The superstitions of Filipino ambulance drivers are thefocus of a 15-minute short film titled Ambulancia starring Alan Pauleand Nor Domingo. Directed by Richard Legaspi, this is the first Pinoy film that will compete in the 32nd Open Air FilmfestWeiterstadt in Germany.
Ambulancia will have its German premiere at the filmfest, touted as the "Woodstock of short films," from August 14 to 18,2008.
Filmfest Weiterstadt received more than 1,600 submissionsworldwide and the festival committee selected only 195 films this year.
Andreas Heidenreich, who is in charge of Weiterstadt'sinternational programming, revealed that Ambulancia is the firstFilipino film selected in their festival since it started in 1977. Aside from Legaspi's short film,representing Asian Cinema in the festival this year are films from Japan,Malaysia, Thailand, and a German-Chinese co-production.
Mr. Legaspi, a faculty of the University of the East Collegeof Fine Arts, is a fellow of the 2007 Asian Film Academy, an educationalprogram of the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea and a graduateof Ricky Lee's 14th scriptwriting workshop for film and television.
Ambulancia has a painful twist about an ambulancedriver, played by character actor Alan Paule, who believes that a dying patientcan be saved by running over stray animals on the streets. Paule, who is being managed by Ed Estrella,acts opposite thespian Nor Domingo of the Philippine Educational TheaterAssociation (PETA).
Legaspi was also ably supported by director of photographyAlbert Banzon, assistant director Jules Katanyag, AD/co-producer/editor AnnaIsabelle Matutina, co-producer Eloisa Espino-Sanchez, productionmanager/musical scorer Pam Miras, co-PM Seymour Barros Sanchez, and productiondesigners Sunny Completo, Bon Labora, Grace Orbon, and Bernadette Reyes.
Ambulancia is also set to compete in otherinternational film festivals in Greece (Patras City), North Korea (Pyongyang),and the United Kingdom (Bite the Mango) next month.
It earlier won the grand prize in the Viva-Pinoy Box Office Digitales 2 shortfilm competition and the best short narrative film in the firstQuisumbing-Escandor Film Festival for Health.
The film also competed in another festival in Greece(Naoussa) and was exhibited in South Korea (Pusan's AFA Fellows' Night). Ambulancia was also screened as partof Cinemanila 2007's Young Cinema Night program, Cinemalaya 2008's Best ofIndie Sine Shorts '08: Katorse, and University of Sto. Tomas' CineVita. Along with six other short films from theKatorse Writers Group, it had a successful week-long screening at the RobinsonsGalleria IndieSine last June.