Take an indie film that tries to open in a mall cineplex. After two or three screenings, management cancels the film. Less than 20 people came to see it overall.
The industry has a term for it: First day, last day.
Start-up social enterprise EdukSine, led by Karen Jane Salutan, a pioneering wisp of a woman, offers an alternative to this oft-repeated scenario.
Karen and ES co-founder Romae Marquez believe that outside of malls, there’s a different niche market out there for socially conscious, independently-produced films.
They can reach more people through online, physical, and hybrid block screenings.
Such is the unique concept behind EdukSine, recipient of a P3.9 million grant from the Department of Science and Technology.
EdukSine is a streaming platform that showcases relevant Filipino films that strengthen our cultural roots and narratives.
These pre-arranged screenings are held in schools, government offices, companies and organizations, including those in mountainous, coastal villages.
Aside from providing contextual and transformative film content to audiences, the platform gives sustainable support to independent film producers and directors.
“EdukSine bridges the gap between indie filmmakers and their markets (schools and government offices) which serves as a new and unconventional platform to promote Filipino culture and arts,” says Karen.
EdukSine will be formally launched tomorrow, August 13, at UP’s Cine Adarna.
Karen, a 2011 College of St. Benilde alumna (Business Administration), recalls that it all started with a vision to screen films at Cine Adarna in 2015.
From there, her team reached far-flung corners, from Cagayan to Tawi-Tawi. Covered were government agencies, Philippine embassies and Filipino communities abroad.
Karen notes that films are a great partner to academic learning. She laments that many good films, produced with best intentions, end up not being watched due to so-called lack of commercial viability. They usually have no A-list stars on top of them.
A big boost to EdukSine came when it earned a grant in December 2021 from the DOST, which was offering incentives to people and parties interested in using technology to teach.
From the initial name, Pinoy Indie Films Road Show, the platform became known as EdukSine.
The platform currently houses 40-plus films accessible online, and a few others available only via face-to-face screenings.
Rate is pang masa, according to Karen. EdukSine charges 28,000 pesos only per 1,000 audience, or 28 pesos only per person. The film is made available to the client for 5 days, assigned with one QR code, common to all.
Films are categorized according to theme, including agriculture, arts, culture, sex education, history, media education, etc.
Karen says lack of media education is the culprit behind the widespread flowering of fake news or disinformation.
“One day, when I get to direct my own film, it shall have disinformation as theme,” she says.
Karen is not just an event organizer but also a budding filmmaker with a close-to-finish master’s degree in Media Studies, major in Filmmaking, from UP.
She also has continuing advocacy,
Cine Kabundukan, winner of a 2019 Animo Labs Green Archer Innovation Awards, which allows people from remote areas access to quality Filipino films through sponsored public screenings.
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