Matthew Victor Pastor Nickname: MVP
b. March 2, 1989, Melbourne,
Victor Pastor (MVP) is an Australian filmmaker of Filipino heritage.
from the Masters (narrative) program at the prestigious Victorian College of
the Arts, his thesis film I am JUPITER I am the BIGGEST PLANET (2016) was awarded Best
Director and the New Voice Award. It has screened around the world and was
nominated for the Academy Award qualifying, Golden Reel at the 33rd Los Angeles
Asian Pacific Film Festival.
In 2013 he released MADE IN AUSTRALIA an
independent feature film. It was awarded Best Guerrilla Film at the Melbourne Underground
Released in 2017 wasBUTTERFLY FLOWER: Please Wait To Be Seated (70 mins) an experimental film, which was co-directed with Vietnamese
filmmaker Lisac Pham.
Pastor's feature MELODRAMA / RANDOM /
MELBOURNE! (81 mins) was released in 2018, and had its Australian Premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival in 2018.
MAGANDA: Pinoy Boy vs Milk Man(98 mins) was also released in 2018, and had its World Premiere at MonsterFest 2018.
In recent years, Pastor has been astoundingly prolific, completing more features:
Repent or Perish, 2019, premiering at Australian New Wave showcase and Oz Asia Festival. A Bigger Jail, 2019, premiering at MonsterFest. The Neon Across the Ocean, 2020, premiering at São Paulo International Film Festival (Mostra) A Pencil to the Jugular, 2021, Moscow International Film Festival In Heaven They Sing Karaoke, 2021, awaiting release
OVERVIEW:“Perhaps in a genre all its own. It is not a
glowing feel good ‘ethnic’ themed film as seen in BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM
overseas, or more locally, STRICTLY BALLROOM in Australia. Nor is it a
narrative of an intergenerational struggle avoiding poverty and escaping the
ghosts and sorrow that can come with migration in the way the excellent THE
HOME SONG STORIES and MOTHERFISH films followed. Pastor’s film is more surreal,
stronger in angst and lust, more brave in depicting the messiness of some human
desires, and quite honest in how flawed we can be as humans, lovers, and
individuals trying to make sense of our hearts, homes and homelands.”
- Indigo Willing (Asian Australian Film Forum Network, MADE IN AUSTRALIA,
I am JUPITER I am the BIGGEST PLANET
MVP depicts the torn up, often surreal and messy, yet relatable lives of second generation Asian-Australians. His protagonists are usually outcasts, loners and artists who shuttle between cultures, sometimes in frustration, sometimes angrily, and sometimes arrogantly or with an air of nihilism. His depiction of the Asian-Australian diaspora is a mix of contradictions, showing worlds that can be both bleak and neon bright. His films portray internalised racism, forbidden love and those who dream of undoing the way things are. He also ties the themes of intimacy and struggle his characters grapple with, to larger societal framings, such as the shifting values towards capitalism in Australian society. Moreover, his films offer a distinctly troubled masculine subjectivity that few have had the courage to bare for others to see.
As a filmmaker of Filipino heritage at times he delves into post-colonial narratives with I am JUPITER I am the BIGGEST PLANET (15 mins, 2016), and MAGANDA! Pinoy Boy vs Milk Man (98 mins, 2018). Co-directed with Lisac Pham is BUTTERFLY FLOWER: Please Wait To Be Seated (70 mins, 2017) about a Vietnamese international student turned prostitute amongst Melbourne’s backstreets. Despite gravitating towards darkness, his first experimental film LOVE with the POET (52 mins, 2010) is a light-hearted visual poem about youth loneliness.
MVP sets his own agenda having learnt to work light, tight and very fast. He writes, shoots and edits, totally embracing the Guerrilla ethos but often transcending its aesthetic. Having shot films in Vietnam, Hong Kong and the Philippines, the origins of his themes come from growing up biracial in suburban Australia.
A RARE REVELATIONby Bill Mousoulis (February 2018)
For me, the discovery of Matthew Victor Pastor and his work in the last few months is like a miracle. Pastor is the most dynamic young filmmaker I've come across in 35 years of indie film watching in Australia. Because it's not about "promise". At the age of 28, he has already delivered 5 features, including 3 that are released simultaneously this year. He is flying, and, it's so high that it's disturbingly above any "radar" that Australian film culture has in operation at the moment. If the Melbourne International Film Festival do not play one of his new features this year, it will be a crime beyond belief.
Probably the Asian themes and actors will limit his impact in Australia. He will probably leave these shores and go work in the Phillipines permanently and become world-renowned. And yet he's the voice of the "New Australia" - Asian, LGBT, dexterous, vibrant. But Australia is always backward, conservative, and defaults back to "White Australia" mode regularly.
Especially cinematically. Pastor's cinema is a cinema of movement and colour. It's the most dazzling Australian cinema I've seen in a while, only Saidin Salkic and Kim Miles come close to this kind of surreality and intensity in recent years. You need to go back to the '80s to find anything with the same kind of life.
My favourite of Pastor's films is MELODRAMA / RANDOM / MELBOURNE! It plays with cinematic form in all kinds of ways, with the screen size, with the music, with titles on the screen, and with the narrative of course. For me, this is breathtaking cinema that is just extraordinary. It's one of the best Australian films of this decade.
I wish Pastor well, this year as he releases these films in film festivals and beyond, and also in subsequent years. I wish for him to keep flying, as he currently is. He is a rare bird, so keep your eyes peeled!
Bill Mousoulis (founding editor Senses of Cinema), February 24, 2018.
Repent or Perish!
LOVE with the POET (2010, 52 mins) available on Video On Demand at www.chopso.com
Ghost Man (2012, 12 mins)
MADE IN AUSTRALIA (2013, 82 mins)
Down Under (2015, 7 mins) available on Video On Demand at www.chopso.com
I am JUPITER I am the BIGGEST PLANET (2016, 15 mins)
BUTTERFLY FLOWER: Please Wait To Be Seated (2017, 70 mins) co-directed with Vietnamese
filmmaker Lisac Pham available on Video On Demand at www.chopso.com
MELODRAMA / RANDOM / MELBOURNE! (2018, 81 mins)
MAGANDA! Pinoy Boy vs Milk Man (2018, 98 mins)
Repent or Perish! (2019, 84 mins)
A Bigger Jail (2019, 82 mins)
Between Worlds: Filipino / Australian (2019, 11 mins, documentary)
Fun Times (2020, 7 mins)
The Neon Across the Ocean (2020, 91 mins)
A Pencil to the Jugular (2021, 121 mins)
In Heaven They Sing Karaoke (2021, 85 mins)
Plans That They Have Made (feature currently in post-production, co-directed with Evangeline Lee)
MVP at the 33rd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Fun Times: 25th Canberra Short Film Festival (2020)
Best Film (National Category)
MELODRAMA / RANDOM / MELBOURNE!: 2018 Sinag Maynila Film Festival
- Best Musical Score, Winner
67th FAMAS (Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences),
Best Musical Score (Nomination)
I am JUPITER I am the BIGGEST PLANET:
47th Victorian College of the Arts Graduation Award - Australia
- Best Achievement in Directing (Masters)
- New Voice Award (Supported by Madman & ACMI)
Nomination - 33rd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival - Golden Reel Award
Nomination - 3rd Sinag Maynila Film Festival - Best Short Film
AOF (2015 Summer Quarter, Honourable mention)
- Cinematography (Matthew Victor Pastor) - Music (Edward Trinh)
16th Melbourne Underground Film Festival
- Best Short Film Director
MADE IN AUSTRALIA:
14th Melbourne Underground Film Festival:
- Best Guerrilla Film