There are only so many ways you can tell a story about heartbreak. The heart knows its cracks and bruises, no matter how its history is told. In the case of Petersen Vargas’ Lisyun qng Geografia, this bitter sting still clings in the memories of its two leads, Tib (Earl Policarpio) and Tric (Ross Pesigan), high school friends who have crossed, one unwillingly, the borders of their intimacy. The 20-minute short has grown legs on its own since debuting as Vargas’ thesis at the UP Film Institute last year. It has taken a surreal trip from to film festivals in Mindanao, Pampanga, Thailand, Mumbai, and finally, this year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival, where it earned Vargas the Best Director award.
Vargas, only 23 years old, treats his inclusion in this year’s Cinemalaya as a homecoming of sorts, having trooped to the CCP in the previous years, religiously watching Cinemalaya films. Though Lisyun has made rounds of the aforementioned film festivals (it was even included in the ANI section of Cinemalaya in 2014), getting into the main slate of this year’s competition, which solely focused on short films, afforded Vargas to reach out a wider audience for his little labor of love.
“Ang laking factor nung cinema because there are people who come up to you and say “Kwento ko din yan or ‘Naka-relate ako, thank you for making this’,” Vargas says.