Veteran Filipino filmmakers, directors, actors, and actresses in recent years have been awarded and honoured at Cannes World Film Festival. This film season plucked an extraordinary Filipino playwright and artistic director who bagged multiple international awards, way more than an affirmation of the Filipino world class talent.
UK-based Ilonggo/Ogtonganon screenwriter and film director Ramon Castillanes Tenoso wrote and co-directed the film “KATAGMAN” in celebration of the 450th year of the founding of Oton, a first-class municipality in the province of Iloilo, Philippines. Due to the pandemic, the yearly lively and colourful festival was cancelled and replaced with something that was never done before – a visual presentation in film.
Founded in 1572, Oton is considered the oldest town in Panay Island. It is a rich colourful film showcasing the history of Oton through music, folk to modern dances, the arts and theatre performances - from the death of Datu Paiburong and the golden mask, pagan beliefs, and rituals to the advent of Christianity and Babaylans’ resistance.
KATAGMAN the movie, has everything for its audience to enjoy. Commendably, it is a film written, directed, performed, and filmed in Oton by Ogtonganons themselves.
Among KATAGMAN’s world-class distinctions are:
BEST DIRECTOR DOCUMENTARY SHORT - CANNES WORLD FILM FESTIVAL FRANCE
BEST DOCUMENTARY - BEST SHORTS COMPETITION U.S.A.
BEST DIRECTOR - GAW & DP FILM FESTIVAL SCOTLAND
BEST SOUNDTRACK - GAW & DP FILM FESTIVAL SCOTLAND
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN - TOKYO FILM FESTIVALS
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY - SWEDEN FILM AWARDS
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - CINE PARIS
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE - CINE PARIS
BEST SOUND DESIGN - CINE PARIS
Ramon Castillanes Tenoso, playwright and artistic director
Known as “Direk or Chie” to family and friends, Ramon is a British-Filipino playwright who started writing church and school plays at the age of 13. His film “CHAINED” won the Best Feature Film at the Falcon International Film Festival (November 2021).
Most likely the only active and prolific “pinoy” playwright in Europe, Direk Ramon has written 28 unique and original plays and 2 adaptations (30 in total) ranging from drama, musical, comedy and horror-fantasy. He wrote at one stage, 3 full length plays in one year. He is the founder of Philippine Theatre UK, the only active British-Filipino community theatre in Europe that produces new original plays every year in London.
Philippine Theatre UK Managing Director Myla Arceno together with founder Direk Ramon Tenoso
In February 2019, he initiated an overseas project dubbed “Long Distance Learning in Theatre Arts” and created a theatre group called Theatro Pilipinas in Manila where he remotely trained 20 volunteers from various ages and backgrounds using Skype and Messenger.
Direk Ramon holds a master’s degree in Psychology from the University of the Philippines. In London, he studied Art Therapy, Counselling and Sociology and Religion at Birbeck College, University of London. He was the first Filipino to be awarded a high-profile management training position sponsored by the Independent Theatre Council, UK. Years of hard work and dedication to help and train others explore creativity through theatre arts was acknowledged with the prestigious Outstanding Ogtonganon Award (leader) 2018 for championing theatre arts. In May 2019, his high school Alma Mater awarded him “Outstanding Alumnus‘‘ for his contribution to Theatre Arts.
Apart from writing/directing theatre plays and films, Direk Ramon offers theatre arts workshops that develop Self-Confidence, Creative Thinking, Team Building, Leadership and Theatre Management to various groups and organizations such as educational institutions, artist guilds, local government agencies and youth groups.
Interested parties may connect with Ramon Tenoso at +44 09707987001, email email@example.com or visit FB Page Philippine Theatre UK.
Roots & Wings is delighted to congratulate Direk Ramon Tenoso for the honour he has brought to Filipinos living abroad, to his municipality of Oton in the province of Iloilo and the Philippines.
Betsy von Atzigen, Rawmags Editor in Chief