ANIMA Short Film Lab entry “HITO” joins the youth-focused category of the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) happening on February 16 to 26, 2023. Together with other international entries, “HITO” enters the Generation14 programme that caters to audiences under 18.
“HITO,” directed by Stephen Lopez, is one of the products of the ANIMA Short Film Lab, a program where emerging filmmakers are mentored by experienced industry professionals such as John Torres, Jade Castro, Mario Cornejo, and Gian Abrahan. Participants get the opportunity to join sessions conducted by industry experts such as award-winning cinematographer Neil Daza, production designer Ben Padero, director Carlo Francisco Manatad, and ANIMA Studios Head Bianca Balbuena.
“HITO” takes place in an alternate Manila where a misunderstood youth named Jani discovers that the catfish she had been given for dinner is a rehabilitated bioweapon named Kiefer. This peculiar discovery brings her on a bizarre journey of self-discovery that will pit her against the perils of a violent society and an authoritarian regime.
The ANIMA Short Film Lab guides aspiring filmmakers to balance the occupational realities of filmmaking and their unique perspectives as artists. This mentorship was provided from start to finish, helping creators from ideation to finding audiences.
Berlinale is one of the largest public film festivals in the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from around the globe each year. The festival brings the big stars of international cinema to Berlin, discovers new talents, and accompanies filmmakers of all disciplines on their paths into the spotlight.