How streaming will change Filipino filmmaking

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Globe Independent Film Fest judges Bianca Gonzalez, Philbert Dy, Quark Henares, Antoinette Jadaone, and Sid Maderazo. Photo courtesy of GLOBE TELECOM

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Quark Henares is no stranger to filmmaking. Having directed films like “Rakenrol,” “My Candidate,” and “Keka,” Henares has a multitude of experience both behind and in front of the camera. It then came as a surprise to most people when Henares accepted the the chance to head Globe Studios, the original content production department of Globe Telecom.

It’s his roots in independent filmmaking that drove Henares to find a platform for amateur filmmakers to share their work and reach a wider audience. Thus, the Globe Independent Film Festival (GIFF) was born. “When we started GIFF, we really wanted to do a different type of film festival. Something that is more fun, friendly, and most importantly, inclusive,” Henares said.

In its first year, GIFF received over 200 hundred entries for 6 major categories which include Documentary, Experimental, Animation, Webisodes, Narrative, and Music Video. The panel of judges ranged from film critic Philbert Dy, to TV personality Bianca Gonzalez, and film and commercial staples Antoinette Jadaone and Sid Maderazo.

CNN Philippines Life sat with Henares during the GIFF Awards Night to talk about how streaming will change the language of filmmaking, and what makes GIFF different from other film festivals.

GIFF is a film festival that exists entirely online. Can you walk us through the decision behind that?

It’s kind of like we always have to go to CCP, we have to go to UP during festivals so parang masaya kung pwede kang manood from where you are. That’s what we wanted to do.

As as a filmmaker and as someone who teaches film, do you think that having these streaming platforms will change the way future filmmakers tell stories? Do you think the film language will change? 

It kind of already has. One of my favorite films [from the festival] is called “All Your Algorithms” and it won, and it was shot vertically, so you can watch it in your phone easily. Parang ang ganda ng concept na now, you can really watch films vertically. I think they’re already doing it on YouTube and it’s just a matter of time ‘til the YouTube generation starts becoming more serious, starts making feature films. So, yeah, I think the language will definitely change. And the fact that “Manchester by the Sea” [produced by Amazon Studios] was nominated for and won an Academy Award means that streaming is a force to be reckoned with. 

Have there been some similarities or a common theme in the kinds of stories that people want to tell?

Actually, it was varied. Usually kasi, when I judge short student films, ano yan eh, very “theme of the year.” Like there was a year in this film festival na lahat [about] Alzheimer's, tapos best friend being heartbroken. Then there was that year when all the films were about drugs. But this time around, it was really varied. Even looking at the Best Narrative category, there’s one about a transgender woman who comes home and has to tell her son that she’s a woman. There’s one that’s a “Black Mirror” type, and there was one that was straight up horror/slasher. So, ang galing, we really enjoyed holding this festival because there was so much variety.

What is it about GIFF that invites so much variety in the stories that people are telling?

‘Yung maganda rin is that the variety of filmmakers themselves, like Juan Alcazaren na batikan ng ‘80s animated film, then you have Avid [Liongoren] who just showed in MMFF, then you have people like Christine Silva who is already professionally making music videos … So, the good thing is that you already have this whole range of experts and masters, but what’s interesting is that a lot of the new people, the first time filmmakers, are the ones who really shined. So, we’re really impressed with the lineup.

What’s next for GIFF and Globe Studios?

We have a film with someone everybody loves. We have “OTJ”. We just finished “I Dare to Dream.” There will be another GIFF next year. And at least now people have a bigger idea of what to expect and how to join. And I’m really happy.

 

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To watch the finalists and winning entries, visit Globe Telecom’s YouTube page or on the Globe Studios website.