Fil-Canadian Christian Paolo Lat’s short Red Lights recently won Best Film at the Ottawa Digital Film Festival, besting 18 other films.
The barely 15-minute thriller is a hard look at a crime syndicate in the Philippines. A morose American tourist (Bobby Bowers) allows an ebullient and over-pleasing local taxi driver (Leon Miguel) to take him on a “tour around the city,” which means a beeline to the country’s red-light district.
With a nitty gritty camerawork providing an icky sense of the world of immorality, colonial mentality, poverty, greed, and Third World crime, Lat promptly sets the tone of suspense and mystery, and then takes us on a melancholy and dangerous journey. What he aims to convey with his story—foreigners attacked by low-level piranhas as soon as they step foot on Philippine soil—is up to the viewer, though.
Leon Miguel provides just the right personality to his eager taxi driver role; his over-excitement and kiss-ass demeanor the very archetype of Pinoy hospitality, which also suspiciously masks deceit. For followers of Miguel, who has an impressively long list of roles in critically acclaimed films both local and international, including the 2012 Tribeca winner Graceland and most recently a short stint in Paulo Soriano’s Manny Pacquiao biopic Kid Kulafu, Red Lights proves his versatility as an actor.
Lat, on the other hand, with his indie film production house Wolfpac Films, is a young filmmaker to watch out for, with numerous awards under his belt. His short OFW reaped awards in this year’s Sparta Film Festival in Ottawa, Canada, winning Best Story, Best Visual, Best Picture, and was the overall festival champion. Another film of his, Just Landed, also bagged multiple awards at the recent Singkwento Int’l Film Festival 2015: Best Cultural Film, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor. Salamat Lo,’ another film of his, took home the Best Actor award at the Sinulog Film Festival 2015, with nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Editing.
article courtesy of: http://filmcheckph.blogspot.com/2015/05/red-lights-by-fil-canadian-christian.html