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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 24, 2023




TEN MONTEVERDE is the granddaughter of the iconic Regal producer, Mother Lily, the youngest daughter of her son Dondon Monteverde and his wife Grace who are very proud because Ten just graduated from New York University, magna cum laude no less. 

Ten finished grade school at Immaculate Conception Academy and high school at International School. 

In New York, she took up filmmaking as her major, with two minors: psychology and art history.

Has she always wanted to do films?

“At first, I wanted to do painting since I’ve been painting since I was a kid,” she says.

“When I first went to New York, I was 18 and I enrolled at the Parsons School of Design. I was very excited and passionate to explore and make discoveries. 

"And after a year, I realized art design is nothing like film, which is unlike any other medium i’ve worked or created with. 

"It’s a plus factor that my family has exposed me to it at an early age, with me attending premiere nights and being in the same room with directors and other people in the industry. 

"Film is collaborative art and I love it as I love working with other people.”

How is it living abroad by herself? 

“It’s been clear to me from the start that I want to study abroad. Being alone in New York is very transformative and forced me to be independent. Over all, it’s been a great experience.”

Who are the directors she looks up to? 

“Those who really inspired me is a long list. First is Hayao Miyasaki (Japanese director best known for ‘Spirited Away’) as his films mirror the real world.

"There are no good or bad people, we all just have our flaws. Then Agnes Varda and Celine Sciamma (both French feminist directors). They are just incredible with their female driven narratives and very inspiring for me.

"Then the Coen Bros and Edgar Wright, both big inspirations for me as you come out of their film being happy.”

The Coen Bros are Americans, best known for Oscar-winning films like “Fargo” and “No Country for Old Men”, while Wright is British, known for “Shaun of the Dead” and “Baby Driver”. What about Filipino films?

“Local films I like the most are romcoms as they made an impact on me in many ways, like the Kathniel films. Vice Ganda comedies influenced my humor, a little bit. 

"And I like the ‘Shake Rattle & Roll’ series, which is the reason why I like horror films so much. I enjoy hearing viewers screaming inside the theater. It’s so much fun.”

How about the films of her dad’s best friend? 

“Oh, I find Erik Matti films so inspiring. I just watched his ‘Buy Bust’ for the third time, such incredible storytelling. I watched him and how he works on the set.

"I felt his passion and creativity and it really inspired me. Another local film I saw is Martika Escobar’s ‘Leonor Must Never Die’. I found it so enjoyable.”

She has directed a music video for JK Labajo’s new song “Gabi” and it’s now getting a lot of positive feedback on youtube. How does she feel about it?

“I’m just thankful people that sat down to watch an 8-minute music video. I was very happy reading the comments on it. It’s a good feeling and very reassuring. 

"I want to do narrative full length feature films and I also enjoy doing music videos as they are also narrative. Right now, I’m writing scripts for short films and also full length feature films and that’s what I hope to do next.”

What kind of movie would she like to do?

“I want to dabble in various kinds of storytelling, to find out what genre is best for me. I’m so inspired by female led narratives. I also want to do coming of age films as growing up is a great theme. I want to create films that will transport the audience.”

She is very blessed being born into a filmmaking family compared to other young filmmakers who start from scratch by joining local film festivals like Cinemalaya that give them seed money for them to start their filmmaking career.

So to which company will she pitch her works: to Regal (now managed by her Aunt Roselle) or her dad’s Reality MM Entertainment?

“I will pitch it to both and hopefully, they’ll both like it. I want to collaborate with both Regal and Reality.

"I do have a lot of ideas for future projects and it’s just a matter of pitching it to them and, hopefully, they will like it. But eventually, I want to establish my own identity as a person and a filmmaker.”