MARILOU DIAZ-ABAYA FILM INSTITUTE and ARTS CENTER
Soon after film studies at the Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, U.S.A., and the London International Film School in England, Film and Television Director MARILOU DIAZ-ABAYA started teaching film courses at the Ateneo de Manila University. For the past 27 years, she has admitted only a few students each year, pre-selected by the Ateneo Department of Communication Arts, to ensure maximum mentorship per student, and to be able to continue mentoring them even after graduation.
Many of her former students have become professionals in various motion picture industries. JEFFREY JETURIAN, who was in Diaz-Abaya’s very first Ateneo film class in 1981, started his outstanding career in the production design department of Director Diaz-Abaya’s movies throughout the eighties. JETURIAN has since become a multi-awarded, internationally acclaimed film and television director. QUARK HENARES, who worked on “BAGONG BUWAN”, is now also an independent feature film director. Too, screenwriter/director JUN LANA was mentored by Diaz-Abaya in her films “SA PUSOD NG DAGAT”, “JOSE RIZAL”, “MURO-AMI”.
To name a few other former students, many of them multi-awarded and much sought-after: production designers JUDY LOU DE PIO and CRIS SILVA; film editors MANET DAYRIT and TARA ILLENBERGER; director of photography and editor MO ZEE; Palanca awardee and screenwriter CHRIS VALLEZ; MTV director MARIE JAMORA; tv hosts ISSA LITTON, LEE ANDANAR-YU, and BILL VELASCO; and film director MIKE TUVIERA.
Director Diaz-Abaya also conducts private lessons for a long list of professional film workers, including directors OLIVE LAMASAN, RORIE QUINTOS and JERRY SINENENG.
After a brief stint at the Asia Pacific Film Institute, Diaz-Abaya resigned as Director of Studies to give more time to her media apostolates of the JESUIT COMMUNICATIONS (JESCOM, Ateneo de Manila University), the Archidiocesan Media Apostolate Network Unlimited (AMANU, Pampanga), and the SILSILAH Peace Institute in Zamboanga.
Then came a great opportunity when Diaz-Abaya’s father, Atty. Conrado P. Diaz, donated a parcel of land located up in the cool, wooded Beverly Hills Subdivision in Antipolo City for the purpose of establishing an arts center. Thus was conceptualized the MARILOU DIAZ-ABAYA FILM INSTITUE AND ARTS CENTER with the primary objective of providing film education in the wider context of culture and the arts. The Antipolo campus has a multi-purpose hall, three formal classrooms, editing rooms, a sound rooms, workshop spaces and sprawling gardens for al fresco classes and cultural shows. Moreover, the Institute has an industry-wide network of technical equipment suppliers who provide professional services at minimal rates for MDAFI students.
As a film educator for the 27 years, Diaz-Abaya says, “I have always loved studying and teaching. As young as eight, I would gather my siblings and house help, mount a green blackboard in front of them, and with real chalk, mark important details of lessons I learned in class earlier in the day. I always tell my students to learn as much as they can then give everything away to anybody interested. This way, they’ll always have room to learn even more.”
In May 2007, the MDAFI and Arts Center starts its first school year in May 2007 three campuses: the Providence Building in Greenhills, Quezon City; the Antipolo campus; and Director Diaz-Abaya’s residence in New Manila for individual classes and professional clinics.
MDAFI is now open for applications to our Basic Course in the Motion Picture Language, the Advanced Course in Motion Picture Production, the Junior Summer Video Program, and the Film Scoring Course.