WE MET BENEDICT Carandang, Philippine winner of the British Council?s 2008 Young Screen Entrepreneur search, at his send-off party at the Shang cineplex last Sept. 30
The 27-year-old cofounder of Tuldok Animation Studios will compete for the prestigious Screen Entrepreneur prize in the United Kingdom with his counterparts from China, India, Indonesia, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Slovenia and Thailand. He will also be the country?s delegate to the London Film Festival, where he will meet film and TV professionals from London, Cardiff and Bristol.
Carandang is the producer of Ramon del Prado?s Libingan (The Burial), a 20-minute animated feature about a child who encounters mythical creatures on her first visit to the province to meet relatives. The film takes inspiration from Sagada?s hanging coffins. He shares: ?In the province, the folkloric kapre (mythic giant) is real, but in the city, it?s been mostly forgotten. We?ve been showing this film around the country and, surprisingly, many students in the provinces still believe in the kapre?s (existence!?
Carandang?s dream of building a predominantly Filipino animation studio was born in 1998 when, as an exchange student in Pittsburgh, he won a prize to visit Pixar Animation Studios to observe the making of ?A Bug?s Life.?
He recalls: ?Three years ago, I met up with old friends from De La Salle University. I suggested, ?Why don?t we combine our strengths?? One was an animator, the other an IT specialist, and a third was into events management. We met at fast-food restaurants to work on ideas we were passionate about.?
Libingan is the product of that collaboration. They got a grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the rest is history.
?The main thrust of Tuldok, which now has more than 70 freelance animators, is to develop an independent animation production model without the physical studio.
?Utilize your available resources and take risks,? Carandang advises. ?We want to inspire other groups to create similar models. After all, animation is not just about outsourcing?we can also create animation with original Filipino content. Will power is all we need!?