Private Project

The Appointed Son of God

Duterte Regime, Philippines – Reality mingles with fiction when an amateur filmmaker directs a film about a veteran action star who auditions for a young director’s film debut about a self-proclaimed messiah—their ending is still to be written.

  • Lester Cristal
  • Lester Cristal
  • Justine Habab
  • Rolando Inocencio
    Key Cast
    "The Veteran Actor"
  • Earvin Estioco
    Key Cast
    "The Young Director"
  • Seth Dela Llana
    Key Cast
    "The Filmmaker"
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Ang Hinirang na Anak ng Diyos
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde
  • In Competition, 20th GwangHwaMun International Short Film Festival (Originally known as Asiana International Short Film Festival).
    GwangHwaMun, Seoul, South Korea
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • In Competition, 17th Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival
    Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Official Selection, Light of Asia
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

Duterte's landslide victory in the 2016 elections was won through sexism, humiliation, and violence, for which many people worship and idolize him. Since then, the destruction of Filipino democracy began not just with a combination of cruelty and fear, but with rampant lies and vicious personal attacks. These were intended to shift public perception and create a bandwagon effect—harassing netizens, journalists, and those in the opposition.

Over the past six years, I have witnessed absolute horror unfold. I am enraged at the barbarity of a regime that is waging ruthlessness on its civilian population. 'The Appointed Son of God' is my understanding of how cinema could be a weapon against tyranny and its enablers. It's direct, excessive, and unconforming—but in an era where the assault on activism, criticism, and freedom of expression, and the dictatorship of censorship reigns, I'm willing to hit them in the stomach.