected.

Cast

Arnold Reyes
Sue Prado
Micko Laurente
Precious Miel Espinosa
Alfonso Yñigo Delen

Role
Writer | Director

Awards

Star Awards for Movies 2017
Alfonso Yñigo Delen (Child Performer of the Year)
“Apat na Buwan”  (Indie Movie Original Theme Song of the Year
Best Children’s Film citation at the 15th Dhaka International Film Festival in Bangladesh
Golden Owl Award at the Aichi International Women’s Film Festival in Japan
2nd Best Picture, the Special Award for Outstanding Ensemble, Best Supporting Actor, Best Sound, Best Music, and Best Screenplay at the ToFarm Film Festival 2016

Film Festival

Film Festival: 1st ToFarm Film Festival 2016

Lapis (2015)

Film type: SHORTFILM

Synopsis
A pencil artist, already in his fifties, applies for a job as a graphic designer but his confidence was shattered when he found out that his pencils are already preceded by a more advance technology.

Cast

Soliman Cruz
Mac Mendoza
Tony Cabatit
Leslie Reyes
May Palaruan

Role

Writer | Director | Cinematographer | Editor | Executive Producer
Production Company: Centerstage Productions in cooperation with Spears Films

Awards

Film Festival: MMFF 2015 New Wave HOOQ Short Film Section (Official Entry)