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ANIMA Studios' HITO wins Best Film at Vienna Shorts

Filipino sci-fi movie “HITO'' directed by Stephen Lopez recently bagged the prestigious Vienna Short Film Award at the 20th edition of the major international film festival, Vienna Shorts, this June. Produced by ANIMA’s Short Film Lab, the critically-acclaimed dystopian short-form movie bested other entries in the Fiction and Documentary (FIDO) category, earning Best Film for Live Action Film.


In his speech, Lopez expressed his gratitude to the people behind the success of “HITO" as he called for a sustainable and safe work environment for all film and media laborers.


“This win is for all of you,” he said.


“HITO” is a vibrant and thought-provoking film that explores themes of friendship, self-discovery, and societal oppression. It took four years for Lopez to finish this masterpiece that delivers a compelling narrative fused with elements of science fiction, drama, and action.


The story follows Jani, a young girl living in an alternate version of Manila, who forms an unlikely bond with a rehabilitated bioweapon in the form of a catfish named Kiefer. The friendship leads Jani to confront the harsh realities of her violent society and the authoritarian regime that governs it.


“HITO” was screened at this year’s Vienna Shorts which ran last June 1 to 6, leaving audiences on the edge of their seats. FIDO category presents captivating films that offer unique and thought-provoking perspectives. These cinematic journeys explore the world in unconventional and compelling ways, inviting audiences to discover the present and the future of cinema.


ANIMA, a Philippine-based entertainment studio under KROMA Entertainment, is committed to quality storytelling. ANIMA Studios has garnered critical acclaim and won numerous awards for its production of visually stunning and compelling stories that cut across genres including “Leonor Will Never Die,” “OTJ: The Missing 8,“ and “Fan Girl.”


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