Bakte power! Pinoy short film ‘Radikals’ to represent SEA at Cannes Critics Week

Pinoy film “Radikals” by Arvin Belarmino makes its mark as a world-class entry to Cannes Critics Week.

Filipino independent film director Arvin Belarmino is set to showcase his latest short film, “Radikals,” at the Cannes Critics Week from May 15-23 in France.

The film, co-written by Belarmino and Imus native Kyla Romero, was selected to represent not just the country but the entire Southeast Asian region at the prestigious film event.

“Radikals” centers on a novice performer who is learning the traditional dance of “bakte” while enduring criticism that sparks a series of mysterious events in his life.

In an exclusive interview with Good Vibes Daily Ph, the award-winning filmmaker shared the inspiration behind his work.

“‘Radikals’ is a film that acknowledges the power of dance and art in bridging the most eccentric of minds. In art, if you don’t do your best and pour your heart and soul into your craft, it will eat you alive. If you don’t find the courage to share your voice with the world, you will end up losing it — blending in with the ordinary people,” he said.

Belarmino emphasized that the film’s selection to Cannes Critics Week underscores the bold statement he sought to convey through his work—“So many are afraid to take risks, but here are these bakte dancers who don’t care. They just want to dance. And if you don’t have that bravery and honesty, you’ll be swallowed alive and left behind, or worse, someone else will do it and take it away from you.”