‘‘Indies,” they are called for now, but a shared hope within their community is that, someday soon, they will no longer be regarded as distinct from the “mainstream.” Cinema is cinema, two out of three independent filmmakers invariably point out in the middle of any interview on the subject.
A country’s cinema should encompass the aspirations and experiences of its people. And to be truly representative, a country’s cinema needs to be sufficiently geographically diverse. This is still to be desired in the Philippines, where the theaters, when they aren’t saturated by Hollywood blockbusters, are by and large dominated by the products of monolithic Metro Manila studios. To be sure, independent filmmakers are making a dent, and their works, long or short, fictional or documentary, have reached an impressive level of quality. Still, when one considers the major film events, by CineManila, Cinemalaya, Cinema One Originals, or the tellingly named Metro Manila Film Festival, it becomes obvious that the Philippines’ filmic output remains largely Manila-centric.
By Michael L. Tan
Indie films in a medical convention? And why not? Two indie (independent) films were presented last week at the 19th Grand Scientific Symposium organized by the UP College of Medicine. One was “Limang Libo” about a man who robs and kills a student to get the P5,000 he needed to pay a midwife for delivering his child.