I’ve always been a fan of Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan. Truth be told, these two auteurs’ unconventional methods paved the way for great stories, and in a way, created a trend that still sees its existence up to this point.
More often than not, themes such as reality, man’s flawed psyche as well as metafictive elements were infused into their films. They make us think. They make us question the reliability of the narration. They make us ponder about ourselves.
Those are the reasons I loved watching their works.
Fortunately, it would seem like I’ll be adding another individual to my long list of helmers I’ll be following. After laying my eyes on TheRapist, as well as the award-winning flick Mulat, my mouth was left hanging on agape. Amazingly, there is a female iteration(or perhaps a hybrid) of Scorsese and Nolan here in RP. A budding rose set to blaze her way through the film world.
The name – Diane Ventura. Diane-Ventura
Walking The Director’s Walk
For years, she was commonly associated with former Eraserheads frontman Ely Buendia – whom she parted ways with – so it was a complete surprise(even for her) to delve into the industry.
“Even I surprised myself because when I was younger I thought that if I’d ever get into the movie industry, I’d be making comedies,” quipped Diane
She eventually found the artist within, prompting her to take up film studies in New York. There, she learned to love the medium further, and it took her to further heights. She then produced the seeds for her first short TheRapist, which garnered recognition abroad, and competed against 43 other short films at the International Film Festival Manhattan(IFFM). It edged the others and was tagged as one of the Top 3 Most Popular Films during the filmfest.
Now, one may ask: How was she able to come up with such crazy ideas for a short such as The Rapist? “Film and storytelling has always been a passion. l like collaborating with creative people and discussing ideas and so directing and scriptwriting just came naturally.”
Awakening The Psyche In Mulat
After the success of her first short, Diane ventures into yet another psychological ride, this time, with the full-length movie Mulat. It tells the story of a woman named Sam, played by newcomer Loren Burgos, who is caught between the promise of a future with her fiancé Vincent (Ryan Eigenmann) and the less certain but perhaps, more fulfilling life apart from him. She meets Jake (Jake Cuenca) but begins experiencing mysterious hallucinations, causing her to question what she perceives as reality.
“It’s hard to mention anything about to conception of this story without the risk of revealing too much. For now I can only say that it was from random conversations that dealt with consciousness and perceptions of reality,” Diane shared when asked about the conception of the film. It was also noteworthy that films carrying psychoanalytic topics seem to be her trademark. However, she begs to think differently.
“I am actually not aware of this as I don’t really put so much heavy thought into the process or maybe it’s a choice to avoid the propensity to overanalyze.”
It bagged awards at the IFFM: A Best Director award for Diane, as well as a Best Actor In A Feature nod for Cuenca. It also saw a local release at the recently concluded MMFF New Wave film fest, alongside Bimyana and An Maogmang Lugar(The Happy Place).
What Lies Next For Diane?
Similarly, Ely Buendia had taken the helmer’s seat as well, resulting in the critically acclaimed Manila. We then asked her if there’s any possibility of a collaboration with the Eheads frontman.
“If the opportunity arises. For now there is tremendous respect as individuals. He’s been very supportive. He is a good friend. In fact, he and Day were actually the ones that suggested that I do a feature since this concept(Mulat) was originally intended as a short.”
The future is indeed uncertain, but one thing’s for sure: We’ll be seeing more of her budding potential in the years to come.
She then tells this message to those who are aspiring to become a filmmaker, “Go out and shoot. Just do it.”