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Karsel (Prison)


About the Film

35mm, dark melodrama, 20 mins., 2003


"Karsel" delves into a young adult woman's submission to a traditional home and her struggle for her liberation.


The overprotected Angela has been kept inside a grand, yet constricting mansion since childhood. Her obsessive-compulsive mother takes care of her long hair  yielding to the family tradition that a woman should always grow her hair long and beautiful. As Angela's 18th birthday draws nearer, her hair becoming bars of cage on her face exemplifies her imprisonment.







The enriching of the film’s mood and temperament utilizes magic realism to show how Angela struggles to live her day to day. The family's mansion becomes her grand, yet constricting cage. In compliance with the family’s legacy, her hair symbolizes her mother’s complete authority over her — with the strands of her hair becoming bars of cage on her face vindicating her being captive by her own upbringing. The visuals gradually becomes more and more dynamic as Angela’s liberation draws near.




Production Team

Angela Salientes   Summer Sumera
Sonia Salientes    Gigi Pirote
Aling Belay      Ermie Concepcion
Child Angela    Chum-chum Aquino
Ildefonso    Dingdong Rosales
Elira    Pam Sto. Domingo 
Betsy    Roma Regala 
Maida    Suzette Navarette
Ancestral mother    Ellen Estrada 
Ancestral child    Bekah Mata
Ferdi    Rico del Rosario
Michael    Pao Pangan
Mang Caloy    Mang Fred
Director/Writer/Producer    Rianne Hill Soriano
Directors of Photography    Eli Balce
     Rianne Hill Soriano
Production Designer    Chrisel Galeno
1st Assistant Director    Joy Puntawe
2nd Assistant Director    Herbert Navasca
Editor   Rianne Hill Soriano
Musical Scorer    Kiko Ortega
Audio Engineers     Jason Galindez
    Noel Bruan 
Production Managers    Kiel Sandico
    Madz Mandia
    Joselle Acuna
    Janice Atencio


Production Stills


Behind-the-scene Photos


Production Notes

"Karsel" (Prison) is Rianne's first film, her thesis film at the University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI). It received the Kodak Film Award for Best Film Thesis during her college graduation.

Seiko Films offered the outfit's camera and lighting equipment for the shoot. After aiming to shoot her film in 16mm, she was grateful for the opportunity to shoot her thesis in 35mm instead. The production houses Filmex and Production Village provided their 35mm short ends (partly used film stocks from advertising projects) and she used these additional stocks for her thesis. LVN Pictures Inc. granted her request to process, print, and edit her film in their post-production facility. The positive film stocks also came from LVN's generosity.

With this project becoming her first-ever venture into the 35mm film format, it was a baptism of fire for her taking charge of the camera work as the film's co-cinematographer. The project was shot using Arri 2-C and Arri BL-4 cameras without the aid of any video assist. It was primarily shot with Kodak Vision 500T with the rest filmed using Kodak Vision 320T. With most of the magic realism and debut scenes, she wanted to really saturate the colors. These film stocks allowed her to bring her vision come to life. She also shot some scenes that were intended to be push-processed at the laboratory.

Rianne edited the film using the Moviola. It was her first time to edit a 35mm film and her first time to use this conventional editing machine. Prior to this project, she edited some 16mm film projects at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) using the Steenbeck Flatbed Editing Machine. With waived fees, the telecine transfer and colorgrading of the video-finish work was done courtesy of Optima Digital.


Online Profiles/Write-ups/Features

IMDb: Karsel

Facebook: Karsel

Manunuri: 27th Gawad Urian Npminees (2004)

Artepinas: Karsel

CineKatipunan February to March

Diliman Diary: Diliman Video of the Week: Karsel (Prison)

Celebrating Woman in Film: Kamalayang Kababaihan

Culture Unplugged: Karsel (Prison)


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