Selling Independent Films Through ‘EdukSine’ – Manila Bulletin
Take an independent film trying to open in a cineplex mall. After two or three screenings, the management canceled the film. Fewer than 20 people came to see it overall.
The industry has a term for this: first day, last day.
Social start-up EdukSine, led by pioneering woman Karen Jane Salutan, offers an alternative to this oft-repeated scenario.
Karen and ES co-founder Romae Marquez believe that outside of malls there is a different niche market for socially responsible and independently produced films.
They can reach more people through online, physical and hybrid bulk screenings.
This is the unique concept behind EdukSine, recipient of a 3.9 million peso grant from the Department of Science and Technology.
EdukSine is a streaming platform that showcases relevant Filipino films that reinforce our cultural roots and stories.
These pre-arranged screenings take place in schools, government offices, businesses and organizations, including those in mountainous and coastal villages.
In addition to providing contextual and transformative film content to audiences, the platform provides lasting support to independent film producers and directors.
“EdukSine bridges the gap between independent filmmakers and their markets (schools and government offices) which serves as a new and unconventional platform to promote Filipino culture and arts,” says Karen.
EdukSine will officially launch tomorrow, August 13, at UP’s Cine Adarna.
Karen, an alumna of St. Benilde’s College (Business Administration) in 2011, recalls it all started with a vision to screen films at Cine Adarna in 2015.
From there, his team reached distant corners, from Cagayan to Tawi-Tawi. Government agencies, Philippine embassies and overseas Filipino communities were covered.
Karen notes that movies are a great partner for school learning. She laments that many good films, produced with the best of intentions, end up not being watched due to a so-called lack of commercial viability. They usually don’t have any A-list stars above them.
A big boost for EdukSine came when it secured a grant in December 2021 from DOST, which provided incentives for individuals and parties interested in using technology to teach.
From the initial name, Pinoy Indie Films Road Show, the platform became known as EdukSine.
The platform currently hosts over 40 films accessible online, with a few more available only through face-to-face screenings.
The fare is pang masa, according to Karen. EdukSine charges only 28,000 pesos for 1,000 spectators, or only 28 pesos per person. The film is made available to the customer for 5 days, assigned with a QR code, common to all.
Films are categorized by theme, including agriculture, arts, culture, sex education, history, media literacy, and more.
Karen says a lack of media literacy is the culprit for the widespread flowering of fake news or misinformation.
“One day, when I make my own film, it will be about misinformation,” she says.
Karen is not only an event planner, but also an aspiring filmmaker with a Masters in Media Studies majoring in Film from UP.
She also has a continuous advocacy,
Cine Kabundukan, winner of a 2019 Animo Labs Green Archer Innovation Awards, which provides people in remote areas with access to quality Filipino films through sponsored public screenings.
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