A SOJOURNER’S VIEWS: A nascent Mindanawon film industry
The average Filipinos on the street – referred to by the renowned Filipino filmmaker Lamberto V. Avellana during the first golden age of Filipino movies as the “bakya crowd” – would ordinarily think that all Filipino movies today are produced only in Metro Manila.
This is understandable since the movies that the masa would patronize – both by buying tickets at the box-office of cineplexes or DVD pirated tapes available in the streets – are the action or horror films produced by Regal and Viva or those glossy romantic-comedies of Star Cinema.
However, a growing number of Filipino cineastes – especially those who are not drawn to escapist films but would rather see movies that mirror life’s complex realities that oftentimes contradict the myth of “and-they-live-happily-ever-after” – are well aware that Manila may soon cease to be the imperialist center of the film industry.
Owing to the rise of the independent films in the past decade, there has now arisen a truly national film industry involving not only Manila-based filmmakers but those of the nation beyond Manila. This is unfolding as Filipino movies are now entering another golden age following the one of the 1970s-80s with the films of Brocka, Bernal, de Leon, Castillo, Romero, Aquiluz, Guillen, Abaya et al who were all Manila-based.