UniversityThe evolving goals of the Freedom Film Festival
The evolving goals of the Freedom Film Festival
March 19, 2016
March 19, 2016


A cold and silent theater, a friend (or just yourself if you’re more into that), and a movie that tries to dismantle the usual views on Filipino cinema. That’s the life.

Nowadays, independent films are garnering attention as they tackle different facets of human nature. These indie films do not stick to one popular genre or try to please the audience with a generic ending but aim to branch out and demonstrate various facets of human life.

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Connecting Dimensions

The Fourth Freedom Film Festival (FFF4) held its closing ceremony at the Natividad-Fajardo Gonzalez Auditorium last February 20. With the theme, Connecting Dimensions, the festival offered thirteen films that were shown on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month. The screenings opened with English Only, Please and ended with a free screening of Thy Womb sponsored by iflix. Each film was followed by an open forum where the director answered questions from the Lasallian community.

The Freedom Film Festival is an annual event held by Team Communication to screen local independent films–those that didn’t see the light of commercial distribution–to Lasallians and other interested parties. It is a tradition that started as far back as 2012. According to Events Head, Almon Opiniano, who was a frosh during the first staging, the original FFF consisted mainly of Cinemalaya films, providing an opportunity for the DLSU community to watch the said works without having to leave the premises of the campus.

Freedom in film

One of the films shown was Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa. It tells the story of a couple in a student-teacher relationship. The film’s uniqueness comes from its long shots and long pauses in conversations. In its open forum, the director reveals that it was inspired by a real life story and the problems that the film faced while in production.

Honor Thy Father premiered on the festival’s last day. It is the story of Edgar as he tries to save his family from people his father-in-law scammed before mysteriously dying. It covers the topic of scams and gangs and the ending is bittersweet yet satisfying.

These were only two among the thirteen films shown during the FFF4.  Other films included Esprit de Corps, Anatomiya ng Pagibig, Sleepless, An Kubo sa Kawayanan, Apocalypse Child, Imbisibol. Violator, Above the Clouds, Kapatiran, English Only, Please, and Thy Womb.  What was the effect it had on its audience? Krizza Arnaiz says, “The overall experience was fulfilling. I happened to catch only four films, but it was delightful, nonetheless. As a CommArts student, I value how this very event brought about outstanding local filmmakers into one room and made independent films accessible to movie buffs and those who want to support local films.”

“I enjoyed my FFF experience especially when I watched Pepe Diokno’s Kapatiran because I didn’t expect that I would enjoy an experimental film.  The panel after the film was also eye-opening especially for aspiring filmmakers,” states Bryan Bacalso.

Filipino films now

With this being FFF’s fourth staging, the goal of the event is now different. From trying to prove that Filipino cinema is not boring, which is a cliché in itself, it now just shows that quality is now being prioritized over box office ratings.

There is plenty more room for improvement in the film industry. It is slowly evolving to fully showcase the wide range of talents Filipinos have. “It [FFF4] made me appreciate and respect these filmmakers and it made me realize that maybe the local film industry isn’t hopeless after all,” Arnaiz says.