The First Reel
The First Reel is a creative community that embraces all artistic outputs. There are so many ways for Filipino creatives to reach out to the global audience. Film is just one of them.
The First Reel believes that film is a vital and powerful tool for communicating critical issues relevant to the filmmakers’ and the audience’s experience. This is why we chose to launch our film festival as our flagship project.
The Power of Film
Films embody the spirit of the times and fuel debates on both new and old issues. Thus, it is even more vital to present the cinematic voices of those who may have remained unheard for far too long. Filmmakers have the remarkable power of making the audience see things from their vantage point.
In the festival, film is not only presented as a medium for entertainment. It is also treated as a venue for examining the complexities of the human condition, as well as how various socio-political landscapes affect and inform groups and individuals.
The Value of Film
As the Filipino community continues to grow and develop in Berlin and across Europe, it is of utmost importance to create a space and platform for Filipino filmmakers and producers to showcase their work. The First Reel has positioned itself for this role.
The festival is anchored on the idea that film isn’t just a medium for entertainment, but also a vital and powerful tool for tackling critical issues relevant to the filmmakers’ home country. It serves as the proverbial window to the complexities of the human condition.
The Film Scene
Berlin hosts nearly 100 different film festivals throughout the year. While Filipino films have been featured in many of these festivals—such as the Asian Hot Shots Film Festival and Interfilm Festival—there hasn’t been any film festival dedicated solely to Filipino films and culture. That is, until The First Reel debuted in 2015. Since then, it's been held every two years at the Kino Moviemento, Berlin's oldest cinema.
Hamburg is a cosmopolitan city where Old World charm is infused with a vibrant cultural scene. It is the home of Filmfest Hamburg, an international film festival that is the third-largest of its kind in Germany. There is also growing Filipino community there. Thus, The First Reel teamed up with the Museum am Rothembaum (MARKK) to showcase an array of critical and films performances from October 2019 to March 2020. These monthly events will tackle various dimensions of nationhood, identity, and belonging.