The Making of ‘Paano Maging Babae’: An Award-Winning Student Film by Gian Arre

Metro Manila Film Festival 2020 Best Student Short Film, Best Screenplay at Sine Siklab 2020, Finalist at Gawad Alternatibo 2020, Finalist at Cinemapua 2020 and featured at the Hongkong Filmart 2021.

At 25, Gian Andre Rembrandt Arre, who graduated at De La Salle College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts has already carved his name in the mentioned film festivals. His film, “Paano Maging Babae," a short film that speaks against injustice brought by misogyny truly made a difference.

“I've been told before that I had no business telling women-centric stories because I'm a man and I fully acknowledge the criticism. Try as I might, I'm aware there will always be nuances to the female struggle that only women filmmakers can tell. However, I am compelled to insist that just because a certain type of struggle eludes us does not mean we shouldn't try to understand and empathize on a shared language, Gian told The Film Dream.

“Paano Maging Babae,” was written and directed by Gian himself and not to mention it was a one-man production team. It follows a woman who arrives late to take a mandatory nationwide exam and discovers that the whole test is unironically misogynistic. With no morally correct answers, she decides to demonstrate how she feels about the test and the socially accepted injustice that it represents.

Gian also emphasized that his film conveys the message that while older generations had to go through more suffocating social cultures, the women in our youth today have begun to turn the tide against those enduring forms of oppression.

When asked about the inspiration of his film and how he came up with the theme, Gian shared a short anecdote with The Film Dream.

“Originally, I wrote and shot 'Paano Maging Babae' as a finals project for a Philosophy class. I had written the idea for the film several months prior but I didn't have the opportunity to shoot it until that class came. At that time, it was meant to be part of a series of shorts about oppression with women at the center of each story,” Gian added.

He was also inspired by Lynne Ramsay's "Small Deaths," a film that chronicles 3 incidents in a girl's life that ultimately shaped her perspective towards adulthood.

But just like any other filmmaker’s journey, he had his own fair share of ups and downs. In fact, he shared the challenges he had to face since he is the producer, director, shooter, and video editor in one.