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Salvi Suprise


From the onset of production, TM Malones’ Salvi was a surprise. Shot on a modest student budget in Iloilo, Philippines, the short film was originally conceived as Malone’s signature thesis project at the International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT) where he studied in Cebu, Philippines.

Since wrapping the short film project in July of 2012 (and snagging both the coveted Best Thesis Award and the award for Technical Excellence for his batch at IAFT), Malone and his team rode a wave of critical interest and momentum into the 2013 Iloilo Film Festival. That January marked a win not only for the short film, but also launched a breakout role for lead actress, Brittany Baldoza (also a student of IAFT Cebu).

Salvi went on claim the prize for best short film at the Iloilo Film Festival 2013. It also captured the attention of the Philippine government’s National Film Development Council (FDCP). The agency’s mission is to ensure economic, cultural and educational aspects of film are effectively represented in the Philippines and abroad. The film was then awarded a grant to be made into a feature film.

More than seven crew members from IAFT Cebu were involved in the feature length filming of Salvi. Karma Niddup worked as camera operator on the set explained the major difference between the short version and feature length version of the film:

“The experience was generally the same as I was working

with mostly people I already knew. However, more people

were involved and it felt that we had shorter days but a

longer duration for shooting. Shooting the short film felt

more intense while the feature film had spaced out scenes

and sequences. Both were a great learning experience.”

– Karma Niddup, Bhutan 


With a story so heavily dependent on the female lead, T.M. Malone’s vision could not have been shaped for success without the talent of Baldoza. “My classes with Alex {IAFT chief acting mentor Alex Murphy} actually helped me a lot. Especially acting for camera class. I learned a lot of stuff in the acting program from Cebu that I applied on preparing for the role which is pretty scary for me” she explains. When prompted for advice for actors or actresses preparing for their first lead role in a major feature film, she responds: “A real actor/actress is not afraid to look ugly in front of the camera. All I can say is just play the part, trust your director, the cast and crew and yourself.”

Salvi opens nationwide in the Philippines at most SM Cinema locations September 11, 2013. For more information, visit the official facebook page:


Written by: Justin Wagner   (Photos by: Karma Niddup)