Filmmaker, novelist, poet and teacher.

He jumpstarted his filmmaking career with his short, Rolyo (Film Reel). Rolyo won the Best Short Film in the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival and Urian Awards in 2006 and competed at the Paris Film Festival. Yapan has already carved a name for himself as fictionist having won recognition from the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and the National Book Award for his first novel, Ang Sandali ng mga Mata (This Moment of Eyes).

His first feature Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe (The Rapture of Fe) won the Special Jury Prize for Cinemalaya 2009 and proceeded to win the Best Digital Film at the 33rd Cairo International Film Festival 2009. Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe confronts the historical and transnational oppression of the Filipina, now synonymous with housemaid. His second feature film Gayuma (Pilgrim Lovers) discusses the same themes of gender intersecting with social class issues. Set in the Bikol region, the film uses the Bikol regional language, a first in Philippine cinematic history. Gayuma competed at the 27th Warsaw Film Festival in 2011.

More than just confronting gender and social class, his third movie, Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (The Dance of Two Left Feet) is Yapan’s bid to veer away from the exploitation of third world poverty for international public consumption. The movie features poems from the top Feminist poets, rendered into songs and choreographed into dances. The movie competed at the Hawaii International Film Festival, and then won Best Cinematography and Original Score in Cinemalaya and the Bronze Prize at the Bogota International Film Festival. It was 2012’s biggest winner at the Gawad Urian, given by national association of critics in the Philippines garnering 8 nominations and 7 wins including Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Screenplay.

This year, Yapan has been busy working on several projects including his first television series on teachers produced by GMA News TV entitled Titser.  He also has an entry for Cinemalaya 2013, Debosyon; an entry for the QCinema, a film festival organized by Quezon City in the Philippines, entitled GayDar; and Mga Anino ng Kahapon (Shadows of the Past) commissioned by the Janssen Pharmaceuticals and will be competing at the Metro Manila Film Festival, New Wave category.

Yapan’s ouvre has always been a testament to strike a balance between addressing both the local and international moviegoing public, and between mainstream sensibilities of accessibility and arthouse narrative experimentation.



Director and Writer. Mga Anino ng Kahapon. 87 mins. Co-produced with Janssen Pharmaceuticals. 2013 – in post-production

Special Jury Prize and Best Actress, New Wave Category, Metro Manila Film Festival, 2013.

Director and Writer. GayDar. 90 mins. Co-produced with Quantum Films. 2013

Grantee, Quezon City Film Commission, 2013 In Exhibition, QCinema, 2013

Director and Writer. Debosyon. 86 mins. 2013

In Competition, New Breed Competition, Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, 2013 In Exhibition, Hawaii International Film Festival, 2013

Director and Writer. Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa. 84 mins. 2011

Bronze Prize, International Film, 28 Festival de Cine de Bogota, 2011 Nominated, Halekulani Golden Orchid Best Narrative Feature, Hawaii International Film Festival, 2011

Best Cinematography and Best Music Score, New Breed Competition, Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, 2011

Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Cinematography, Music, Actor and Supporting Actress, Gawad Urian Awards (National Critics Association), Manila, Philippines, 2012

Best Picture, Director, Story, Cinematography, Music and Supporting Actor with 9 nominations, Gawad PASADO Awards, Manila, Philippines, 2012

Best Actress and Best Breakthrough Performance with 8 nominations, ENPRESS Awards, Manila, Philippines, 2012

New Movie Actor of the Year with 9 nominations, PMPC’s Star Awards for Movies, Manila, Philippines, 2012

Best Achievement in Sound and Aural Orchestration with 2 nominations, Young Critics Circle, Manila, Philippines, 2012

Best Original Music with 3 nominations, Gawad Tanglaw, Manila, Philippines, 2012

Director, Writer and Director of Photography, Gayuma. 86 mins. 2011

In-competition, Free Spirit Competition, Warsaw Film Festival, 2011

In-competition, NETPAC section, Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, 2011

2 Nominations for Best Actress and Best Production Design, Gawad Urian Awards, Manila, Philippines, 2012

Director and Writer. Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe. 78 mins. 2009

Best Picture, Digital Feature Length Film Category, 33rd Cairo International Film Festival, 2009

