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Joey Agbayani: Int’l film artist, director, painter

Director Joey Agbayani created a stir a few years back when he submitted his animated film “Lola” as entry to the Cinemalaya Film Festival. 


A world-class and very entertaining animated film, “Lola” won awards at Cinemalaya.


From thereon, the name Joey Agbayani became famous in the local filmdom. His humbleness as film artist made him closer to his peers, a mark he maintains until today. 

Clean-cut look of Director Joey Agbayani

The following are question and answer portions of the interview with Director Joey Agbayani.


Question No. 1: I have always admired your works as an animated filmmaker. I watched most of your films at Cinemalaya Film Festival. For a more precise presentation, can you please mention again to us your film credentials as an animated filmmaker?

Director Joey Agbayani on Infierno after grabbing the Best Supernatural Screenplay Award in Fright Night Filmfest 2020

JOEY AGBAYANI: Here are my film credentials, Sir Robert. I rearranged them properly for proper presentation and reading:


 Films are both live action and animated shorts.


1) The Eye in the Sky (Live action, Claymation and cell animation}

Super 8mm, 1984;


1st Place Experimental Short and Best Student Film at the 1984 

Experimental Cinema of the Philippines Short Film Festival


2) Kidlat  (Live Action) 16mm, 1984


1989 Gawad Urian Best Short Film, 1989 


Film Academy of the Philippines Best Student Short Film


3) Ang Bantay (Live Action) 35mm, 1993

Directed by Joey Agbayani & Rob Agbayani


3rd place, Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video


4) The Ghostwriter (Animated) 35mm, 1997


Best Animated Short at the Puerto Rico International Film Festival 2012, Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

Recipient of Diamond Award at the California Film Awards, 2012, San Diego, CA

Best International Short Animation: Kidz Filmz Festival 2012, New Jersey, USA

Honorable Mention, 2011 Hyart Film Festival, Wyoming, USA

Official Selection, Athens Animfest 2015, Greece

Official Selection, American Online Film Awards, Spring Showcase 2014

Official Selection, Curtain Raiser Malta Film Festival For Children, 2013, Luqa, Malta

Official Selection, California International Animation Film Festival, 2013, USA

Official Selection, Indie Spirit Film Festival, Colorado, USA

Official Selection, Indieflix 2011, Seattle, WA

Official Selection, 2011 Offshoot Film Festival, Arkansas, USA

Official Selection, Animac Lleida International Film Festival 1998, Spain

Official Selection, Swan Film Festival 2011, Perth, Australia

Official Selection, WorldKids International Film Festival 2011, Mumbai, India

2 Category Animation2D


5) Lola (Animated) HD, 2010


Winner of CORMAN AWARD for Best Animated Film (CGI), Fright Night Film Festival 2012

Best Animated Comedy Short, Las Vegas Comedy Fest 2012

Best Foreign Film, Shockfest Film Festival 2011

Best Animation, Mockfest Film Festival of Hollywood 2011

Best Comedy Animation, Giggleshorts International Comedy Short Film Festival 2011

Best Animated Short, Atlanta Horror Film Festival 2011

Nominated: Killer Special Effects, Killer Film Fest, Somerville, MA

Nominated: Best Animation, Shockfest 2011, Hollywood, CA, USA

Nominated: Best Shockingly Silly Short at the Shockfest 2011, Hollywood, CA, USA

Finalist, Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival 2010

Finalist, Paranoia Horror & Sci-fi Film Festival, Los Angeles, 2010

Official Selection, Dark Scream Film Festival, 2015, Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK

Official Selection, Freeky Creek Short Film Festival, 2014, Fairmount, IL, USA

Official Selection, Fantastik 2013, Granollers, Spain

Official Selection, Cinema One Originals Festival 2013, Manila, Philippines

Official Selection, Golden Orchid International Animation Festival 2013, Pennsylvania, USA

Official Selection, ZINEMA ZOMBIE FEST- Festival Internacional de Cine Fantástico y de Terror 2013, Bogotá, Colombia

Official Selection, Festival Internacional de Animacion FIDA Chile 2013, Valparaiso, Chile

