The short film Si Jet at ang Dark Lord ng Dol Gurskul delves into school bullying as it highlighted the role of adults to address the long-existing issue.
Themed “Pelikulang Pambata, Para sa Matatanda,” the shorts utilized the elements of the fantastic to analyze how children coped with their trauma and discussed the participation of adults in this systematic form.
Written and directed by filmmaker and documentary cinematographer Gio Gonzalves, the five-minute production followed Jet, a grade 5 student who cut class, along with his imaginary friends Wizard Olorin and Warrior-King Eleazar to avoid Marcoth, the Evil Dark Lord of Dol Gurskul.
Gonzalves and Si Jet at ang Dark Lord ng Dol Gurskul were selected from a pool of 200 outstanding artists and entries at the 4th Edition of the Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition, organized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).
The FDCP awarded a P100,000 production grant to the ten selected Sine Kabataan filmmakers.
A Multimedia Arts instructor at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts, Gonzalves stressed that a bullied child is seldomly heard despite the prevalence of the problem in the country.
Gonzalves believes that there is an unconscious participation in this rooted and perpetrated system that even goes beyond the school halls.
“We live in a society of eat or be eaten – of extreme tolerance towards abusive figures in hopes that they would leave us off but that's not the case. These abusers will always have a target and when there are no more, they will come for us.”
Si Jet at ang Dark Lord ng Dol Gurskul was produced by Lakan Media Creatives, a collective of young filmmakers co-founded by Gonzalves in 2017. It is the artist-educator’s fifth film with the group, some of which premiered and were screened both in local and international festivals.
The short film was shown for free and on-demand as part of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 5: Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition.