What happens when you don’t have the budget to hire actors? For Julian Maiz, he turned to the ubiquitous cats of Ateneo to star in his short film.
Anyone who’s ever attended or even visited Ateneo de Manila University knows that one of the campus’ defining traits is the number of cats that roam the campus. Take a walk along its corridors and you’ll soon see a cat or two just lazing about. Whether it be the cafeteria, open fields, hallways, and even classrooms, cats are seemingly everywhere on the Ateneo campus.
And it’s the abundance of cats that student and young filmmaker Julian Maiz saw his spark of inspiration. When it came time to make his next short film, he didn’t have the budget to hire actors. So, he did the next best thing and centered his project on the cats of Ateneo and made them the star of the show.
A couple of weeks ago, Julian dropped the short film Meet the Cateneans – The Cats of ADMU, which had the ingenious idea of centering on the campus’ cats. Not only did he not have to pay to film his lead stars, but it must have been a dream to just film cats all day. It probably was hard for some of the feline leads to stay on camera, but that comes with the territory. The film though isn’t just nine minutes worth of cat footage (though we wouldn’t mind that).
Meet the Cateneans is actually a short documentary about the somewhat unique situation of having a constellation of cats converge in Ateneo. It features interviews with stakeholders such as a member of Ateneans Guided and Inspired by the Love of Animals (AGILA), a representative from Ateneo Cat Accountability Project (ACAP), and regular students. The short movie highlights the role, joys, and bonds these cats can bring to students and to the campus in general. But at the same time, Cateneans also sheds a light on the complex system that is needed to take care of these cats.
CATS ARE OUR FRIENDS
They aren’t just pets to pet and feed. (In fact, students aren’t allowed to feed them.) The cats of Ateneo need proper care and attention and should be handled by the proper authorities. Most should be left alone while others require medical attention. It also implores students to do their part to make sure their feline friends don’t get mistreated or abused. Given how every school year sees a new batch of students enter Ateneo, this movie serves as a good source of media to educate new students on how to properly deal with the campus cats.
@julianmaiz This is going to be a purrfect short film. #ateneo #admu #cats #filmmaking ♬ got nothing in my brain – user6754189318473
Most students often operate on a small budget for their projects which means they need to flex their creativity and ingenuity to get things done. And that was what Julian Maiz did when he cast the purfect leads.