Film as a voice for social issues


MANILA, Aug. 1 — For young filmmaker, Adel Clemente, film is not just a visual medium but is also a voice to convey ideas that may not be widely accepted by society.

The Philippine News Agency (PNA) caught up with Adel during the “Short and Sweet” Film Festival sponsored by the Australian Embassy and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), held at the SM Aura Premiere last July 31.

The 27-year-old director, an advertising and public relations graduate of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), was recognised for her short film entry, “TRANSParent”, which is about a transgender father who “came out” while living in a foreign land.

When asked about the inspiration for the film, Adel said it began with a joke.

”My brother is a gay man working in the Middle East. He refuses to go online on Skype or Facebook and my mother assumed he had already undergone a sex change, which was why he wasn’t communicating with the family anymore,” she narrated.

”In the film, I pushed the concept further by making my main character a parent, thinking it would be more interesting to see how this person’s transgender sexuality would be accepted by a super close family member, such as his son because I wanted to establish their connection.”

Although Adel received an honorable mention for “TRANSParent”, she said she is still in the process of discovering which genre she would like to concentrate on.

She, however, acknowledged that her creative efforts lean towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

“I’ve not done many projects just yet but I really want my films to be of social relevance. I think that’s the most important. I’m inclined to do films with an LGBT theme. I’m also planning to do a documentary on mental health and how it relates to the LGBT community. I have some friends who are LGBT and they seem to be struggling with mental issues, so I want to see how these two issues are related,” Adel said.

Currently, she is juggling work and studies at the Asia Pacific Film Institute (AFPI). She may not have decided on a particular genre just yet but it seems she is set on who and what she wants to be.

“I see film as an advocacy, an eye opener, and expression. I don’t want to make films that would simply look cool to the audience. I want viewers to come away with something after seeing my work,” Adel said. (Abs A. Abando/PNA)


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