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"EXTRA RICE!" and its exclamation point to give Filipinos a sense of urgency to be aware about the current state of our farmers.

I got the concept for this short film in a dream I had last summer. It is not new to me, I dream about film concepts all the time. But this concept is one of the most relevant film concepts I've ever dreamed of. This is also one of the most special projects our team, Iskoliarium, has ever made.

"Extra Rice!" is the first project I tried to incorporate a formulaic touch to appeal to the mainstream audience, that way we can send a message to more Filipinos. This is the first project I had the chance to work with Neal and Terresa--it's Neal's birthday today! And this is the first project I used an exclamation point on a title; to give a sense of urgency for Filipinos to be aware about the current state of our farmers. Our team used our small platform to make a short film that would start a discussion or at least spark up a conversation to push Filipinos to learn more about the killings, the land grabbing, and the violation of human rights our farmers are facing every single day for years. The media are not covering this.

Stop killing farmers. We ended our short film with this caption, hoping by the time our short film ends, they will research what is the issue about the farmers and why “they” should stop killing them. Teachers from a certain school in Caloocan City chose our short film as the subject of several senior high students’ review papers. A teacher reached out to me last night saying our short film can influence many people. I think four sections are enough proof. Indeed, short films are powerful.

I dreamed of making short films for myself when I was young and now, I dream of making short films that will hopefully educate Filipinos about societal issues and the art of film in general. When I look at the title of our short film, I never forget the exclamation point, the emphasis, the need to wake Filipinos up. And I will never forget that in different parts of our country there are farmers being slain. I say “Thanks” when people praise our short film because it is “cool” and “relevant”, but at the back of my mind, I wish for everyone who saw our short film to learn more about the state of our farmers. I wish you would too.

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