Sunday, September 05, 2004

Me and my brother went to the Cultural Center of the Philippines earlier this afternoon to attend a briefing for thirty hopefuls wanting to have their ideas interpreted into feature length films. These thirty hopefuls consisted of a mix of some professional scriptwriters, directors, production people and along with some first timers and freelancing writers from different backgrounds. Me and my brother were actually representing The Filament member Harold Bayang who submitted his film treatment about a prominent Filipino writer who tried his luck in the U.S. I wouldn't even know about the competition's existence if he didn't tell us about the good news. Panelists who reviewed the lot consists of award winning film Directors Peque Gallaga and Laurice Guillen, film critic and sometime Director Nestor Torre, Unitel Productions Producer Tony Gloria and University of the Philippines professor Bienvenido Lumbrera whose prominence instantly brought awe and star struck stares from the audience (including me). Prof. Lumbrera wanted to know the people behind the successful entries and called each one in front and introduce themselves, the title of their work and the story behind their inspiration. I know what it feels like to be called on the spot to talk in front of total strangers but do they have to squirm and giggle so much and punctuate their stories with "wala lang" (roughly translated as: "I just felt like doing it")? Each finalist is set to submit a written working script of his or her work along with the alloted budget, apparently PLDT mogul will be financing the winning entry of the contest and made into a feature length film (which is not like the usual local indie film which is only around 30 minutes or so). Then there's a five minute private meeting each with the council to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of each entry and what could be done about it. I chickened out from this private meeting each and every semi-finalist were to have with them. I felt I wouldn't have contributed much from the discussion in case they ask about the company and the film. Looking back I shouldn't have backed out of meeting them and should have gone in with my brother. After his turn my brother told me that they only made some comments about the film and their thoughts about it which is very unlike a thesis deliberation where they grill the weakest link to a burnt crisp. We'll be reporting the proceedings back to Harold the rest of the Filament guys tomorrow.

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