In the past, independent filmmakers could only hope toscreen their works in limited venues and occasional film festivals either hereor abroad. In January 2007, however, a special venue exclusively dedicated toindie films was formally opened to the public—ushering in a new era in Philippinecinema.
Launching IndieSine was an ambitious project, to say theleast. This collaboration between the Philippine Independent Filmmakers'Multi-purpose Cooperative (IFC) and Robinsons Galleria Movieworld promised asteady supply of indie films for the growing number of Filipino audiences whoappreciate the obras created by local filmmakers.
To kick off the grand project, the Bagong Agos Film Festivaland Daluyan Awards Night were held at the IndieSine, Robinsons Galleria, fromJanuary 16-24, 2007.
According to the IFC, the Daluyan Awards are "given topersonalities whose body of work has become a constant source of influence andwhose lifelong efforts in promoting, inspiring, and educating filmmakers andthe audience are crucial to the development of the Independent Movement. Theyare the Daluyan of our humble vessels."
The first batch of Daluyan Award recipients were11 progressive leaders and pioneersin the independent film community. They were honored during the awards nightheld at the IndieSine of Robinsons Galleria on January 16, 2007.
The awardees were (inalphabetical order) Tikoy Aguiluz, founder of the annual CinemanilaInternational Film Festival; Ed Cabagnot, facilitator of the award-giving bodyGawad CCP; Nick Deocampo, whose works heralded the Golden Age of Short Films inthe country; Mario O'Hara, filmmaker known for his socially relevant films; RoxLee, who pioneered 8mm short filmmaking in the country; Mike de Leon, directorof contemporary classics that mirror the Filipino psyche.
The only woman inthe batch was Virgie Moreno, who is credited for paving the way for the foundingof the University of the Philippines Film Center. The other awardees were BenPinga, pioneer of the documentary movement in the 1960s; Raymond Red, whobrought honor to the Philippines by winning the Palme D'Or award in the CannesFilm Festival for his short film Anino; Surf Reyes, the first directorof the Mowelfund Film Institute; and Kidlat Tahimik, who actively advocatesthe use of digital technology to preserve our Philippine heritage.
Since then, IndieSine has served as an alternative venue formoviegoers who seek alternative entertainment outside the mainstream movieindustry. IndieSine has served as a hotspot for the new breed of filmmakersstriving to carve a name for themselves in an industry that has seen aresurgence in recent years. Its unique programming offers an interesting mix ofvarious alternative films, new and old, experimental and genre-bustingprojects, multi-awarded and obscure.
IndieSine has become a hubhub for the indie circuit—it isnot only a venue for screenings but also a venue for intellectual discussionabout the future of the indie film industry.
Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP)has been regularly featuring films screened in IndieSine in the hopethat Filipino moviegoers will support these pioneering gemsthat veer away from formulaic plots and from banking only on the popularity of the leadstars.
In 2008, we can expect brighter things from IndieSine asseveral new offerings are lined up for the first quarter of the year. Theseinclude Jade Castro's 2007 Cinemalaya entry about contractual workers, Endo;Jun Lana's film tackling the phenomenon of sex videos, Roxxxanne; DianneCombalicer-Crisaldo Pablo's Retaso, a film onwomen's empowerment; and EllenRamos-Paolo Villaluna's film on freedom and homosexual relationships, Selda.