For the uninitiated, who is Mike Sandejas?
I'm an indie filmmaker. I have two films, Tulad ng Dati and Dinig Sana Kita, both of which were entries to CInemalaya. Tulad ng Dati won the Best Film Award, and went on to compete in the Pusan International Film Festival in Korea, considered to be the Cannes of Asia.
What were the results in Pusan?
The film didn't win, but that's when I evolved. It was my first time to be in an international film festival, so I didn't know what to expect. I was able to watch what the other countries were able to come up with, and doon ko nalaman na napakaliit pala ng kakayanan natin dito dahil sa pera. I think the other countries have more financial support from their respective governments. They have better technical expertise because they can pay for it. We're still inferior technically, but we're getting there.
How about in terms of artistry?
When it comes to creativity, we're at par with everybody. The lack of finance does not allow us to go beyond certain limits. Our creativity is limited by the budgets we have. If only we could find a way for the money invested in a film to come back, more than just a return of investment, then we can make more films, get a bigger budget, and then we'll be up to par with the others.
But our strength is creativity. That's the only thing we thrive on. The others may special effects na yung iba kahit indie films. They can do visuals with unlimited creativity. I'm hoping we reach that level, too.