Iris Prize Shorts 2021

How to Die Young in Manila

A young boy braves the streets of nighttime Manila to meet an anonymous hookup. Thinking one of them is the guy he’s meeting he trails a pack of young hustlers who then draw him into their strange world of death and desire.


Petersen Vargas


Alemberg Ang, Jade Francis Castro


Petersen Vargas, Kaj Palanca, Jade Francis Castro



Philippines, 11 Minutes 35 Seconds

A teenage boy follows a group of young hustlers when he sees them on the street, thinking one of them may be the anonymous hook-up he has arranged to meet for the night. As he anxiously finds a way to get closer, each of the other boys inexplicably turn up as dead bodies strewn in pavements, until only one of them is left.

Check Out The Trailer: How to die young in Manila

Petersen VARGAS is an alumnus of the University of the Philippines Film Institute and Asian Film Academy. His films tackle Filipino youth through a queer and regional lens. His short Geography Lessons (2014) won Best Direction at Cinemalaya. His feature debut 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten (2016) won the Audience Award at Torino LGBTQI Film Festival. He is developing his second feature, Some Nights I Feel Like Walking. He lives in Quezon City with his cat, Wong Kat Wai.