After the first workshops in the 1980s, new sessions are organized in the Philippines from 2012 to 2014.
The first workshops are set up in the 1980s.
In 1982, on the initiative of Manila University Cinema Department, a first workshop course was set up at the Metropolitan Museum. The participants made 10 films. Two other workshop programmes were organised in two different regions: in 1983 at Los Baños, on the coast and in 1984, at Baguio, an inland town. The film “Tatay na, nanay pa” was broadcast on TF1 in 1985 and received awards in many festivals.
In 2012, the French Embassy in the Philippines joined with the Goethe Institut in Manila and with a group of other local partners (the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, the University of the Philippines Film Institute, the Film Development Council of the Philippines and the Independent Film Cooperative) to create a partnership for providing training courses in documenary filmmaking. The programme that was put in place was based on Varan’s experience and pedagogic principles. It was not, as is normally the case for Varan,
a continuous workshop for beginner film directors lasting 7 to 12 weeks, but a discontinuous course in three phases where the directors who had been chosen had to continue to work on their projects between the collective parts of the course which took place for 6 days in April, 10 days in June and 8 days in October 2012. This workshop course aimed to train young directors in the language and demands of the documentary film by helping them develop a highly personal viewpoint of the subject but nevertheless ensuring that it would be shot and firmly anchored in reality. Everyone felt that having a team of two supervisors for the workshops gave the course an added richness, continuity being ensured by having the same French supervisor throughout the 3 phases while the different German supervisors brought additional, complementary perspectives.
The chosen participants, who were aged between 22 and 40, had come to the end of their course on filmmaking, or were young directors or even self-taught artists who wished to throw a new light on various aspects of Filipino society and culture. Some of their films were really successful, in particular « Tungkong Langit » (Towards the Sky) by Kiri Dalena, a prize-winner at the Visions du Réel Festival (Nyon) and shown at numerous European festivals, as well as «Jazz in Love » by Baby Ruth Villarama, which was very successful at Asian festivals (Busan, etc.) and whose director has since had a remarkable career.
A second workshop course was later held two years running, in 2013 and 2014, with this time financial support from the ASEF (Asia-Europe Foundation) which allowed for invitations to go to 5 directors from South East Asia (3 Indonesians, 1 Chinese from Singapore and 1 Cambodian) to accompany the Filipino men and women directors.
The documentary in your own home
Find out about new films by sifting through our media library to find all the films made in our workshops since 1978.