Aspiring filmmakers from UST and other schools learned the ropes of independent filmmaking in the first UST Cinevita Film Workshop hosted by the Varsitarian and facilitated by Thomasian filmmaker Jim Libiran.

The workshop, held for two weekends of April, “is for free, but you have to pay through sweat and blood,” Libiran said.

Libiran was the director of the film Tribu, which won the grand prize in the Cinemalaya Film Festival in 2007 and the Best Youth Film in the 2008 Paris Cinematheque.

Helping Libiran train the participants in the rigors of indie filmmaking were film producer Dodge Dillague; Ralston Jover, ABC-5 creative director and the writer of Kubrador, 2008 Gawad Urian Best Picture; and Paolo Villaluna, writer-director of the acclaimed film Selda.

The workshop took participants through various aspects of film making. It also disabused from their minds certain misconceptions about film making.

Libiran insisted that film is an art and not just shooting a subject with a camera. It requires passion, patience, and time.

Unfortunately, the artistic nature of cinema is cheapened by the commercialism of the television and movie industry.

“It seems like we almost don’t have an industry today,” Libiran said. “Whatever is left in the star system and in the big networks (is) almost dead.”

The answer to a dying but still very commercial film industry is independent film making, said Libiran.

According to the first Cinemalaya Film Congress on Independent Filmmaking in 2005, independent film making is defined as “films that break out of the mold to express the film maker’s original and unique into Filipino reality.”

Re: Reading

Dillague said that film is a projection of images, hence, the importance of good cinematography.

Other than cinematography, another very important part of a film is the story. Jover emphasized the importance of research in the conceptualization of a good story, something that most mainstream film maker nowadays often neglect.

Villaluna emphasized the need for the director to work effectively with other film artists and crew members, since movies are a collaborative work.

For the research phase of the workshop, the fellows took an exposure trip of Tondo, which was the setting of Libiran’s celebrated Tribu. From the research, the participants produced five films — Sexymitch_29, Rap, Bakal, Wanted: Artista and Bes.

Sexymitch_29, by Thomasian Arvin Tan, is about online prostitution.

Jon de Chavez, also of UST, made Rap, about a professional party clown in Tondo whose true passion is rap music.

Another Thomasian, Aji Agarrao, made Bakal, a portmanteau of the word “batang kalye” (street child), about how a street urchin develops into a petty thief.

Wanted: Artista is a satirical documentary about Mar Roxas’s popular political commercial, where the senator is shown riding a pedicab. The film was made by University of the Philippines student Eileen Remoroza. It showed how the poor pin their hopes on the media to alleviate their poverty.

Bes by Far Eastern University student Isaias Zantua is about two Tondo gays whose friendship is ruined by suspicion and doubt.

Although a work or two tended toward melodrama, the movies produced during the film clinic showed the best hallmarks of indie filmmaking: a naked realism that owes to the documentary or cinema verite nature of independent filmmaking, a certain rawness, and a compelling immediacy. They show the elements of true Cinevita—the cinema of life.

Order of Preachers celebrates Feast of St. Dominic


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.