“Our film wants to show people that not all sounds bring good memories and not all sounds sound pleasing to everyone’s ears.”
The line above uttered by Genessa Asistio, the Assistant Director of “Kuliling”, an official entry to the Monumento Film Festival 2021 is something we could all relate to.
At one point in our lives, we have all been in a situation where it is quite difficult to distinguish how a certain sound affects us. To some, it may really be nostalgic but we can’t also deny that it can also bring back a terrifying memory.
For the 21-year old Genessa, good or bad, we have no other choice but face it because that is the reality of life.
“Kuliling” is a film which Genessa Asistio is so proud of because it is a product of collaboration and hard work. With Krizhmar Camillo as their director, she shares that film production may not be an easy road, but with teamwork, passion and dedication, anything is possible.
According to Genessa, the film is all about a traumatized kid of his abusive father’s behavior and actions.
“When we say trauma, it means disturbing or distressing experience so even if an individual got to experience those types of experiences as a child it can still haunt us or that individual in his or her future life as an adult.”
“Yung premise, we have this called “triggers”. And that triggers the individual to reminisce or to be reminded of the traumatic experiences that they had. It can be a thing, a person, an animal or place or even a sound. At doon na papasok ang title namin which is “kuliling” an onomatopoeia of the bell sa sorbetes.”
Originally conceptualized by Rodel Ulat Jr and script written by Nelie Jane Pupuran , the inspiration of the film is something Genessa considers very magical. Different people from all walks of life walking in a street and would suddenly hear the sound of “sorbetes” became their take-off to make their film dream happen.
“Speaking of sound, for us kasi, kapag nakarinig tayo ng bell ng sorbetes we tend to be reminded of good old thoughts, good old memories as a kid na parang binibilhan tayo ng ating parents ng sorbetes just to console us and to stop us from crying. And that’s good memories. The thing is, our film wants to show people that not all sounds bring good memories and not all sounds sound pleasing to everyone’s ears.”
“The film Kuliling is not just talking about that. Our team wants to show the audience who we will watch our film the realities of life. That not everyone in this world is fortunate and privileged and not everyone in this world chooses to be a good person and do good things. And not everyone in the world has the capability to fight for their rights. And last but not the least, not all stories have good endings since life is not a fantasy, it is the reality.”
BTS Photos during the Film Production of "Kuliling" directed by Krizhmar Camillo
Making it to this year’s film festival wasn’t really a surprise for Genessa and her team but she can’t deny that they were overwhelmed.
“When I learned that our film made it to this year’s festival, syempre overwhelmed. There’s this thing na rin na parang inaasahan na namin, expected na rin na one of our films will be showcased in this year’s film fest since all of the 4th year students underwent this process.”
Genessa Asistio and the rest of the Liberlaya Productions did not waste the opportunity and ensured that they’re off to a journey of a lifetime.
With the ongoing restrictions happening in the county, they really had to adapt to changing situations and find ways to do their shoots.
“The production process was the most challenging, especially that we had to film amidst the pandemic. Yung Liberlaya production team namin is consisting of team members that are not just film creators and production centered. We are also students composed of different types of people. Nahahati sa team members na full-time students fully dependent on their parents while some are working students. So basically, we have to ask for the consent of our guardians before being able to do the film. The struggle dito is nag-lock in taping kami to guarantee the safety of the people in the shooting.”
When it comes to the financial aspects of the film, they are all lucky to navigate and utilize their resources despite being students.
“The budget nagawan naman ng paraan. Siguro ang pinaka- challenging talaga is the time and availability of one another since we have busy schedules and this time nag-iistart na din maghanap ng OJT ang ibang students and my other blockmates.”
“We need to be more understanding and respectful of one another’s schedule and availability. Also, because of the pandemic not all are allowed to go outside and take the risks to shoot so we have to compromise.”
Genessa Asistio, a fourth year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student from University of Caloocan City happily shares that she is very happy to be the Assistant Director. While a lot of students really dream of becoming the captain of the ship when it comes to film production, she mentioned that she is very satisfied with her designation and the responsibilities under her belt.
In fact, this young and talented student generously shared how she decided to enroll in the Communication Program and how it all started.
“There is this one time na normal day, walang pasok then may bagyo and I saw a reporter parang na-amaze lang ako how she did her responsibilities while it is raining hard. I was really amazed at how she did her work. It's kinda an unrealized dream of my brother as well since my brother took IT as his course kaso if he’s given a chance he will take this course relating to media or mass communication.”
“I had this OJT and it's all about video editing and graphics designing. I really enjoyed that experience and kahit nagte-take siya ng a lot of time, instead of 4 hrs lang inaabot ako ng 8 hours sa editing. I really enjoyed the fact that I'm having fun while doing my responsibilities in my job.”
From there on, she has harnessed her full potential and in a way sees herself working in the creative industry.
“Kung iisipin, hindi ako ang type na sasalang sa harap ng camera. Siguro behind the camera,” she added.
Now that she’s in her final year in college, she is more than excited to see what the future holds for her.
INTO THE FUTURE
After graduation, Genessa is planning to take the civil service exam and eyes to work in the government. But aside from that, she also wants to try her luck in media companies because she envisions herself directing films particularly those in the mystery genre.
At 21, she is a living proof that we can all dream big, anybody can. In fact, she humbly extends an advice to fellow students and storytellers:
“Fight for your dreams kasi kapag gusto mo talaga ang ginagawa mo, you’ll come to enjoy it. Have fun even if film production is very stressful because it is all worth it especially if natapos na yung process.”
Empowered, visionary, respectful, determined, responsible, purposeful. The list goes on. Genessa Asistio embodies all of that and more. True enough, the future is bright ahead for this woman. Who knows the next sound we will be hearing is a news report about Genessa in her first directorial job. Let’s just wait and see. She might be the next big name in the creative industry.
COMING SOON! Monumento Film Festival 2021.
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