You are on page 1of 1

PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

TELLING THE FILIPINO STORY TO THE WORLD

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2010

9

Mes de Guzman

MES DE GUZMAN: “Forget Hollywood.”
ERNIE U. SARMIENTO

M

ES DE GUZMAN lives in a farm somewhere in Nueva Vizcaya.

The gentleman-farmer who grows organic vegetables for his family, still actively writes scripts and makes films—mostly set in the countryside. This year alone, Mes wrote and directed “Earth Trilogy,” which received various grants from abroad: “Ang Mundo sa Panahon ng Yelo” won the Goteborg International Film Fund; the two other parts (“Ang Mundo sa Panahon ng Bato” and “Ang Mundo sa Panahon ng Bakal”) received the Hubert Bals Fund in Rotterdam. His 2006 feature, “Ang Daan Patungong Kalimugtong,” won top prizes in the Festival de Cine de los Pueblos (in Venezuela ) and in San Sebastian (Spain). “Kalimugtong” also won major awards from local bodies Urian, Golden Screen and Cinemanila. His 2008 feature, “Balikbayan Box” clinched the Hubert Bals and Vision Sud Est (Switzerland) grants. Earlier, his short film “Batang Trapo” (2001) won the grand prize at the Marrakech (Morocco) fest and the Ishmael Bernal Award at Cinemanila. Mes describes the last five years as the “big bang.” Technology “paved the way” for local filmmakers, he says. “It’s all interconnected—the Internet, digital gadgets, cell phones, computers ...” Filmmakers can tap the World Wide Web, “the information highway,” to apply for grants, he notes (although, he also says, his hometown is plagued with brownouts and erratic Internet service). On the set, he enthuses, a filmmaker can become a “one-man army—shooting with a camcorder, editing and doing the sound design using a laptop.” He says filmmakers can also harness technology to build an audience. “We should establish a movement. Expose our films to popular media, TV shows, schools and YouTube.” He waxes optimistic: “We have an audience. It’s not as big as that of blockbusters, but we have it and it’s growing.” Mes notes that filmmakers can sustain local and global interest by “discovering new territories and exploring the Filipino experience.” Gung ho about the future, he encourages young people to make films: “Just do it, no matter how difficult and complex. Ride your instinct. Forget Hollywood. [Seek] stories that have never been told. What is truly important is your film’s message. Rock and roll with your camera.” Bayani San Diego Jr

“ANG MUNDO sa Panahon ng Bato”

“ANG DAAN Patungong Kalimugtong”