A closer look at the spirited, ambitious and brilliantly diverse films emerging from the Philippines
In recent years, the mainstream film industry in the Philippines has remained stagnant, artistically speaking, and has done nothing to help independent filmmakers get their films made (although it has attempted to curtail their creative freedoms and profit from their output). With the arrival of affordable digital technology, however, new and established independent filmmakers have had the means of production handed back to them, which, in a large way, accounts for the new-found vibrancy, this third golden age, of Philippine filmmaking.
Getting their films seen in cinemas is still a problem for these filmmakers, however. In the Philippines, as in North America and Europe, big business continues to control distribution and exhibition. But in place of national cinema chains, the international film festival circuit is beginning to celebrate Philippine films with retrospectives and, as is the case at EIFF this year, showcases of the latest, cutting edge films. The Philippine New Wave is gaining international recognition.