Martin travels to Itbayat island, of the Batan group, on the far north of the Phillipines, to record the customs of its inhabitants and their life away from modern civilization. Itbayat is open to visitors only in the summer; the storms raging in the region completely isolate the islanders for the rest of the year. The camera gives them the chance to tell their stories. “I was interested in understanding the characteristics of the community beyond its practices and traditions”, says the director. Winner of the Best Documentary award at the .MOV, Manila’s alternative festival dedicated to digital film. —Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema
Raya Martin was born in 1984 in Manila, Philippines. He graduated from the University of the Philippines Film Institute in 2005 and worked as writer and researcher in local television, newspaper, radio and online magazines. His short film “The Visit” won the Ishmael Bernal Award for Young Cinema in Cinemanila International Film Festival, 2004, and his documentary, “The Island at the End of the World”, won best documentary at the .mov International Digital Film Festival 2005. His first feature film, A Short Film about the Indio Nacional (Or The Prolonged Sorrow of the Filipinos) won the Lino Micciche Award at Pesaro Film Festival, Italy in 2006. He is the first Filipino filmmaker to be accepted in the prestigious Cannes Festival Cinefondation Residence in Paris, France. —Independencia Films
An in-depth look at the films of Filipino filmmaker Raya Martin.