Philippine Director Petersen Vargas' Next Feature Lands Southeast Asian Fiction Film Lab Prize

Petersen Vargas (third from left) collects his prize.

'Some Nights I Feel Like Walking,' the second production from the helmer, aims to shed light on youths "looking for their place in the world."

The lion’s share of this year’s Southeast Asian Fiction Film Lab (SEAFIC) cash has been handed to Philippine director Petersen Vargas for use toward a production he hopes will shed light on the lives of “youths on the margins of society.”

Vargas’ Some Nights I Feel Like Walking (working title) is described by the director as “a road movie about a rich teenage runaway and a group of street hustlers who both seek to find a place for themselves in the world” and is being produced by Alemberg Ang and Jade Castro. A cash prize of $15,000 via SEAFIC was sponsored by Thailand’s Purin Pictures.

“We’ve been working on my second feature project for almost two years now. Since we got selected for SEAFIC, we have been slowly building visibility for the project,” Vargas told The Hollywood Reporter.

“I’d like to think this helps us push our collective passions more confidently. I see a future where partnerships would unfold easily because of the relationships we’ve forged throughout the lab process and beyond.” 

SEAFIC put five films through eight months of script and project development overseen by a panel that included Georges Goldenstern, general manager of Cinéfondation Cannes; Sophie Bourdon, head of the Locarno Open Doors platform; and Albert Lee, executive director of Hong Kong Film Festival.

The SEA Fund Award was shared between Autobiography, from Indonesian director Makbul Mubarak and producer Yulia Evina Bhara, and the Vietnamese production Skin Of Youth, from director Ash Mayfair and producer Tran Thi Bich Ngoc. Supported by VS Service and White Light Post, it provides equipment rental credit of $10,000 and postproduction services credit of $15,000.

The field for the third edition of SEAFIC was rounded out by the Vietnamese production Till The Cave Fills, from director Nguyen Le Hoang Viet, and Myanmar’s The Women, from The Maw Naing.