DAVAO City Roxas night market bombing-inspired short film, "Mga Bitoon sa Siyudad (Stars in the City)" was nominated for the Best Short Film category in the 40th Gawad Urian Awards and 24th Filipino Arts & Cinema International (Facine).

The short film was directed by Dabawenyo Jarell Serencio.

"I was not expecting the nomination considering that my film is the shortest among the five nominees (5 mins). Storytelling through short films is challenging, at least for me and I'm glad that the judges appreciate my work," Serencio said.

Gawad Urian is the country's most prestigious and respected film award-giving non-festival body which will be on July 20 at ABS-CBN compound while Facine is an annual Filipino International Cine Festival to be held on October 18 to 22 at Roxie Theater in San Francisco, USA. It holds the distinction of being the largest and longest running festival in North America.

The award-winning director was also delighted as the nomination serves as his first in Gawad Urian.

"This is special for me, I think most of Filipino filmmakers dream of Gawad Urian, it is like Oscars in US," he said.

He added that he is also happy as Mindaoan-made films were also nominated this year. These are Women of the Weeping River of Sheron Dayoc from Zamboanga (which received the most nominations this year) and Entre Medio del Fin of Ryanne Murcia (short film category, best Screenplay and best film Mindanao Film Frstival 2016) and Baboy Halas of Dabawenyo filmmakers Bagane Fiola, Raphael Meting, Mark Limbaga and Willie Apa.

"It is good to know that Mindanao films are playing significant roles in shaping Philippines' film industry. I hope that our nominations will inspire more regional filmmakers especially in Davao to make more relevant films," Serencio said.

"Mga Bitoon sa Siyudad" was also selected for the inaugural of Short + Sweet Film Festival Manila 2017. The winning short films from Philippines will compete internationally at Stella Adler Los Angeles, USA.

Last December, Serencio won as Metro Manila Film Festival's Best Director for the short film category.

The short film tells the lives of two boys, Mac-Mac and Oliver during the Roxas night market bombing last September 2, 2016. It was made as a tribute to the victims of the deadly blast.