The passion film 1941: Cordillera Iti Ima Ti Gubat, a film produced by Be Unrivalled Productions and Sine Cordillera was formally launched on a press conference last July 20, 2021 at the City Lights Hotel, Baguio City. At the presscon, all main cast of the Film 1941 were present as well as the Directors; From the fight scenes of FPJ Ang Probinsyano’s Direk Perry De Guzman, Director of Photography Direk Atoy Devera and the Executive Producer and Film Director Ms. Jennylyn “Jianlin” De Los Santos-Floresca.

Direk Jianlin is a real estate consultant, an entrepreneur and an artist. As she said during the event, at 18 she already delved in the field of entrepreneurship at the same time aspired to be an artist and director.

The film 1941 of Direk Jianlin is her second self-produced film after “Dayas” which was recognized by Lift-Off : First-Time Filmmaker Online Sessions 2021 based on Pinewood Studios, UK. Both films were part of her passion projects aiming to promote the culture and talents of the Cordilleras with hopes of joining and having recognition from local and international film festivals.

Resources and the Return of Investment (ROI): Direk Jianlin simply answered,” All possible resources should be poured into this project to ensure that the film is genuine and authentic.” she also added that “This would ensure that the advocacies of Sine Cordillera and her as a cordilleran director would be implored”.

Direk Jianlin reminded everyone that when doing projects like this (film), even in business, thinking about it (ROI) should not be the priority. As she said “If you put good art, good content and value, it works like a magnet. It attracts an automatic cashflow, and I have done that (pertaining to her previous projects and accomplishments)”.  She wrapped-up her statement by saying “I think everything will just come to flow. Amidst all the challenges, since the reason of doing it is there; it acts like a magnet, I also think that if the Holy Spirit is there and the reason you’re doing this is genuine, everything will just follow”.

Direk also stressed the importance of rolling the money in order to make more projects to reach and help more Cordillerans. According to her, a concrete objective and plan is already laid out on how to push through with projects that will benefit the people not just by watching but to actually explore and educate people on culture and tradition, particularly on the warrior spirits of our Cordillerans.

Challenges encountered: She noted three main challenges, first was the difficulty of choosing artists, as there is a need to make sure that the actors should really fit in the characters they play since the story is the soul of the film.  The second challenge was the clash with the other directors (Co-Director Perry De Guzman and Director of Photography, Direk Atoy De Vera) which are common when great minds collide, it sometimes came to the point of having loud arguments or even walking out of the scene. But just like every argument, it ended compromised. She also cited that “when the spirit is one and we understand each other the result of everything is good.” The last problem is the unpredictable weather since it messes up the schedule and adds to the difficulty of the work.

Lessons and Goals: She just said: “It’s all about the story.” Ms Jianlin reiterated that since the film is about the life of the Cordillerans during the Japanese occupation, one of her main goal is to represent the cordillera and show the warrior spirit of its people (how we fought for our lands). She also wanted to depict the Japanese people on a lighter note during that time, that not all of them were dreadful as presented in most war films. It would also foster good relations with the country of Japanese people. In addition, one of the goals is to be able to reach more platforms, such as Netflix, for us to showcase the authenticity of our culture as well as the establishment of cultural awareness.

Inspiration in making the film 1941: “You have to love the work that you do, it’s a passion, and with passion, sometimes if you do things that you love it gives you a certain kind of fulfillment that you cannot get from your daily activities.” “Also, if you could do something for your community and you are able to gather a set of champions, like this beautiful people around me right now; and you have the capability to secure that spirit and bring that possibility from the story why not do it.” She also mentioned her personality being immersed in many films. “In a way I am fed up with some of the materials that we watch that I think are not for the public i.e., some depressing shows.” She also added “The Philippines is also noted to be number 1 in supporting films of other countries such as “Koreanovelas,” and I think that WE HAVE GREAT TALENTS OUT HERE AND STORIES TO TELL”. 

She also shared that with Sine Cordillera’s spirit of giving tribute to our cordilleran talents, and with our National Artist for Film Tatay Kidlat Tahimik, Coach Mark Sangiao of Team Lakay and the two other directors behind her back, having the opportunity to bring the story on a platform is a great honor for her.

Finally, she thanked the people behind her and empowered everyone to bring our message, our stories from the north to the public and around the world.

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