Young Star

Filmmakers: Generation next

TOFF of the world - Christopher De Venecia - The Philippine Star

There’s a certain type of gravitas that comes with being a director, whether it’s directing for the stage or directing for film. For the duration of the production, from rehearsals to show time, pre-prod to opening night, you are dubbed as “captain of the ship” and “leader of the pack.” In most cases, you are referred to fondly as direk, a title that serves as both term of endearment and status insignia, as well as an umbilical chord that connects you with everyone in the production.

Your wisdom and foresight is the one that the cast and crew rely on. Your voice is the one thing that can silence a rowdy set or rehearsal venue, or dispel any sort of misgivings or misunderstandings within your team of creatives. Your passion is the fuel that keeps them going through long hours of shooting or stage adjustment. Your vision is the one that they work hard to realize, and is what will essentially come to life in front of an audience’s very eyes.

Yes, there is a load of pressure that comes with being a director. It is certainly not a job for the faint of heart because you are constantly thinking in terms of the big picture, literally and figuratively. And you have only to trust your gut and get everyone to do the same.

For these three up-and-coming filmmakers, Kevin Dayrit, Dwein Baltazar, and Christian Linaban, three of several finalists for this year’s “Cinema One Originals 2012” competition under the “Cinema One Currents” category, it’s all about exploring creative freedom, thinking outside the box, and telling a story the best way they know how, through the beauty and wonder of film.

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The 2012 Cinema One Originals Festival will run ‘til Dec. 9 at Robinson’s Galleria Movie World. Other films in the “Cinema One Currents” category are Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim by Arnel Mardoqulo, Melodrama Negra by Ma. Isabel Legarda, Slumber Party by Emmanuel dela Cruz, Pascalina by Pam Miras, Anak Araw by Gym Lumbera, Edsa XXX by Khavn de la Cruz; and Palitan by Ato Bautista.



Kevin Dayrit Director/cinematographer, editor Catnip

A psychological drama about two friends who, despite frequent rifts and differences, find comfort in being together. The film stars Lauren Young and Maxene Magalona.

Your film in five words:

Lauren Young. Maxene Magalona. Catnip.

What’s the inspiration behind your film?

Life’s Bulls and heartbreaks.

Most unforgettable moment while filming:

Lauren Young and Maxene Magalona directed and finished the film.

What movie inspired you to be a filmmaker?

A Tale of Two Sisters. It’s a different take on an overused genre. It makes you think and its simplicity is beautiful.

Who do you look up to professionally?

Gym Lumbera and Jet Leyco.

What advice can you give to young, aspiring filmmakers?

You don’t have to please your audience. They may not be your audience in the first place.

Cinema One Originals in five words:

Creative Freedom plus one million.


Dwein Baltazar Director/stylist/prod designer/writer #1 Fan

Mamay Umeng

The story takes a peek into the life of an 84-year-old man who is alone, waiting and praying for a quick escape.

Your film in five words:

Pwedeng one? Waiting.

What’s the inspiration behind your film?

Bukod sa kwento ng tatay ko, tungkol sa ninang niyang naiinip na mamatay (Besides the story of my father, it’s about his godmother who was getting impatient in wanting to die). I wanted to tell a story solely about waiting and challenge the Pinoy audience since sanay tayo sa madrama at madaming nangyayari (we’re used to the melodramatic and the hustle and bustle). Gusto kong patunayan na kahit walang masyadong conflict at ang simple ng story, pwede kang ma-engage or ma-involve nang todo sa film (I want to prove that even if there is hardly any conflict and the story is simple, you can still be engaged in the film).

Most unforgettable moment while filming:

There’s frontal nudity sa film na never ko tinitignan live or kahit sa monitor (that I never check out live). One time, sabi ng AD na naka-towel na si Mamay. Pagpasok ko, nalalag yung towel (the AD said Mamay was wearing a towel. When I entered, the towel fell). Wow!

What movie inspired you to be a filmmaker?

There’s this short film entitled Deaths-R’Us. Turning point ko ‘yun. Dun ko na-discover na puwede kang gumawa ng short films. Sabi ko, “I can do that!”

Who do you look up to professionally?

Gondry, Mike de Leon, Miranda July, Linklater, Lars Von Trier. Galing nila magkuwento eh. Tsaka matapang (They’re great at telling stories, and they’re brave).

What advice can you give young aspiring filmmakers?

‘Wag tamad! Go write, pick up a camera and shoot, shoot, shoot like it’s the end of the world!

Cinema One Originals in five words:

Brave! Bold! New! Three words nalang.


Christian Linaban Director Aberya

Set in Cebu, Aberya is a story about love, sex, and psychedelic potions that interlace the lives of four people in one night. The film stars Will Devaughn, Mercedes Cabral, Iwa Moto and Nicholas Varela.

Your film in five words:

Sex, drugs and time travel.

What’s the inspiration behind your film?

Cebu City, occultism and graphic novels.

Most unforgettable moment while filming:

Using the crew’s cell phones to light an interior car scene.

What movie inspired you to be a filmmaker?

Tony Takitani — it’s a masterpiece of minimalism. It proves you don’t need a big budget to make a remarkable film.

Who do you look up to professionally?

Christopher Doyle — he has a very unique way of shooting movies.

What advice can you give young aspiring filmmakers?

Do it for the sake of it, not for the glamour. You have to enjoy the process because it’s not easy. And wear comfy shoes.

Cinema One Originals in five words:

Thanks for the creative freedom.

Photos by INA INONOG










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