ENTERTAINEMNT – DAVID LEW R
ENTERTAINEMNT – DAVID LEW R. DELA MERCED
VISUAL VOICE OF THE VISIONARY
The art of film is the harmonious marriage of the elegance of a visual spectacle and the emotionally appealing theme song or music. However, a certain kind of film by production, which is the Independent film, uses a third element that intensifies the relationship and that is the powerful and passionate message of the unpopular voices. Because of this, independent film productions are pioneers of their own right and of their own field.
Independent or “indie” films usually deal with conventional themes, concepts and inspirations that would not usually see on cinemas. Indie directors paint their imagination across the medium of film. This results into beautiful masterpieces of superior artistic quality. Jade Castro’s Remington and the Curse of Zombadings (2011), Marlon Rivera’s Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank (2011), and Leo Abaya’s Tuhog (2013) are all notable examples of indie films that were able to combine genres that one would not think possible or at least won’t be as decent and acceptable as they had thought. Lav Diaz’s Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (2016) is the most recent film to ever be recognized because of its experimental themes of history, fantasy and drama all combined.
Another characteristic of indie films that makes it a standout is its ability to raise awareness on certain social issues to the mind of its viewers. Strongest examples of such are the category of films which is falls under subjects of poverty and crimes. This includes the Lino Brocka’s classic Manila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (1975), Erik Matti’s On the Job (2013) and Brilliante Mendoza’s Canne’s film nominee Ma’Rosa (2016).
Other most common advocacies includes gender equality with Jun Lana’s Die Beautiful (2016), Ara Chawdhury’s Miss Bulalacao and Samantha Lee’s Baka Bukas (2016); and cultural development with Ishmael Bernal’s Himala (1982) and Briliante Mendoza’s Thy Womb (2012).
With such causes and importance, films of these kinds achieved one of the greatest purposes of the medium which is its ability to contribute to the development of society but the light of its glory are often being shadowed with the bright popularity of the mainstream films.
Independent films are most commonly produced by smaller companies for this reason the production may be given with a tight budget and a limited resource however not all indie films operates on a financial supports. Furthermore, because of it unpopularity to the masses, production crews are met with challenges in advertising which would be a great help to spread the word to the prospect audience. However, despite these indie films still manages to get the spotlight it deserves.
It was in the year 2016 that the Philippine cinema saw the rise of the underdogs. The organization of one of the major film events in the country the Metro Manila film festival (MMFF), had decided independent films to occupy all of the slots of movies that will be presented in theaters during the course of the season. Though it was met with criticism, the move was very much in favor for indie filmmakers. It had actually provided a stepping stone for people to further recognize their beauty consequently bringing a feeling that a hard work has been paid off.
In fact one of the featured films Saving Sally took more than 12 years in the making before it got its premiere. It was also in the same vent where Baby Ruth Villarama’s documentary film Sunday Beauty Queen won in the best picture category. This had happened again with Loy Arcenas’ film adaptation Ang Larawan at the 2017 MMFF even with the comeback of mainstream movies in the competition.
With this in mind, it may only be a matter of time until independent films would go to a more stable position in the country. However, looking at the trends in film, the industry should anticipate something unexpected for a change in which the concepts of indie films had fully embraced.