Five days from now, there will be two martial law films hitting the local cinemas: one from the point of view of the dictator’s family and another from the point of view of student activists who struggled under the dictatorship. But we’d rather channel our energy into the latter.
“Katips: The Movie” is a musical drama film adapted from the 2016 hit musical theater show “Katips: Ang Mga Bagong Katipunero” (which, by the way, won Best Musical Performance at the 2016 Aliw Awards).
It’s written and directed by lawyer and award-winning filmmaker Vince Tañada—starring Tañada himself, Jerome Ponce, Nicole Asensio, Mon Confiado, Adelle Ibarrientos, and an ensemble of film and musical theater actors.
Student activism under the oppressive regime
“Katips: The Movie” touches on topics that point to the realities of student activism during martial law. It follows the story of a group of young activists who face trials and tribulations under the oppressive regime. While the odds are against them, their conviction remains strong—and somewhere amid the chaos, love blossoms.
According to Tañada, it’s a “tale of the young, in their fight for their ideals, [and] how big can one get against a force too much bigger than [themselves].”
17 nominations at the 2022 FAMAS awards
Prior to its August 2022 release, “Katips: The Movie” already premiered in November 2021 courtesy of the Philippine Stagers Foundation—making it eligible for the 2022 Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards. It received a staggering 17 nominations, including best picture, best screenplay, best cinematography, and best musical score.
Tañada was nominated for best director, Ponce for best actor, Asensio for best actress, Confiado for best supporting actor, and Ibarrientos for best supporting actress.
Inspired by Tañada’s real-life experiences—emphasis on real
There’s no place for chismis in “Katips: The Movie” as it was inspired by Tañada’s own experiences under the dictatorship. “This is about the truth, and nobody can invalidate me [and] my personal experience as a victim of martial law,” he said in an online press conference.
In addition, the filmmaker is the grandson of former senator Lorenzo Tañada, who was arrested and imprisoned after joining the people’s movement against tyranny. Prior to his incarceration, he provided legal representation for political prisoners and defended their rights. He also actively protested on the streets, enduring tear gas and water cannons.
— Vince Tanada (@VinceTanada) July 28, 2022
While the production team initially admitted that “Katips: The Movie” might hit select cinemas only, the director confirmed in a tweet on July 28 that the film will be released in all cinemas nationwide starting Aug. 3.
Still from “Katips: The Movie” official trailer