Animal Crossing is an exceedingly fun game–you get to build an island, interact with your villagers, and have fun creating it however you like. It’s a lot of fun. But have you ever thought of making a film with it–much less one that jumps off from one of the most important pieces of literature in our country?
Here comes ISLA, a film that’s exactly that by a group of clever friends who decided to embark on a film journey and create the world of Isla Repollo. Here we can see some familiar characters we’ve all grown familiar with: Crisostomo Ibarra (or Simoun, if you like), Elias, Padre Salvi, Maria Clara (as a Katipunera!), and others. And it’s truly fantastic. It’s gripping, emotional, and very impressive.
Check it out here:
“It all started with me wanting to create a probinsya theme. I have seen a lot of Japanese inspired, Cottage, Urban, you name it- but rarely something tropical Filipino,” one of the creators, Jeff, said. “There’s a lot of furniture, game elements, and landscape elements like the ‘tropical palm,’ bamboo fences, barbed wire etc, that fits into that Tropical island ‘vibe’. The plan evolved into recreating churches, rice paddies, farms, and even wet markets or nipa stalls.”
When asked about why they were inspired by Noli me Tangere specifically, he said, “I was always intrigued by Elias and Ibarra’s relationship, and there are so much what if’s on the novel. Hence, the BL spin-off. Also, imagine a Maria Clara- the typical image of a young demure Filipina turned into a katipunera. I feel that there are cultural and gender stereotypes that could be freed up with a different storytelling and character development.”
“In making the short film: It took more than a month in building the island progressively and the set. Writing/storyboard about 1 week. Recording scenes took about 1 week (during my off days and weeknights). And a full weekend for editing and post-processing. The costume designs are mostly from talented people in interest groups on facebook or Instagram, with permission to use. and I invited two of my friends in the community to be a cast on outdoor shoots – and the rest of the interior was shot Harv’s island.”
Amazing! Kudos to you guys!