Cover Photo: Thomas William on Unsplash

For its 6th edition, Nespresso narrowed down 933 film entries and awarded three directors who produced quality movies focused on the theme 'Doing Is Everything'.

The COVID-19 pandemic was among the biggest and deadliest threats that the modern world faced. Through its course, many life-changing events took place; ones that no man has ever imagined a few years back. Because of this, Nespresso Talents 2021 opened with the theme Doing Is Everything, a nod to people who, despite being under the constant pressure of the pandemic, took small leaps of faith that resulted in positive changes amongst themselves and others. 

Nespresso Talents is a celebration of creative filmmaking. Now in its sixth year, this unique competition empowers filmmakers to tell a story through the format of vertical video. 

Read more: Tatler Philippines Joins Nespresso In Celebrating Craftsmanship And Care

More Than 900 Entries 

This year's contest witnessed outstanding works from over 993 filmmakers around the world, 71 of these are from the Philippines. The prerequisite for every film submission was it should be in vertical format (9:16) with the length of two minutes minimum and three minutes maximum, in any genre. In every country, only three filmmakers will be awarded.

Special Set Of Jury 

While the task for the participants was to share their stories through vertical film, it was also a challenging feat for the local jury to deliberate and narrow down the finalists from the number of promising entries received.

The 71 entries have been assessed with the expertise of award-winning director, screenwriter, and author Jose Javier Reyes, multi-awarded filmmaker Quark Henares, renowned actress, producer, director, screenwriter, and author Bela Padilla, along with Novateur Coffee Concepts Managing Director Patrick Pesengco and Nespresso South East Asia Regional Business Development Manager Fabio de Gregorio.

“I was amazed once again with the quality of the films, especially considering the pandemic that we are unfortunately living in today. They [films] have been a source of inspiration and there was this great value in them. These films helped me understand the Filipino culture better," said Gregorio.

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Winners

First Place: Napamata Ako sa Sadit na Kinaban (I Woke Up On A Little Planet) by Arjanmar H. Rebeta

The grand winning film for this year is Napamata Ako sa Sadit na Kinaban (I Woke Up On A Little Planet) by Arjanmar H. Rebeta. It tells a story of a man who wakes up on a little planet and doesn't find anything that interests him, so he sleeps on it. Eventually, he realizes that he should have started taking action from the very beginning because the planet depends on the person living on it. A first for Nespresso Philippines–the film is part of the international shortlist.

"I would like to thank Direk Joey–I was touched hearing his words because it made me realize that I was able to convey the film’s message which is somehow my story during this pandemic. As your world gets smaller, the feeling of emptiness gets bigger–there are some who would go through depression, anxiety. Ironically, in a situation where our movements are limited, working on a film that revolved around the theme Doing is Everything allowed us this opportunity to work on something boundless," Rebeta told the jury.

Second Place: 'Ma' by Dexter Paul De Jesus

The second-placed film is 'Ma' by Dexter Paul De Jesus. The film revolves around the story of a son who longs to spend time with his mother who has not come home due to her job as a medical frontline worker. 

Third Place: Special Delivery by Gerald Foliente (Sinematika Inc.)

Placing third is Special Delivery by Gerald Foliente (Sinematika Inc.). A story of a delivery man who gets into a minor accident and feels the pain it brought him, but it doesn't hinder his determination to finish his deliveries for the day. The pinwheel he's been carrying since he started the day was broken, but he made sure to fix it. He returns home, handing a surprise to his son.

The grand winner received a cash prize (PHP) equivalent to 1,500€, followed by 1,000€ for the runner-up, and 500€ for the third placer. All three winners received Nespresso machines and coffees on top of a well-deserved trophy.

More from Tatler: Nespresso Talents 2021: Submission Guidelines, Deadline, And What To Know

Local Finalists

Narrowing down the creative works of 71 filmmakers was not an easy task for the jury, so here are the local finalists for this year's Nespresso Talents: 

Mr Everything by Romel Cabuguang: A tutor, an illustrator, a barber, an online seller–a 25-year-old Rommel Royo wears many hats so he's able to support his mom and brother.

PR 3953, NOW BOARDING by John Thomas Trinidad: Despite a daughter having a conflict with her dad, even the smallest bit of giving him a neck pillow shows how much he means to her.

Waves by Ian Palomar: Musical depiction associating sea and waves with a person and life's struggles.

PARA UMA (farmer) by John Kenneth Paclibar: A visual and realistic portrayal of a Filipino folk song, "Magtanim ay di biro (Literal translation: Planting is not a joke)," which talks about the challenges in the lives of farmers. The ending shows the average age of farmers.

SAKA NA (SOMEDAY) by Cheska Marfori: Two sisters put their dreams aside and take on different paths in life to support their parents' farming jobs.

Bahay-bahayan (Playhouse) by Xyron Parapara: A deaf kid expresses his love towards the people around him through actions.

150+ Heads by Bennel Canlas: Gio DiAntonio, who lives in a shelter for street kids, finds joy as the official barber of those with him. During the pandemic, a friend sought his support in giving free haircuts to nearby areas.

In the coming years, Nespresso promises to give light to the talent of many creatives in the film industry. Novateur Coffee Concepts Managing Director Patrick Pesengco scored the importance of having a program that showcases quality films that highlight today's situations. “It’s very impressive that, though this happened during the entire pandemic lockdown, we still saw the quality in these films. To everyone who has been with us and continues to be with us ever since we launched Nespresso Talents in the Philippines, we really appreciate the belief and sincerity that allow us to promote such young talents.”


In the Philippines, Nespresso Talents 2021 is in partnership with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), De La Salle University College of St. Benilde Film School, and Edukasyon.ph.