Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Filipino indie filmmakers confront challenges in summit

Filipino independent filmmakers tackled issues affecting the industry in the First Philippine Independent Film Summit, held on November 8, 2008 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Convened by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and the CCP, the summit helped discussed issues confronting indie filmmakers and come up with solutions to address them.

Bayani San Diego, Jr. in his Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 17, 2008 article, reported that a major problem pointed out by 53 participants from government, media, and indie community is oversupply.

Considering the number of the indie films aired last year and up to the first quarter of this year, the need to create a central booking agency to facilitate the smooth traffic of indie films into the market also surfaced.

Despite the frequent conflicts in showing schedules, filmmakers still want commercial runs which are only possible by going through the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MRTCB) but the producers find the PhP 8,000.00 fee needed to secure a permit as too steep. Discounted rates, however, are not totally out of the question according to MRTCB.

With these issues raised, Digna Santiago, Philippine Film Export Services Office (PFESO) executive director added that the art of making films has to be complemented by the business of making movies and that these movies have to be seen and reach audiences here and abroad.

As a solution, alternative venues where indie films can make headway were suggested and identified along distribution, ancillary sales and policy-making.

Stakeholders of the film industry came-up with action plans with specific points on creating a committee to develop policies, meeting with the MTRCB and Cinema Evaluation Board along with representatives of the Department of Education and other policy makers, mounting of an indie film festival in Metro Manila.

There is also the plan to lobby for the classification of indie films as part of a creative industry so filmmakers could avail of incentives from the Department of Trade and Industry. Indie filmmakers, thus, need to prove that they can contribute to the economy and that their films have export potentials.

As response to such need, a second summit is slated on November 28, 2008 to focus on international distribution for indie and mainstream films.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My First Solo Show

Finally, after a decade and after some prodding from Nimfa and Vic Ursabia and Christian Tamondong, I now have the guts to showcase my art stuff in a solo exhibit. I chose my great grand dad's home and also home to Philippine Independence to pay homage to my roots and to my fellow native Caviteño artists.

Billed "Filtrographs by Angelo J. Aguinaldo", the show is supported by the National Historical Institute, Microcadd , and BaliGarden.

Other sponsors include my dear friends Dr. Gabby Gabriel, Jose Elmer Francisco, Reylie del Rosario, PCCI-Cavite Chapter President Teresita Leabres, Letty L. Ramos, Don Roberto's Mango Wine, Joseph Michael Aguinaldo, and Shey Aguinaldo.

The patronage of Jun Matias of PC Clinic Sta. Rosa (049-5345167), Junard Tablan, Rebecca Rieta, Edna Ibrado, Joseph and Phel Jarin, Emil Aguinaldo, Nimfa Ursabia, Gina Ayran, Tinay Ramirez of Elements of Style, James Jao, was equally of great help! The exhibit runs November 20-22, 25-29; December 2-6, 2008. Please come and share my happiness!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Saulog's Tipanan

I have been writing about Simon Saulog since the 80s as he requested me to write his biography. Since his death in 1995, I have continued the search for his undocumented works like I was doing a lifelong endeavor.

Just recently, I had the chance to meet Makati Medical Center President and Medical Director Dr. Raul Fores, whose name I clearly recalled was mentioned by Saulog during one of my frequent visits to his old home in Imus, Cavite. The information I got back then in the late 80s was hazy and thanks to Dr. Gabby Gabriel, Program Director of the Emergency Medicine Residency Training Program of the Makati Medical Center and my former classmate in elementary ( both of us were into arts), I finally documented “Tipanan”.

“Tipanan”, literally “Meeting Place”, was actually a gift from the Enriqueta A. Castañeda family to Dr. Fores. The Castañeda family had very strong ties with Saulog as evidenced by the myriad Saulog paintings among its family members.

Saulog painted “Tipanan” in 1970. Based on the bio essay which DLSU-Dasmariñas helped me published on CD, Saulog painted it at a time the conservative school suffered a sharp decline as modernism started to emerge. It was also a time when the art circle saw the rise of abstract/non-representational genre as the most acceptable form of painting (annotations from my friend, Alain Austria).
Moreover, it was a time when Saulog left the asphalt jungle and stayed away from the intrigues of Manila’s art circle and put up shop in his hometown, Imus.

Saulog rediscovered his then rustic hometown. As such, he created more masterpieces that convey a new-found vigor. “Tipanan”, reflecting the Saulog stroke that transcends the blending of colors to depict moods and dramatic lighting, is a story of love, of security, and beauty found in life. It is an anecdote painting, revolving around a narrative that he romanticized through dramatic pose of his two human subjects, the lovers.

The meeting with Dr. Raul Fores and his secretary, Gloria Cerojano, a townmate of Saulog, was fruitful. Gabby and I learned of more people to talk to about undocumented Saulog works outside the Cavite circle...