One reason I hear from many is “for the experience”; one that, though I’m still at a loss of what it actually  means, seems sensible. There’s a communal feeling to the entire experience of it: a plethora of purists; the proper showcase of films; the stretched discussions of films in between screenings; and what have you. Part of this “experience”, then, I think, is the gradual immersion of one’s self to first a community, and then a way of life.

That sounds too romantic, I know, and make no apologies for it. It’s mainly because of this reason why the C.C.P. gets flooded with surges of film fans every year without fail.

YOUR TAKE: Why do you go to film festivals?

The Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival is an annual film event that happens at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (C.C.P.).

But being an avid film festival goer for years now, I’ve noticed that there are more pragmatic reasons to go, too. Some go to these events at a professional capacity, which makes equal sense: key figures of the industry go to these events, so it isn’t surprising at all to see talents, directors, and producers alike pitch by the sidelines. In fact, I think it’s healthy. It’s bound to make more films happen, and unknown talents become known.

There’s also those who go to film festivals to support their idols, their peers, their family’s work. The collective support from these people makes for a sturdy right leg for any film festival.

Of course, there’s no wrong reason to go to a film festival. But here’s what I want to know: why do you go to film festivals? I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Drop them in the comments below.

  • Engelbert Rafferty

    I started attending film festivals this year. My first was Sinag Maynila. At first, I didn’t really have a solid reason why I wanted to attend such festivities. I guess it’s because I’ve been curious as to how these fests work, having been grown in a closeted environment wherein I am my own man and I watch films alone, especially foreign ones. My second one this year was ToFarm Film Festival and again, the reason was the same. I tried to compare both fests and then that’s where an epiphany struck me. Film fests showcase a plethora of stories that have never been told and is begging for a listener or two. It makes me feel like I’m already giving back to the works of these filmmakers (no matter how freaking bad or good their works are). It’s because films are already my home, my refuge, my safe haven. Be it good or bad, a movie experience is still a movie experience at the end of the day. This is also the reason why I started doing reviews and debates about films because it gives me different perspectives of worldviews introduced in each film and it allows me to immerse my whole being into it. It’s like I lock my eyes into what I watch and rid my mind of everything, except what I am watching.

    • Glad to learn you’ve gotten into festival going, Engelbert. I agree with the different perspective on films that festivals offer. A number of factors come to play here, of course. One main factor for me is the environment in which the films are showcased. There are no place better to exhibit films than in a festival, where there’s a proper venue in which the films are screened, and the “right” people to watch and appreciate them.

      Also nice to hear that you’ve gotten into reviewing. I think everyone should write about films in one form or another.

      Thanks for leaving us this input! Appreciate it.