Special Jury Prize, Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, 2009

5 Nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Actress for Irma Adlawan, Urian Awards 2010

Ani ng Dangal awardee, National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Office of the President, Republic of the Philippines, 2010

In-competition, Spirit-of-Freedom Narrative Feature, Bahamas International Film Festival, 2009

Exhibition, After Dark Program, Chicago International Film Festival, 2009

Exhibition, In-Dialogue Section, Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival, 2009

Exhibition, Filipino Film Festival in New York, 2010

Co-director. Huling Pasada. Written and Directed by Paul Sta. Ana. 80 mins. 2008

Best in Cinematography, Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2008.

3 Nominations including Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actress for Agot Isidro and Best Actor for Neil Ryan Sese, Urian Awards 2009.

Director and Writer. Rolyo. 17 mins 22 secs. Self-produced. 2007

In-competition as Philippine entry to the Paris Film Festival 2008 Exhibited at the Skabmagovat Indigenous People’s Film Festival, Finland, 2008

Best Short Film, Urian Awards, 2007.

Best Short Film, Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2007

Exhibited at the Cinemanila International Film Festival 2007

Director and Writer. Panibugho. 14 mins 51 secs. Self-produced, 2008

Exhibited at the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2008 as part of Kaleidoscope: A Collection of Shorts

Finalist, Neil Gaiman’s 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards, 2009

Supervising Producer. Tambolista. Directed by Adolfo Alix, Jr., and produced by Ronald Arguelles. 100 mins, Cinema One Originals, 2007

Writer. The Muzzled Horse of an Engineer in Search of Mechanical Saddles. Produced and directed by Khavn de la Cruz. 75 mins, Filmless Films, 2007

Exhibited at the Forum Section, Berlin International Film Festival 2008


“Dissecting the Shot of Filipino Independent Cinema,” (An Analysis of the filmic styles of Batang West Side, Lav Diaz
Kubrador, Jeffrey Jeturian;
Todo Todo Teros, John Torres
Paper read during the 6th Cinemalaya Film Congress on Filipino Independent Films, 14 July 2010, CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater), Cultural Center of the Philippines
“Feudal Desires: Sexualizing Agriculture (A study on sex-oriented Filipino films in the first decades of the 1990s).” To be published under the editorship of Dr. Rolando Tolentino for Positions Journal.
“The Aesthetic of the Meandering Camera: An Analysis of Three Filipino Independent Films” (Kubrador, Jeffrey Jeturian
Serbis, Brilliante Mendoza
Ranchero, Michael Christian Cardoz).
Paper read at the 2008 Annual Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference, ASEACC Organizing Committee, Leong Hall, Ateneo de Manila University, 18-23 November 2008.
“Nang Mauso ang Pagpapantasya: Isang Pag-aaral sa Estado ng Kababalaghan sa Telebisyon (When Fantasizing Became Trendy: A Study on the State of Fantasy in Television).”
Plaridel: A Journal of Philippine Communication, Media and Society Vol. 6 No.1, February 2009: 37-52.
“Matang Turista sa Pelikulang Pilipino (The Tourist Eye in Philippine Film).” Plaridel: A Journal of Philippine Communication, Media and Society Vol. 3 No.1, February 2006: 53-68.


- 2005 NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) Writers Prize for Fiction.
- Ang Kuwento ng mga Bilang [The Story of Numbers] (An Anthology of Short Fiction).
- Forthcoming title under University of Santo Tomas Publication.
- Editor, Burador [Draft] (Textbook, Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University). Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2010.
- Ang Sandali ng mga Mata [This Moment of Eyes] (A Novel in Filipino).
- Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2006. National Book Award 2006 and Juan C. Laya Prize for the Best Novel 2006.
- At Nabulag ang Tagapagsalaysay [And the Narrator Went Blind] (A Collection of Short Stories in Filipino).
- Ubod: New Authors Series. Manila: National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2005.
- Co-editor. Paghulagpos [Breaking Free] (Textbook, Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University).
- Quezon City: Office of Research and Publications, Ateneo de Manila University, 2003. Reprinted by Anvil Publishing Inc., 2009.


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