Private Project


In reverse chronological order, two people who don't belong and don't particularly want to belong, and yet are inevitably sad and not belonging: an aspiring drag queen and his online lover build their own world in desolated motel rooms.

  • Lester Cristal
  • Lourel San Pablo
  • Lester Cristal
  • Lester Cristal
  • Kyle Gopez
    Key Cast
  • Russell Vingno
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Romance, Drama, LGBTQI+
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 20, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    581 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - School of Design and Arts, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde
Director Biography - Lester Cristal

Gay and a native of the Manila slums, Cristal is no stranger to harsh realities. His films, which emphasize underrepresented, unheard, and underserved voices, challenge his community's conventions.

In 2020, he was nominated for Best Short Film by the Philippines' oldest award-giving body, the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS Awards).

In 2022, after graduating from film school as a scholar, he participated and competed in script and pitch programs at Interfilm Berlin in Germany and Sundance Institute in the US, as well as Globe Go Watch and The Greenlight in the Philippines and Drama International Short Film Festival in Greece, where he both won Mentorship Award, for his short film project #bagets. Campaign and production funding was then provided by the United Nations Children's Fund, and the film is currently in the distribution stage.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

When I enrolled myself in a film school and pursued my passion and love for filmmaking, I had the urge to put my experience into a visual narrative—to tackle my trauma through art. I made my sophomore short film PLUS.MINUS. to unpack my emotional baggage from my breakup and to express my dysphoria due to the indecent assault on me. The initial concept was just about my check-in, check-out affair with my ex, and how it started and ended in the four corners of motel rooms. However, as I was developing and producing it, I met diverse and talented people from the community. That's how drag, which is also a manifestation of my femininity, and the anonymous and hypersexualize culture of the online world of #alterph got incorporated into the film.

PLUS.MINUS. is a portrayal of collective and shared LGBTQI+ experiences and a presentation of an ecosystem of our community. What it means to love and be gay and live in this country and this present wired world.

The film intends to transcend gender stereotypes and hopefully will open doors to a conversation about LGBTQI+ experiences, that has mostly been confined in the four corners of a motel room, kept underground with the local drag scene, and that can only be accessed through incognito on the internet.