Lance Katigbak, an undergraduate student from the University of the Philippines, proved to the world that dignity still thrives even in the most remote places through his short film, Fine Dining, which was awarded the People’s Choice in the recent Manhattan International Film Festival in New York.
He also continues to help people see situations in a new light, literally in this case, through a social initiative called One Million Lights where they distribute solar-powered lamps to communities without electricity around the country. Clearly, age does not limit anyone to the amount of impact he can contribute to society.
What made you decide to become a film director?
I’ve always been fascinated with putting together productions because of the reactions they would elicit. There’s nothing quite comparable to the feeling of accomplishment you get when you hear the audience laugh and cry with the characters in your film. I guess it seemed like a natural next step to try and become a film director.
How did winning the People’s Choice award in the Manhattan International Film Fest change your life?
Aside from the numerous requests I now get to make videos for people, it’s given me affirmation and confidence in my abilities as a director. It’s now something I’m seriously considering taking up as a career in the future.
What other themes do your future films want to explore? What other messages do you plan to get across?
I want to be able to share positive themes about humanity, focusing on what makes us truly human, instead of what makes us animals. I’d like to be able to tell people that life isn’t just all about the sex, the drugs, and the violence, and that there’s way more to it than meets the eye.
Beyond the camera, you are also involved in the publicity efforts of One Million Lights Philippines. Can you tell us more about this initiative?
It’s a national, youth-led initiative that my friends Tricia Peralta and Mark Lozano started two years ago. They got me on board last year and we’ve distributed about 3,500 solar-powered lights all over the country so far. Last summer, I joined the team as we distributed lights in Rizal, Mindoro, Catanduanes, and Samar, among other places.
How does your talent in film making contribute to achieving the vision of this initiative?
I serve as the Head of Publicity so I’m pretty much responsible for most of the documentation and editing. I also design publicity materials, posters, and flyers. What I like about my role is that it allows me to put my God-given talents to good use.
Between film making and being part of OML, where do you find more fulfillment?
That’s tough, but I guess I’d have to say OML since film making’s part of that too!
How different do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Not that different, hopefully! I don’t want to end up chained to a desk someday so hopefully that doesn’t happen. Rather, I see myself still doing the things I love — making short films, starting new projects, and helping others out.
Manila Kid does not own any photo used in this article.