Posted December 16, 2014 by Mico Orda in Movies/TV



Making a film(whether it’s a full-length or a short), everything goes into process, finding the right ingredients to make a compelling story, gathering all sorts of logistics and of course, the right actors who can breathe lives to the characters. Anyways, we’re very fortunate to have a chat with a Benildean and a fellow filmmaker, Kim Zuniga, to discuss her thesis film, Bimyana, which will be a part of Metro Manila Film Festival New Wave program(shorts category).


For gearing up for the film, she says: “At first, I was hesitant if I’ll pursue this story since it’s a bit challenging. It is not the usual film process where in you’ll just write a story, cast suitable actors, and then shoot.”

And to achieve of bringing the Ayta in film, she delved deeper on the details,  “I needed to first know the story of my subject which are the “Aytas” to be able to create an output that’s not only good but something that truly represents their community. I also thought of casting the Aytas (non-actors) themselves. It’s a big risk for me but I want to make the film’s voice as authentic as possible.


Aside from the subject matter, the young filmmaker also cited some inspirations, I knew that I wanted to do a children’s film.  I grew up watching Disney films and I’ve always appreciated movies with simple narratives but with big aspirations.”

 She adds: “With the help of my brother, I was able to know this Ayta community in Pampanga called “Katutubo Village”. I went there several times to know the community and interview the people there.” Which you can easily see her sense of responsibility and commitment on handling the subject matter with care, its really awesome and impressive at the same time, and getting a grasp of it really helps the creative process.

And of course, what’s a work or project without some challenge, Kim says: “There are times when I wanted to give up but I know I’m doing this project not just as a thesis requirement but also because of a biggest purpose- to be able to amplify the voices of Katutubo Village to a bigger platform through my film.” It’s more than just a thesis film, but rather the Katutubo as a whole in film,  tackling the culture and its sensibilities.

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As far as the production team is concerned, you need an A-team behind your back who believes in you and to your vision as well. She expresses her gratitude on working with them:  “I can say that I’m lucky to have the best people with me. My production team consisted of my friends who shared their talents to the film so that my vision for the film will come to life.”

And while collaboration is equals to communication, she tells the crew to do it ‘wholheartedly’:  “I always tell to my crew that while they are working on their part of the film they must do it wholeheartedly. By putting their heart into their work, they can produce a satisfying result.”


Back on the authenticity, aside from charm and bringing the character to life, she looked another aspect on casting the titular lead and other characters for the film would be ethnicity: “In my case, since I’m casting non-actors who are the Aytas, I’m looking for an Ayta lead who is charming on and off screen. Luckily, I found one. She is not only charming but also very talented.”

Even if a fictional character is merely fictional, they’re still somewhat a metaphor of yourself, people you know, and some friends or family, she also shares a similarity on Bimyana:“If there is one thing in common that me and Bimyana share is that we are both dreamers.”  


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Kim tells us that “ They should look forward to in this film are my amazing Ayta kid actors who gave their heart and soul to this film. It’s such a joy watching them represent and portray the story of their community!” this is really interesting mainly because we’re going to have a dose of local ethnic culture.

And for fellow filmmakers who are in the run to pursue their craft, her advice: “Follow your passion. Be bold- don’t be afraid to tell your stories.” And a good story means truth without any pretenses, being a filmmaker is all about expressing one’s self.


And before wrapping up our chat, she mentions two things: “First, I hope that through this film, they’ll see a different perspective towards the Aytas.” And with passion, she was able to believe(and dream) on her vision, that turned out to be well, “I’m happy that through MMFF New Wave I’m given a chance to share their story to a bigger audience. And last, to never stop dreaming no matter what obstacle that may come your way :)”

Never stop dreaming, just follow your own dreams and at the end of the day, it all the decisions lies in you. Thank you very much Kim for giving your time with us on sharing your passion on filmmaking, the amazing Ayta, and simply being brave and bold. Looking forward to see your future works.

Catch Bimyana and other awesome sauce MMFF New Wave shorts and full-length titles on December 17-24 at SM Megamall Cinema 12 and Glorietta Cinema 1. You can check the schedule here.

Photo credit goes to Kim Zuniga and Wanderstruck films.



Mico Orda

A passionate, enthusiastic writer, Mico Orda utilizes his filmmaking skills to keep his writer’s edge. He enjoys a lot of outdoor activities, which juice up his creative juices.