TUESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2014
‘Filmmaking is my therapy’
HEN THE THEATRICAL run of the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ Sineng Pambansa: Masters Edition “failed” last year, director Maryo J. de los Reyes felt “utterly bad” because not many people got to see the entries, including “Bamboo Flowers.” De los Reyes tried to have his film shown in Bohol province, where it was shot and whose people inspired him. He attempted
to get it into some festivals, to no avail. “Bamboo’s” victory as audience choice at the first Silk Road International Film Festival in October in Xi’an, China, revived De los Reyes’ spirit. There’s nothing more fulfilling for a director, he says, than seeing his work being watched by an audience. De los Reyes achieved international success with “Magnifico,” which got two awards at the 2004 Berlinale: a Crystal Bear as best feature film and the Grand Prix of the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk. He has always had high hopes for Philippine cinema, he says, and the “tremendous
MARYO J. DE LOS REYES, ‘Bamboo Flowers’
growth” of indie films in the recent years is starting to be felt in the industry. “Artists are more open to accepting indie projects.” He is mulling a “highly institutionalized” agency to focus on marketing indies here and abroad. Meanwhile, he will continue making films. “More than a passion, it is my therapy,” he says. Allan Policarpio
Conquer the local audience EDUARDO ROY Jr., ‘Quick Change’
OR FILMMAKER EDUARDO Roy Jr., the great thing about the success of Filipino films in the global scene over the last several years is that it has spurred a domino effect, engendering a newfound strength in aspiring directors and producers to create movies that are focused on artistic rather than commercial success.
“More films are gaining recognition because more Filipino directors are emerging and there are more stories waiting to be heard,” he says. His film, “Quick Change,” won the Critic Jury’s Prize at the Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema in France in February. It also bagged the Lili Award, feature film-special mention at the 29th Mix Copenhagen LGBT Film Festival held in Denmark in October. Last month, it won the Netpac prize at
the Golden Horse Taipei Film Festival. “We can see that Filipino filmmakers are getting better in telling stories,” he says. “Creativity isn’t compromised by the lack of financial support... . We have conquered international audiences, so I’m positive that we can conquer the Filipino audience, too.” Allan Policarpio
PAUL SORIANO, ‘Thelma’
ILM PRODUCER-DIRECTOR Paul Soriano’s fearless forecast: Within 10 years, the Philippines will finally get an Academy Awards nomination, if not win one. “We’re getting better each year. Soon, this will no longer be a dream but a reality,” says Sori-
ano, who produced the Hannah Espia film “Transit,” the country’s entry in the best foreign language film category of the 86th Academy Awards. Soriano is the director and producer of “Thelma,” which won for lead star Maja Salvador in 2012 two best actress trophies—the Gawad Urian and Luna Award.
“Thelma” won the Bronze Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival in 2012. Soriano says the honor was “humbling and a blessing ... [it’s] motivation to keep telling more interesting and compelling stories.” Soriano, currently head of the students section of the MMFF New Wave, adds, “The government should keep supporting great film concepts. Now is a great time for Philippine cinema—the mood is very positive.” Marinel R. Cruz
Dreams are realized at the right time
The Philippine Daily Inquirer marks its 29th anniversary today with simple rites at its offices in Makati City.