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Cinemalaya Online 2020 Shorts B

Cinemalaya 2020: Main Competition Shorts – Set B Film Reviews

This year, Cinemalaya goes online! You can now stream the 10 short films in competition until August 16.

4. Excuse Me Miss, Miss, Miss

Directed by Sonny Calvento
Written by Arden Rod Condez

Excuse me miss miss miss Cinemalaya 2020

While the opening of ‘Excuse Me Miss, Miss, Miss’ is a hilarious introduction into the crazy reality of this short film — beginning with a hilarious commercial of a mall with a very familiar tune with reworded lyrics — the film never maintains the strong comedic tone that its beginning delivers.

Director Sonny Calvento’s challenge is to maintain that energy throughout and the stumbling blocks that occur happen in two fronts — the mismatched performances and the editing. Unfortunately, Phyllis Grande, who portrays the exhausted saleslady Vangie, doesn’t quite bring the character to match the absurdity of the film’s tone; whereas Angelina Kanapi is pitch-perfect at capturing the campiness of the material as the manager with a secret.

It’s tough because Angelina Kanapi is an excellent actress and her role is a frenetic, hyper-real boss that is just right up Angelina Kanapi’s wheelhouse. Her comic timing is right on the money, whereas Grande has the tougher job to suffuse comic energy in a character that is exhausted and tired. There are times when her projection of tiredness is an emotional blank state and at times she just appears to be saying lines and playing against Kanapi, Grande suffers in comparison.

And the editing tends to linger. Comedy is about pacing and timing, and there are moments that a scene has ended but the scene lingers on for a just a few awkward seconds that all that energy is lost.


While ‘Excuse Me Miss, Miss, Miss’ is a campy, absurdist commentary against the working conditions of sales force in malls, the film doesn’t end with any real resolution. In fact, the ending of ‘Excuse Me Miss, Miss, Miss’ goes somewhere else entirely and makes no real statement on the thematic message it explored in the narrative.

The film is a wonderful concept but needed a real strong ending to take the entire concept to the finishing line.

5. The Slums

Directed and written by Jan Andrei Cobey

The Slums - Cinemalaya Online

The hilarious mockumentary ‘The Slums’ by Jan Andrei Cobey is a biting social commentary on documentary filmmaking and the plight of people living in the slum areas of the metro. It is in equal parts funny and biting and casting a wide net that includes its criticism against the documentary format (and how some people exploit it), the stereotypes of people who live in the slum (and our ideas of it), and the conditions of the people who live there (and what we all know but cannot prove).

Other than the witty writing are the fantastic performances by the ensemble. Sunshine Teodoro, Dylan Ray Talon, Jorrybell Agoto, DMs Boongaling, and Kenken Nuyad are amazing at bringing these characters to life while delivering all the punchlines with precise comedic timing, and still carrying all the necessary bite of a proper social commentary.

‘The Slums’ is a really well-crafted short film that fully utilizes its 19-minute running time to deliver as much laughs as it does its criticisms, and never once does it feel like 20 minutes has passed.

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