See Me Malaya

Date posted on July 16, 2006

Today is officially the start of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.

I used to dread the length of time I was made to wait for the results to come out, and now, it’s actually here, and I’m part of it.

During the Sinetaktakan last week, when all the film makers involved were asked to discuss their films and the peripheral issues attached to independent filmmaking, I mentioned how nervous (nerbyous, ika nga, to better underscore my emotions) I felt about the coming week. We were asked to rate our films. I gave my own film a 9, saying that I subtracted a point because I was forced to edit out some of the scenes and sequences in order to meet the 20-minute maximum running time the competition rules imposed.

However, I clarified that how I rated “Labada” shouldn’t be confused with an objective evaluation of my film. Most people would agree that any creative work can never be evaluated objectively. It’s just not possible to quantify the merits of a creative output. I told the audience that with only a week left before the festival, the jitters are worse than ever.

The moderator told us first-timers that based on last year’s festival, we’d probably be on automatic pilot mode once the festival starts. The deluge of emotions and the flurry of the events almost guarantee we won’t even know what hit us.

It was a welcome thought.

Now that the day has come, I’m not sure how to describe what I’m feeling. There’s a part of me that’s excited about the good things that may be in store for me and my film. And there’s another part that can’t wait to see all of this over and done with.

Cinemalaya seems to imply a liberation of sorts. I’ve yet to see what it will do for me.