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Philippine Filmmaking of the 2000’s: Film schools of past, present, and future filmmakers

If decades ago, most Filipino filmmakers don’t have formal educational background in filmmaking, a number of today’s new breed of film artists already studied film either as a bachelor’s or master’s degree in film schools or had hands-on training in intensive film workshops.

Since film schools in the Philippines are considerably young as compared to most art and communication degree programs, most of the renowned filmmakers who already made names in the industry and marked themselves in Philippine film history studied abroad, particularly in film schools in Europe and America.

Now, the products of the country’s film schools are already emerging as the new movers of the Filipino film industry. Moreover, more schools are actually being opened which could then lead to more opportunities of formal film education to a greater number of aspiring filmmakers.

University of the Philippines Film Institute (Diliman, Quezon City)

The Philippines’ premier state university consistently listed as the top university of the country, the University of the Philippines (UP) is the home of the University of the Philippines Film Institute (formerly the UP Film Department under the UP College of Mass Communication). The University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI) is the first degree-granting academic institution offering university-based film education and training in the country. It is the only Philippine member of the International Association of Film and Television Schools (Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Télévision/CILECT). UPFI offers the Bachelor of Arts in Film and Audio-Visual Communication and Master of Arts in Media Studies (Film).

The UPFI also conducts a series of short-term workshops and seminars in the various aspects of film and audio-visual production such as Directing, Scripwriting, Cinematography, Production Design, Editing, Animation, Acting, Music Video Production, Photography, Independent Filmmaking, Film Appreciation, and Film Grammar, Theory and Criticism.

Mowelfund Film Institute (Rosario Drive, Quezon City)

The Mowelfund Film Institute (MFI) is the education arm of the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation, Inc. (MOWELFUND), a private, non-stock, non-profit organization. MFI is a training center that offers film production workshops, seminars, and forums (primarily on cinematography, directing, post-production, and scriptwriting). As a leading film and resource center, it also organizes developmental initiatives, responsive welfare programs, local and international linkages and partnerships, resource generation, and film exhibitions and events to promote outstanding works in Philippine cinema and provides assistance to student and aspiring filmmakers.

Asia Pacific Film Institute (Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila)

The Asia Pacific Film Institute (APFI) provides a practical approach in its educational platform for the two comprehensive certificate courses: Motion Picture Production and 3D Digital Animation Production. It offers full production, post production, and computer animation facilities on a studio lot complete with shooting stages, editing suites, and a working film processing and kinescoping facility.

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (Malate, Manila)

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde’s School of Design and Arts (SDA) recently opened its Bachelor of Arts in Digital Filmmaking. The course combines motion picture production and broadcast arts with a strong understanding of the legal and financial workings of the film and television industries. The students are given entrepreneurial training to encourage them to set up their own production studios or create independent features, short films, documentaries, music videos, and educational TV programs and shows.

Marilou-Diaz Abaya Film Institute and Arts Center (Antipolo City, Rizal)

The Marilou-Diaz Abaya Film Institute (MDAFI) primarily offers basic and advanced courses in Motion Picture Language, Motion Picture Production, and a number of film-related lectures and workshops. The school is dedicated for the future writer-producer-directors devoting two years of academic and field training in film production, and who, in the process, will hopefully develop their own community of filmmakers with whom they can share lasting careers in motion pictures.

International Academy of Film and Television (Mactan Island, Cebu)

With state-of-the-art facilities and equipment located in Cebu, the International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT) offers practical, hands-on training, and unique internship opportunities to its students with its Diploma Program in Filmmaking, Certificate Program in Filmmaking, Crazy Filmmaker Program, along with its Diploma Program in the Performing Arts, Certificate Program in the Performing Arts, and its short-term filmmaking workshops. Through its affiliation with Bigfoot Entertainment and subsidiaries like Bigfoot Productions, Fashion TV, and New Cebu Films, its roster of industry professionals from Hollywood and other film capitals infuses students with a solid theoretical foundation and real-world perspective in filmmaking.

Rianne Hill Soriano
Rianne is a director, writer, educator, and consultant in film and commercial productions. From mainstream essentials to independent flair, she knows the drill in making entertaining and well-meaning productions. She can lead a pack passionate about extreme action and technological edge; she can breathe an endearing and sentimental style for a team with a sweet disposition.

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