Official Selection, The Malta Horror Film Fest 2013

Official Selection, Killer Film Fest 2013

Official Selection, Independent Days Filmfest 2013, Karlsruhe, Germany

Official Selection, South African Horrorfest 2012, Cape Town, South Africa

Official Selection, Chicago Comedy Film Festival 2012, Illinois,USA

Official Selection, Polygrind Underground Film Festival of Las Vegas 2012, Nevada, USA

Official Selection, 2012 Outbox International Short Film Festival, Beirut, Lebanon

Official Selection, 2011 Costa Rica International Film Festival, Montezuma, Costa Rica

Official Selection, 2011 Marato de Cinema Fantastic i de Terror, Barcelona, Spain

Official Selection, Grimm Up North Horror & Sci-fi Film Festival 2011, Manchester, UK

Official Selection, Atlanta Underground Film Festival 2011, Georgia, USA

Official Selection, Animacursed 2011 International Festival of Horror Animation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Official Selection, 9th Los Angeles Comedy Fest 2011

Official Selection, The New York City Horror Film Festival 2010, Tribeca Cinemas, NYC

Official Selection, Indy Horror Film Festival, Chicago, Illinois, 2010

Official Selection & World Premire: A Night of Horror Film Festival, Sydney, Australia, 2010  

Hotel Purgatorio award

Question No. 2: Have you seen the great masterpiece and work of Art animated film "Loving Vincent"? Are you dreaming to shoot a film like that someday?  


JOEY AGBAYANI: Yes I have seen Loving Vincent in 2019. My interest in painting began at the age of 10. My medium of choice was watercolor and acrylic. In 2006, I started to paint again, this time with a new style in acrylic. A fusion of the watercolor wash style and thick textured impasto style of oil. If you'll notice most of my landscape paintings are empty, no figures of people in it. I was thinking of using these paintings for another animated short. Then I saw Loving Vincent. I might still push through with the animated short, but of course it should not be a copy of that film.

Director Joey Agbayani in an unshaven look

Question No. 3: What can you say about the future of film animation in the Philippines? Can you say that we're not far behind? Your animated films can surely compete.


JOEY AGBAYANI:  I have seen a lot of excellent local animated films. We have so many very talented Pinoy animators. In order to compete abroad we should develop a unique or distinctive style and look. My focus right now is live action films


Question No. 4: What is your greatest passion in life, Direk Joey?

 Director Joey Agbayani in eyeglasses

JOEY AGBAYANI: I am happiest when I am busy creating or inventing something. Right now it is making homemade ice cream lol. I am exploring the best combination of ingredients. Exploring new flavors. About painting and filmmaking. What I love about painting is that you have full control and creative freedom. In film naman, I enjoy collaborating with a team of talented people - actors, musicians, art directors, production designers and etc. In the near future it will be teaching and sharing my knowledge.


Question No.5: The Agabayani is famous clan. Are you proud of your surname, Direk Joey?

Director Joey Agbayani in B&W photo

JOEY AGBAYANI: I am proud of what my father Aguedo and my two brothers Luis and Victor have achieved in the province of Pangasinan.


Question No. 6: You are one of the pioneers of animation in Philippine filmmaking. What is your greatest dream as a film animator? Are you dreaming of becoming like Walt Disney someday?  


JOEY AGABAYANI: As I said earlier, my focus right know is live action films. I am hoping my two award winning screenplays , Hotel Purgatorio  (Best Horror Thriller Screenplay at the 2015 Fright Night Film Fest) and Infierno (Best Supernatural Screenplay at the 2020 Fright Night Film Fest KY USA) will be produced soon.

Director Joey Agbayani’s painting

Last Question: What can you say about your latest award as Best Supernatural Screenplay for Fright Night Filmfest 2020 via your film Infierno? Did it further inspire you to do more films?


JOEY AGBAYANI: Infierno is an unproduced feature length screenplay. It won the screenwriting competition of the Fright Night Film Fest. I enter my screenplays to test its appeal and effect in the global scene.

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