It was love at first sight for the eighteen-year-old Carlos Angelo Dean, a grade 12 student of the Ateneo De Davao Senior High School as he found himself joining the Ateneo Film Makers Society (AFS). He has always been a big fan of films ever since he was a child, watching different genres of movies with his older sister Hannah Andrea. Despite the fact that there are times that they argue on what they should watch, they still manage to meet halfway and binge on their favorite Disney films. Truth be told, as a young kid, Carlos already knew the career path he wanted to take. He has a clear goal in mind that after finishing Senior High School as a Humanities Major student (HUMMS), he eyes to enroll at the University of the Philippines to study film. His love for film is evident and it wasn’t a surprise that in 2020, he finally decided to be a part of the AFS in Davao.
Ateneo Film Makers Society, popularly known as AFS is considered to be one of the most active organizations in their school. As a recognized club of the Ateneo de Davao University, they seek to nurture and educate a community of young filmmakers by providing lectures, workshops, and opportunities to produce a film, documentary, and other short and long-form content.
As of writing, AFS has 69 members including their moderator. The club is divided into groups-- Writer’s Pool, Directors of Photography, Editing Department, Actors Guild, and Film Critiques. United as one, all of them are aiming to promote film literacy and appreciation among the Atenean community and come up with films that are relevant to the Mindanao region and the youth.
Even though there is a ballooning number of COVID-19 cases, the pandemic did not hinder AFS to produce timely and creative films that will encourage and uplift the spirits of their audience. They were able to make films that spark hope, faith, and camaraderie. Recently, AFS also launched a film fair, the stories of new normal which highlights the idea that creativity should never be locked down. Moreover, they came up with digital seminars with directors and writers from the film industry as their guests. It has helped them foster their skills despite the different challenges, and at the same time, boosted their spirit to continue producing films that will touch the lives of people.
At an early age, these young filmmakers are truly passionate about their craft. Not to mention Carlos’ immense determination in writing stories that titillate the minds of his audience. He always makes sure that when he writes, he writes stories with confidence.
“There’s no other way but to write your stories with confidence. Trust your vision and you have to believe in your story first, before anyone else.”
He also shared that young filmmakers like him should never stop honing their skills. Not because you are already good at what you are doing, it doesn’t mean you’ll no longer improve. Always strive for greatness even in the smallest.
True enough, Carlos is an example of a young man with big dreams but he’s also a man who puts his words into action. Together with the members of the Ateneo Film Society, there is no doubt that there is still hope in filmmaking. There are more untold stories coming our way. Keep the faith and nurture that love.