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First Santa Maria Music and Film Festival happening on December 2

Take the outdoor music and movie festival to a new level with Mother Nature on top of the mountain in Santa Maria, Laguna’s northernmost town.

This is the first time an outdoor event like this has ever been held.

There will be a view of Laguna de Bay and the windmills of Pililia, Rizal from the site, which is on top of Mount Banahaw, Mount Cristobal, and Mount Sembrano.

There is something truly stunning about this view.

The Santa Maria Academy Dance Troupe, a source of community pride, officially launched the event.

Teenagers in high school will greet everyone who comes to the movie, and neighborhood performers will do the opening act.

Acoustic guitarists and singers Miro Valera and Jeff Bolivar will do their sets between the film showings.

The Santa Maria Music and Film Festival (SMMFF), which takes place on December 2, will show seven short films. The event lasts three hours, from 3pm to 6pm, and includes films from all kinds of independent movie writers and directors.

From the 20 entries, about 13 were selected based on the selection criteria. So what were the criteria for judging the entries and how did they make it into the shortlist?

Judging Guidelines:

  • Viewing Window: October 5-20, 2023.
  • Rating Criteria: As detailed below.
  • Feedback: Encouraged for filmmakers’ growth. (Not mandatory)
  • Winners: Based on cumulative scores post-judging.

Platform Details:

We’re utilizing FilmFreeway for this year’s festival. Once confirmed, you’ll gain exclusive access to the submitted films. Access to your Judge dashboard has been granted.

Assigned Films:

For multiple films in a category, please use the Rating Criteria. For single-entry categories, employ Merit-Based Evaluation.

Rating Criteria (Multiple Films):

  • 10 stars for top choice.
  • 9 stars for the next, descending accordingly.

Merit-Based Evaluation (Single Entries):

  • Films will be judged on their merits against SMMFF’s criteria.
  • A score of 85 is required for award consideration.
  • Score guide

While optional, we encourage providing constructive feedback to filmmakers.

Here are the Top 7 from the 13 pre-selected films:

  1. The Vibe Operator (part 1) – is a student film by Michael Moore from USA. Mike presents “The Vibe Operator,” a modern sci-fi rock opera about a disillusioned rockstar leaving Earth for deep space to live out his ego-driven dream. In a future where most have evolved into a collective hive, Android Andrew is inspired by ancient Earth music and rebels against The Collective’s oppressive ways.Mike Moore wrote, directed, and performed in the prototype for his master’s thesis at Berklee College of Music NYC in 2022, with an album set to release this year.
  2. Bitter Brownies by James Carman from USA. In this dark comedy, a devious thief pilfers lunches from the company refrigerator. Staff employees are out for blood. Where will the food bandit strike next?!!!
  3. Life Savers by Lukasz Wdowicz,  Poland. This is a short commercial about a Granddaughter is up to no good to get out of a family gathering around an ill grandfather at the hospital.
  4.  Searching for Chunk by Samuel Haft, USA. It’s a short documentary about two friends discover an old novelty record on youtube, and in trying to track down the story behind it, accidentally launch themselves into an increasingly surreal investigation.
  5. Till the music stop by Emilie De Monsabert from France. A directorial about a witness at her best friend’s wedding, Pauline hopes to enjoy this extraordinary day and to get closer to the handsome Raphael. But it will be hard for her to take her eyes off her disabled daughter Emma, whom she could not bring herself to let keep. 
  6. Dream On – an inspiration short film by Dale Metz, Sarah – Lee Dobbs, United States. The story goes when Kylie dreams of a career in the performing arts. When her audition letter finally arrives, she struggles to find the confidence to make it happen
  7. I Can Do Anything: A Letter to Burning Man – an inspirational film by Alba Roland Mejia, United States. This experimental short film is an intimate, character-focused exploration of the unique black experience at Burning Man. It was not my priority to capture Burning Man itself, but the energy exchange that it has with the present black bodies. My goal is this piece inspires curiosity.

The location

The event will take place at the summit of Sierra Madre. Please note that accessing the location may involve hiking or using designated transportation services. Be ready for the cold winds and possible rains, although the place will have a tent-like structure. The area is a private property owned by the Maliwanag family.


Tito Raffy

is the founder of Tech Patrol, a technology blog established in 2010. When he's not blogging, he dabbles in crypto chart reading and operates his e-Commerce business as a side hustle. You can reach him through his social media profiles below.

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