‘UTILIZING ART TO EDUCATE’: Katips director hopes to show film in academe

By John Noel E. Herrera

The award-winning director and actor behind the film “Katips” suggested to organizers to show the film in schools to educate the young about what happened during Martial Law.

Atty. Vince Tañada suggested this strategy during the special screening of Katips in Iloilo City over the weekend.

Tañada noticed that even though the cinema was full and there were young people watching the film, most of the audience who attended the show were still adults.

“Sir, mag schedule (screenings) naman tayo sa mga colleges and universities. Baka pwede na sa mga senior high school natin. Baka po pwede sa mga paaralan at hindi na kailangan magbayad ng mahal,” Tañada said.

(Sir, let us schedule screenings in colleges and universities. Maybe we can have it too for senior high school students. Maybe we can have it in schools, and they don’t need to pay a lot.)

Tañada added that he is willing to distribute the film for free just to educate the students.

“Kahit ibigay ko po ng libre ang pelikula, makapagturo lamang po para sa mga kabataan. Sana po magtulong-tulong po tayo. Gamitin natin ang mga paaralan para mas marami pa ang makatunghay ng palabas na ito,” he said.

(I can distribute the movie for free, just to teach the young people. I hope we can all help each other. Let us use the schools to reach a wider audience.)

Tañada also turned a bit emotional while giving his speech during the end of the special screening because according to him, “Natapakarami po nating kabataan ang na-touch at nagbago ng pananaw at isip pagkatapos mapanood ang pelikula na ito. ‘Yun po ang mahalaga dahil ayaw po natin magkaroon ng kinabukasan na naniniwala sa kasinungalinga. Sinungaling po sila eh, kaya hindi po tayo dapat huminto sa ating laban, ipagpatuloy po natin ang laban na ito.”

(Many students were touched and they changed their views and minds after watching this film. That’s important because we don’t want to have a future that is anchored by lies. They are liars, that is why we should not stop this fight, let us continue this fight.)

Aside from Tañada, fellow actor John Rey Rivas also graced the sold-out affair dubbed “A Red Carpet Night of Truth” organized by Progressive Ilonggos and Lawyers Anonymous last Friday, Aug 19, 2022 at Festive Mall Cinema 2, Megaworld Boulevard in Mandurriao district.

A “Meet and Greet” session wherein the fans and supporters had a photo opportunity with the Katips stars was also conducted in the lobby area of the Festive Mall Cinema just before the show started.

A mini press conference was also held that afternoon at Plated Resto in Mandurriao, Iloilo City, wherein the two actors answered questions that were controversial about the film.

Tañada emphasized during the press conference that the film is not about the Aquinos and the Marcoses but the story of ordinary people, and it is not for political purposes but to educate the people.

He explained that they chose to have the same playdate with Maid in Malacañang, not because of political intentions, but to avoid the same playdate with Hollywood films that will surely affect the audience.

Rivas on the other hand stressed that the Martial Law era was not the golden years of the Philippines and that the film is not a flop as they have all the audience who willingly watched the film.

Both actors also dubbed the film as the Les Miserables of the Philippines because of their similarities, and Tañada said that the film was adapted from a musical play with the same title which he also wrote in 2016.

The musical drama film about the tribulations of student activists during Martial Law also won seven awards, including the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor during the 70th Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Science (FAMAS) Awards.