Film & TV

Nespresso Talents announces Philippines Top 10 finalists

Amid recent events that faced the world with many uncertainties, creativity proved to be a resilient gift that always flourishes. This year, Nespresso Talents continued pushing the boundaries in filmmaking through its vertical format challenge. Launched in February, the theme “Virtuous Circles” challenged aspiring filmmakers to tell stories of how one good deed can be a catalyst for greater things to benefit the world. The theme proved to be more relevant than ever as the pandemic intensified the world’s need for inspiration, solidarity, and meaningful storytelling.

On its fifth run globally, the Philippines is the only Southeast Asian country that joined this year’s Nespresso Talents. The competition welcomed both budding and expert filmmakers which consequently generated a total of 83 entries. As the competition draws to a close, meet Nespresso Talents’ top 10 finalists who showcased stories of challenging realities and the inherent resilience among Filipinos.

Cultivating the Art of Filmmaking

Storytelling is a part of Nespresso’s brand DNA. With this project, the brand offered a global platform for Filipino storytellers to showcase their ingenuity and passion.

A partnership that is as perfect as a cup of freshly brewed coffee, Nespresso Philippines sought the support of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) to reach out to the community of storytellers and filmmakers. It also partnered with Manila’s top film school, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, to bring awareness to the competition by hosting a 1-day free workshop conducted by some of CSB’s academe. The workshop covered the following categories: Storytelling by Tito Valiente (film educator / film critic), Critiquing by Wanggo Gallaga (filmmaker / screenwriter / film educator) and Visualization by Carlo Catu (award-winning film director). The workshop was attended by students from various universities, film enthusiasts, aspiring film makers, and industry practitioners.

The Top 10 Finalists 

“Jemma” by Chloe Villavelez

A deaf woman learns how to paint despite the communication barrier between herself and the art studio staff.

“Tsinelas” by Charlene Tupas

Despite differing backgrounds and personal challenges, two boys meet and one of them offers help that creates an impact in the other boy’s life. 

“My Brother” by Massah Gonzales-Gamboa

A heartwarming story that narrates a boy’s admiration for his older brother, who continues to be his role model.

“Ilaw” by Andrei Fonseca

A mother finds inspiration in her children amidst the darkness of life’s daily struggles.

“The Challenges of Doing Good” by Gary Georgec

A chronicle about a man’s father who pursued to commit one act of good every day. 

“Sama-sama” by Roman Marcus Abad

A heartwarming animation depicting a rabbit and a turtle’s journey to watch a hot air balloon festival. 

“Imong Anihon Imong Gitanom” by Breech Asher Harani

A reflection on nature as one of the most overlooked catalysts for change.

“Dreamers” by Ej Gagui

An aspiring filmmaker partners with two hopeful actors from the Aeta community to pursue their dreams with the help of each other.

“Padayon” by Clanch Dayve Belleza

A story of a man who struggles to provide for his sick mother but learns to keep going through the process. 

“Cheat Day” by Ramil Lantican

A teacher finds herself in a ruckus when her students execute a secret surprise.  

Celebrating Talents  

Out of the 10 entries, the local jury will choose the top three films which will be announced on July 9. The winning filmmakers will receive the following cash prizes: €1,500 for the first prize, €1,000 for the second prize, and €500 for the third prize. All three will also be given a trophy and a Nespresso coffee machine with capsules.

Nespresso Philippines formed a bona fide set of jury consisting of producer, director, TV Host, writer, and professor, Joey Reyes; filmmaker, director, and scriptwriter, Antoinette Jadaone; TV & events host and World Wide Fund for Nature & World Vision ambassador, Marc Nelson; Nespresso Asia Regional Business Development Manager, Fabio de Gregorio; and Novateur Coffee Concepts Managing Director, Patrick Pesengco. All five jurors can attest that the selection process was nothing less than inspiring. Seeing how much talent and creativity is out there, and how much potential lies in Filipino filmmakers truly encouraged the group, and validated the significance of the project. 

 “The 10 finalists really earned their spot. They communicated the theme well and I feel very hopeful for the next generations of filmmakers. Congratulations to all of them,” says Jadaone. The same sentiments were shared by Reyes, who further elaborated on his optimism towards the project: “Nespresso Talents is a great opportunity for aspiring filmmakers because it makes them think out of the box. The virtuous circles theme and the vertical format medium motivated young filmmakers to sharpen their creativity, which is very important in an industry that highly values brilliant story-telling. The top 10 finalists did exactly that so I commend them for their brilliance and hard work.” Pesengco explained that Nespresso’s role in film is something that is rooted in the company’s identity: “Creativity plays an integral role in all the things we do in Nespresso. We always strive to tell stories that uplift people, and what better way to do it than through film? We are proud of the finalists and we hope that the theme, virtuous circles, doesn’t end here – we hope that it continues to inspire others so that we can really look forward to brighter days ahead.” 

A supporter of cinema and dynamic storytelling, the brand hopes to go further with its initiative to foster Filipino talent in filmmaking and continue to run the Nespresso Talents in the coming years. 

Watch the films of the local finalists at

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