Filipino independent films now thriving

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BAGUIO CITY – Filipino alternative or independent films are now thriving and gaining their own market because of the awareness of the people on the new trend in the movie industry following the various local and international awards given to home-grown independent film makers, directors and movies over the past several years.

Brillante Mendoza, an international award-winning independent film director, said the different awards given by various award-giving bodies to Filipino film makers, directors and movies is a good sign that the independent move industry is gaining recognition both locally and internationally but what is important is the availability of the market similar to the patronage given by the public to the mainstream movie industry.

Mendoza is in town to spearhead a two-day film appreciation workshop at the SM City Baguio in order to empower today’s youth to patronize alternative or independent films in order to create awareness of the people on the value of independent films to their daily lives.

“Mainstream movies like romance, comedy and horror bank on formula stories while alternative or independent films are considered to be informative, educational and entertainment as well because we learn about our culture and traditions and our values as Filipinos,” Mendoza stressed.

He pointed out while there is a big risk in the independent movie industry because of the absence of guarantee for return of investment, the showcasing of true to life stories of people and their culture is their primordial concern because it helps set the tone for the present and future generations to emulate by repeatedly watching educational and informative alternative movies that were produced.

According to him, for the over five years that he had been advocating for the patronage to be given to alternative or independent films, there is a big improvement on the attitude of students and the younger generations on true to life stories because they now pose questions on the technical aspect of the industry instead of dwelling much on who will be the lead stars of the independent films that they have produced.

“It will be a continuing advocacy because of the acceptance being show by our people to the independent movies. Let us continue doing it on our own with the support of the national and local governments,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza underscored mainstream movies given emphasis on big stars that could easily dictate on the market primarily for profit but independent films rely on local stars and producers with emphasis on the values of Filipinos that are worth emulating by the present and future generations.

He claimed the awards received by directors, film makers and independent movies just illustrates the presence of numerous local talents that could make waves in the alternative movie industry once given the opportunity to showcase their works for the appreciation of the viewers.

Mendoza said he continues to be inspired by the reception of today’s youth on the film appreciation workshop that he has been conducting in the different SM malls in the different parts of the country over the past five years that is why he wants to go down to the grassroots level in his advocacy for alternative movies to be patronized by the people.

By Dexter A. See

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