The Night Was Fertile

Where does one navigate one’s pleasure? A man wakes up in the middle of the night feeling randy. He takes a walk outside and finds himself seeking for pleasure through spaces and a random stranger. Eventually, the man sought transfiguration and oneness with the city and lights.

  • Hans Rivera
  • Hans Rivera
  • Rocky Morilla
  • Kukay Zinampan
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 8, 2022
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  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Tagalog
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  • Aspect Ratio:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Hans Rivera

Hans Rivera is a filmmaker from the Philippines focusing on experimental approaches to transcendental connections between beings, spirits, and spaces. The filmmaker directed An Eidolon Named Night (2021) which screened in both local and international festivals. He is a fellow of Cinemalaya’s Intensive Scriptwriting Workshop under Ricky Lee. Together with his peers, he instituted Pothos Collective—a group of young filmmakers who venture emancipative and novel approaches to filmmaking.

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Director Statement

Human nature may be often characterized with this perpetual cycle of seeking, attaining, and seeking once again for one’s fulfillment of pleasure– almost absurd for others when we actually see it macroscopically. However, I personally see this constant urge to seek pleasure as a consummation for spaces and our connection to everyone in this world. Understanding that we are all one and the same regardless of our current form is almost a conscious awareness of our capabilities to connect with spaces and beings.

I wrote the film amidst pandemic when everyone’s deprived from connecting to each other physically. I was thinking of how the invisible yet extremely physical force of COVID-19 linked everyone in a horrendous way. From that, I thought humans, having the same anatomical system and composition, are capable of easily connecting through this knowledge of our same configuration. Nobody lives in a vacuum. We breathe, eat, feel sad, feel horny, shit, and piss together. One of the biggest driving forces is our innate desire to seek pleasure.

In The Night Was Fertile, a man wanders along the barren spaces in Manila, looking for a release of this urge. The man, instead of pleasuring himself, sought it from spaces like the Karinderya (streetside food stall), Motel, and eventually through god. Karinderyas are known to cater to almost everyone in the Philippines due to its affordable price and accessibility meanwhile, there is an existing culture where Filipinos attribute motels as a place for sex and pleasure– both being a spatial manifestation for instant pleasure. Despite visiting these spaces, the man still sought for pleasure. Filipinos’ idea of god comes from the catholic image of god but in the film, god is a woman who communicates through moans of pleasure. Eventually, the man transfigures into a walking light juxtaposed with the city skyline filled with people having sex– the character being one with the million lights, seeking for pleasure and release.

I have consulted and collaborated on the visual and aural style from my team and how we can achieve this feeling of shame and claustrophobia despite being outside and we came up with using the color of green on light colors and dark spaces. The musical score and sound design reinforces this visual idea through techno tracks having this repetitive tempo with an almost dreadful vibe to it.

The challenge I have set for myself while writing the film is to show this sexually charged film without having to show any on screen sex scenes so I chose the city to be the main point of erotic pleasure to the character. The film was made to bridge the gaps of connection from the film to people, people to spaces, and people to people. I greatly believe that these metaphysical nodes connect somehow through the powerful medium of film.