Friday, January 18, 2008


By Reymundo Salao

With the showing of the indie Ilonggo film “When Timawa Meets Delgado”, this only means that we are indeed foreseeing a good future for Ilonggo filmmakers. Just some months ago, Joenar Pueblo also released for public showing his film “Dagyang”. We all know how independent cinema has proven itself to be better than big production companies. Indie flicks like “Kubrador” and “Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros” have all been made by independent film makers with little or no help at all from big production companies. While these movies have won awards from reputable film festival bodies like the Cannes Film Festival and other foreign film festivals, Manila’s big production companies has done nothing more but make and remake the same old rotten expensive movies that do nothing but please their own manipulated film festivals. While these big Tagalog movies continue on destroying the reputation of Philippine Cinema, it is clear that the ones that will eventually save this reputation are the independent film makers.

The Indie film scene of Manila has already strengthened itself and has even made itself popular in some portions of Metro Manila. Meanwhile, here in Iloilo, our Indie Film scene was born some years ago with CINE ILONGGO and the films it produced. For a couple of years, it had a brief hiatus. But when Pueblo released “DAGYANG”, it jumpstarts CINE ILONGGO back, letting the public know that it has never gone away and has always been there.

It has been easier for artists to make films now because advances in technology had made filmmaking less expensive. It does not take anymore for one to be very rich to make a film; it only takes a camera and a great degree of talent. On the other hand, there will always be ruthless critics. There will always be people who will never give the slightest appreciation for the raw approach of indie filmmaking. They will complain that these indie films look cheap, or they will complain that they are boring, uninteresting, and unexciting. But we must also keep in mind that many of the great filmmakers began in indie filmmaking. The Lord of the Ring’s director Peter Jackson started out with weird and cheap-looking indie films entitled “Bad Taste” and “Braindead”. Spider-man’s Sam Raimi also began with a cheap-looking weird flick entitled “Within the Woods” which he later remade into the 1981 cult classic “Evil Dead” (which later had a phenomenal Part 3 entitled “Army of Darkness”). These big directors all began with small quirky films. Despite their small budget, their talent shines; this has been taken notice by their audience and also taken notice by producers who have an eye for talent. Likewise, we may never know who among these independent Ilonggo filmmakers would someday become the next Peter Jackson or Sam Raimi. How would you know if you refuse to watch them? Them being Ilonggo filmmakers should be good enough reason to make you watch their films. I do hope that our local theaters here in Iloilo would continue on supporting Indie Films. It has always been a sort of wishful thinking of mine that Iloilo would make its mark as a place where great filmmakers would come from.

Let us support Ilonggo Films!

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