Events And Nightlife

A Festival of New and Alternative Cinema Hits the Streets of Makati

Metro Manila

Gari Sy Rivera
Gari Sy Rivera | Dec 17, 2019

Photos by the author

A platform by Globe Studios dedicated to contemporary practices in film, video and other emerging ways of sharing narratives, the GIFF festival of new cinema opened its doors to all, free of charge, from 30 November to 1 December 2019 at Illumination Studio, Makati City. The festival featured many unique categories to its showcase, such as art projections, vertical cinema, live audiovisual collaborations, short films, and masterclasses by accomplished creators and pioneers in Philippine cinema such as JP Habac, Antoinette Jadaone, Zev Deans, and Raymond Red, all in efforts to “redefine the audiovisual experience.”

GIFF kicked things off with a bang through the Globe Studios Director’s Showcase as its opening ceremony, featuring short films by invited directors- The Imminent Immanent by Carlo Manatad, Basurero by Eileen Cabiling, and Ilaw sa Kahoy by Keith Deligro. A question-and-answer portion was held right after with the select directors, wherein audience members asked about their experiences and expertise.

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“It’s getting better, there is support coming from different institutions, like Globe, starting their own festival,” Manatad shares regarding his view on Philippine cinema today, “Compared to five years ago, mas madaming nagagawa right now. I think more filmmakers are coming out just because they feel that there are institutions giving the funding, supporting and developing of all these works.”

Drawn to her Filipino roots, Filipina-American filmmaker Eileen Caibiling shares of her time spent with the Film industry in the country, “I’ve been here for almost two years now and I’ve met a lot of filmmakers and watched a bunch of films, mostly from film festivals.” Like Manatad, she finds the support of the art thriving within the Philippines, “I was really seeing a variety of voices in a lot of stories, people are really being brave in trying things from science fiction, social justice, to fantasy. There are a lot of voices and I’m glad that they're being supported somehow,” she relates.

[related: Italian Filmmaker on Philippine Vacation: "We've Felt like Home..."]

With the vision of providing that very support to filmmakers, Globe Studios projected the new cinema festival as an avenue for those who want to share their stories. Project Head Jan Pineda expresses how Globe Studios tied that vision together with their intent to shed light on the alternative ways of producing film and video, and their connections with technology. “We thought of combining technology and filmmaking and make it into a festival form na accessible to people,” he adds, “kasi we feel like in the landscape, wala masyadong nag-coconsolidate ng efforts of new ways. (There aren’t many people who consolidate the efforts of new ways.) So when we programmed the festival, we thought of short films, video art projections, installations, any experience involving story making and technology.”

Designed as a film festival for all kinds of people to attend and participate in without hindrances, GIFF received over 500 submissions in total for its competitions and categories, indicating the overwhelming creativity filmmakers have in them. These competitions and installations were showcased and viewed in areas of walking distance from Illumination Studio, such as Nova Gallery, Warehouse 8, and Black Market at Sabio street appreciated and applauded by film enthusiasts and locals from all walks of life.

[related: Cavite-born Filmmaker Wins Big at Oscars]

“We believe that film festivals should be avenues of freedom, of expression to whatever these filmmakers would like to say or discuss,” expresses Pineda, “Globe Studios really wants to empower storytellers, filmmakers. Even now, you can shoot with your phones, present it to anyone, like on the internet. Globe is very future-forward, supporting and enabling through technology.”

Following their co-produced films such as Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral, Birdshot, their newly released Netflix film Dead Kids, and now, the GIFF festival of new cinema, much more is said to be in store for Globe Studios in their support of the Philippine filmmaking in the coming year.

ALSO READ: Mountains as Backdrop: 10 Movies Shot in Baguio

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