USC Cinema: Future Cebuano Filmmakers
Photo by Gifthir Lemuel Elmido
“The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can retain interest as it conveys emotions and moods that no other art form can hope to tackle.”
—Stanley Kubrick, revolutionary director
Film is now something more than a pastime for people; it has become a medium of expression for many. From pictures merely moving on a big screen, it is now an art form capable of showing people various perspectives — even envisioning a new world. As such, film has become a huge portion in our lives.
The potential of film was recognized, thus the creation of different film schools in the world to give an avenue to develop filmmakers. In the Philippines, there are a few schools that cater to this but are usually located in Luzon. Because of this, filmmakers in the Philippines are predominantly from Luzon, so films generally cater to Tagalogs more.
Despite this, Misha Anissimov, the current cinema coordinatorin USC, saw the potential of Cebuanos in the film industry and wanted to open the BFA Cinema program in Cebu. According to a past article from Today’s Carolinian, he was encouraged by his co-worker and producer-editor Cierlito Tabay, USC alumnus Remton Zuasola director and cinematographer Ruel Antipuesto to create an academic program in Fine Arts that would focus on film. After collaborating with the School of Architecture Fine Arts and Design (SAFAD), the Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Cinema was established in academic year 2011–2012.
In line with the creation of the BFA-Cinema course in USC, SineKultura was made as an avenue to educate and expose today’s generation of Cebuanos to the history of Cinema through films from different periods, countries and genres. Additionally, SineKultura acts as a bi-annual film journal of the university.
A council among the students in BFA Cinema — named Cinemata —was also established to enhance the growth of film in the university. According to the former president of Cinemata, Lorenzo Ouano, “Filmmaking is rarely a one-man show, and as Clint Eastwood would put it ‘A lot of people embrace film as a one-man/one-concept kind of thing, but it’s not, making a movie is an ensemble.’ The organization is perfect to meet like-minded individuals for collaboration.” Ouano added, “Cinemata was created due to the lack of a quality film [communities] within the university, it was a necessity for us to form the organization, and build a sense of community with each other.”
Last March 4, Cinemata held its annual film exhibition entitled SINEDISIPULO at the SAFAD Theater. The event showcased films by USC Cinema students, USC’s Theater Guild, Cebu Normal University, University of San Jose – Recoletos, International Academy of Film and Television and Film and Media Arts International Academy. The film exhibition aimed to not only show films by Cebuano film students but also to, “share with you the goal of Cebuano Cinema, which is to enrich our national movie culture and change its mediocre status quo,” according to playwright and faculty member Diem Judila.
SINEDISIPULO is only one of the many events that Cinemata has in store for the Carolinian film community. Among others, Live Salida Score is a Cinemata sponsored event where participants do live film scoring. The Cebu International Documentary Film Festival showcases different documentary entries from around the globe. Binisaya is a Cebuano film festival.
As the BFA Cinema program hits its fifth year, we can only expect it to be greater than it was five years ago. Thecourse program has gone a long way from driving the passion in bringing cinema to the next wave of great Cebuano directors.