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Saturday, October 26, 2013
THERE’S much that students can learn from internationally-awarded filmmaker Brillante Ma. Mendoza, and the fact that he has taken interest on Davao City, to weave its stories into his obras that engender better understanding and no mere entertainment is an opportunity Davao students should learn from.
Thus, the campus tour and forum with the director filled the Cinematheque to full capacity, the students all wanting to get a glimpse into how film genius works.
Only to realize that sometimes, genius comes wrapped in unusual packages, like a “raket.”
Mendoza admitted that his first indie film ‘Masahista’ that raked in the awards and brought recognition to a name that before that was only known to advertising circles started as a ‘raket’, an endeavor outside regular work to explore. That was in 2005.
“I was in advertising at that time and medyo nagkapera, I tried filmmaking thinking I’ll do it once. That was Masahista,” he said.
They entered it to the Locarno International Film Festival on that same year where it won the Golden Leopard Award, clueless on how international filmfest awards go; didn’t even know that those who make it to list are to sit down for some question and answer from critics from all over.
He did remember a lady who admitted not knowing anything about the Philippines but upon seeing his film made her see the country, the people and the culture.
“Hindi ko na-realiza na ganoon ang impact ng aking film,” he said.
The following year, it won the Interfaith Award in the Brisbane Filmfest in Australia and on the same year won the Best Movie and Best Actor (Coco Martin) awards in the Young Critics Circle.
There was no turning back since then. That was the starting point of his filmmaking career.
Prodded to spill his formula, he doesn’t.
It’s all in the story that emerges as they research on different topics.
“Wala akong standard of a good film,” he said, even indie films do not have basic standards.
“There are mainstream movies that make an impact. Hindi porke’t independent, magaling na,” he added.
The key is in the story and how it is told.
The ground work is in the research and the endless search for that one story that cant ouch the heart and jumpstart thoughts.
“Kung napapansin niyo, hindi ako nagbibigay ng tuldok sa bawa’t pelikula. Dahil bawa’t audience may kanya-kanyang pananaw,” he said.
Just as teaser now. He’s making a film in Davao.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 27, 2013.