This short film festival was shot entirely on a smartphone

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In “Untold Stories at Night,” the main character isn’t quite a person, but a Samsung smartphone. In photo: A still from "Sinag" by Tristan Cua and Noel Escondo of Mobile Filmmaking Philippines. Photo courtesy of SAMSUNG

Most clandestine activities often happen at night, because of the secrecy it affords. There’s a lot that we don’t see in the dark — sometimes bad or good, weird or wonderful. But there are definitely things that we miss out on once the sun begins to set.

This is the world that technology giant Samsung wants to uncover. In the “Untold Stories at Night” film festival last June 17, they invited five filmmakers to create short films without much prompt except that they must use the new Samsung Galaxy S22 to shoot their movies.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 has the trappings of your high-end smartphone; it comes in four stylish colors (phantom white, phantom black, green, and pink gold) and has a 4nm processor, the most powerful chip outfitted in a Samsung phone yet. The fast charging battery that Samsung phones are known for can last beyond 24 hours. It also has Google Duo Live Sharing, a Google-Samsung partnership that can allow you to simultaneously stream high quality videos with other users. (COVID-19 surge friendly, it looks like.)

What is perhaps the new Galaxy S22’s greatest innovation is a camera that can manage well with little to almost no light settings. The Nightography Camera includes a sensor that pulls in as much light as it can with minimal noise, regardless of the environment you’re shooting in. The Super Clear Glass also reduces lens flare. It’s definitely a camera equipped for rigorous photo and video shoots: Samsung’s trademark Optical Image stabilization system has been significantly improved to make camera motion smoother, while VisionBooster ensures that details aren’t lost even in bright daylight.

With these features at their disposal, the five filmmakers presented a truly varied set of work, proving that in the evenings, there are indeed many stories worth telling.

A still from “It Was a Love Story (After All)” by Sam Lee. Photo courtesy of SAMSUNG

In “It Was a Love Story (After All)” by director Sam Lee (“Baka Bukas,” “Billie and Emma”), veteran actresses Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino and Roselyn Perez star in a dream-like vignette about two women reclaiming their 20th century prom night.

A still from "Siargao Rises" by Pepe Diokno. Photo courtesy of SAMSUNG

In “Siargao Rises,” director Pepe Diokno (“Engkwentro,” “Above the Clouds”) shares a documentary about how the beloved tourist destination is rebuilding itself after the devastation of Typhoon Odette in 2021. It provides a dichotomy of the island during the day and its vibrant nightlife scene.

A still from "Sinag" by Tristan Cua and Noel Escondo of Mobile Filmmaking Philippines. Photo courtesy of SAMSUNG

Tristan Cua and Noel Escondo of Mobile Filmmaking Philippines created the film with the longest narrative. In “Sinag,” they tell the story of aspiring performer Rafael, who ventures out of their small provincial town to perform at the only drag bar in the nearest city.

A still from "Lumina" by Mikhail Red. Photo courtesy of SAMSUNG

Filmmaker Mikhail Red (“Birdshot,” “Dead Kids”) transforms Manila into a futuristic city in “Lumina,” which teases the story of the extra-terrestrial titular character attempting to escape mysterious men in pursuit of her. As the story ends with Lumina hitching a ride with an intergalactic UFO taxi, the screen turns black, and Red teases the audience with a promise of more to come.

All the short films from “Untold Stories at Night” are available on beginning June 18.