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‘Say’ it with a movie

/ 07:59 PM July 09, 2011

Time was when making a film was a dauntingly expensive proposition, with at least P10 million needed to start and finish it. But due to the rise of digital filmmaking, indie producers and artists are now able to fund a film for a fraction of that amount.

This “democratization” of the filmmaking process has freed artists from the traditional control and limitation of formal production houses, which tend to be too “safe” in their choice of topics, styles and lead players.


Another related development has been the increased use of movies by individuals and groups to dramatize issues or push for greater awareness and change related to agendas beyond mere entertainment.

For instance, the “Kinse” series of short film recently reminded televiewers of their human rights.


A food conglomerate has marked its centennial with free theater screenings of other short films related to food and a healthy lifestyle.

De La Salle University recently sponsored the production of a feature film about an inspiring act of kindness that vivifies the school’s mission. The film, Doy del Mundo’s “Paglipad ng Anghel,” is currently being used to help raise P2 billion for De La Salle’s scholarship fund.

This “applied” use of film can be a dramatic and affordable teaching tool for many other causes, thus further expanding the functions of TV-film productions beyond traditionally  diversionary tactics.

Some indie filmmakers have been able to make a feature film for a little as P500,000—so even “small” causes can benefit from the greater awareness created by movies. And the productions don’t even have to be shown on a TV channel, or in movie houses, with the many new screening options and social-network possibilities now available.

In time, we hope that the new affordability and accessibility of TV-film production will enable individuals and groups with no links to networks or studios to create their own alternative screening circuit for their shows and films.

It should even reach the stage where a single parish or group of parishes can fund a budget production about a mission or attitudinal change they feel deserves wider dissemination. Or, a town or city could produce a movie about an inspiring resident.

The performing arts can likewise benefit from the new affordability of film production. For instance, it would be great if an indie filmmaker could come up with a TV or movie version of Rolando Tinio’s exceptional scripts, like “May Katwiran ang Katwiran.”


So many promising and exciting possibilities, just because filmmaking has ceased to be the exclusive business or plaything of a few rich people, and can now be done by practically anybody, with the support of his family, friends and other generous, but not necessarily well-heeled individuals.

Now, if only the quality of those “free” productions is kept high, so that their message doesn’t limit their empathetic, emotional impact on viewers.

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TAGS: cinema, Entertainment, Film, filmmaking, movie, Philippines
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