Emerson Reyes flies the flag for Batangueño filmmaking » Manila Bulletin Entertainment

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‘They say one good song can change the world, so I thought what more if you create something that could be appreciated not only aurally but visually? It would impact society on a tenacious level.

By Jahaziel Mangahis

Indie films have been enjoying popularity for some time now following the awards some of them have won abroad.

Emerson Reyes (Photo by Ivan del Rosario)

This has emboldened more filmmakers eager to share their own brand of art to a wider audience, among them Batangueño Emerson Reyes.

Emerson is a teacher at De La Salle Lipa and De La Salle College of St. Benilde. His passion for film has led him to establish Alab Media, a film and video production company.

So far, he has created 12 films, earning recognitions from several prestigious bodies including Cinemalaya and Gawad Urian. He has also competed in other countries including Serbia, Thailand and Japan.

Emerson has always been artistically inclined, getting into dancing and painting as a young man. It was as a multimedia arts student that he started discovering more about film. A professor urged him to keep at it and that’s exactly what he did.

He shared, “They say one good song can change the world, so I thought what more if you create something that could be appreciated not only aurally but visually? It would impact society on a tenacious level. Besides, I love telling stories.”

Emerson is happy with the state of Philippine Cinema. He hopes it would continue to grow, with more indie filmmakers being given the chance to strut their stuff.

He is thrilled to report that filmmaking is thriving in the south, citing the creation of several small film festivals.

Asked if there is a distinction between films made in the south and those coming from Manila, he said, “Distinction is present in every cineaste because as individuals we have different perspectives.”

Emerson stopped creating films for five years, heartbroken by the untimely death of his son. It was only through the encouragement of well-meaning friends that he started producing films again.

He just finished his new full-length film titled “Dormitoryo,” an adaptation of a short film he made prior called “Walang Katapusang Kwarto.”

“Dormitoryo” is part of the upcoming QCinema International Film Festival.

Asked for his message to other filmmakers, he said, “Keep studying, keep learning – and not just in a classroom. Participate in different productions. It should not matter what kind of role one gets because every role in the production important.”

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