Referring to both “the docu way” and over a hundred years of Philippine cinema, Daang Dokyu was envisioned as a celebration of Filipino stories. First held in 2020 as a festival celebrating the hundred years since we started capturing the story of our islands and of the Filipino on film, Daang Dokyu was envisioned to be a significant gathering of the country’s community of documentarists for film and television, together with leading changemakers in the arts, culture, and education.
Plans for the festival go back to 2018, when filmmakers Jewel Maranan, Baby Ruth Villarama, Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, and Monster Jimenez came together to mount the documentary side of the celebration of the centennial of Philippine cinema. Where documentaries were often marginalized or altogether excluded from formal Philippine cinema events, this contribution was a statement on its own. The four filmmakers also saw this as a culmination of previous efforts to gather a fledgling documentary community, one that could be traced back to many informal gatherings of emerging documentarists, from a Facebook group called Dokyupeeps that eventually grew to 313 members and became a virtual bulletin board, to three editions of the workshop "Reinvigorating Documentary Filmmaking in the Philippines", organized by the Goethe Institute and led by film historian and archivist (and curator of the first Daang Dokyu Festival), Teddy Co.
From there, Maranan, Villarama, Magsanoc-Alikpala, and Jimenez would go on to direct the Daang Dokyu Festival, working closely with a curatorial team that included Co and filmmakers and academics Sari Dalena and Adjani Arumpac. From over 300 submitted and solicited works, the final line-up of 45 documentaries was sectioned into five topics: nation, taboo, localities, ecology, and future. Created with no expiry date in mind and putting value on both individual titles and how the works link up as a compendium that reveals new and larger insights, the program was designed to be continued and re-staged in part or in full.
The opening week of Daang Dokyu, September 19-23, coincided with the anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. By showing a selection that explored the history and legacy of the Marcos dictatorship, rounding the themes to six, it was not only a potent reminder to #NeverForget, it solidified Daang Dokyu’s stance in response to the pressing social and political atmosphere of 2019 and 2020; wherein the administration’s failed pandemic response, closure of major broadcast network, ABS-CBN, and passing of the Anti-Terror Law would all unfold against a backdrop of political repression, state-led human rights abuses, massive disinformation, and historical revisionism. Thus, the theme "Tracing the Filipino Story" guided the festival in an effort to propose documentaries as a source of reflection for audiences amidst these contexts.
What started as a five-week film festival now expands into a continuing effort to put together a resource that can be used by audiences, educators and advocates who appreciate nonfiction: DaangDokyu.ph. Withe support of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and led by its project director Jewel Maranan, DaangDokyu.ph aspires to create ‘a home for Philippine documentaries’.
We now hold the largest active database of Philippine documentaries featuring classic and contemporary titles that present facts, narratives and perspectives dug from the historical vault of our nation’s recorded images, including a curated collection programmed to rethink monolithic views of our history and identity, and to go beyond familiar determinisms. Screeners are available for previews upon request from programmers, organizers, and educators.
Beyond making it possible to access a database, DaangDokyu.ph attempts to bring Filipino documentaries to a place where they function for a difficult world that actually needs them. In an effort to expand the distribution and audience network of documentary works, we also offer tools to connect filmmakers to curators, programmers, organizers, and educators, as well as resources for people to learn more about Filipino documentaries.
DaangDokyu.ph is for those who are looking to teach and share their advocacies. We aim to reach a broader audience for documentaries and offer “the docu way” as a means to take stock of how we are as a nation, how we got here, and where we are headed. It is for the young looking for their place and compass in the uncharted territory of the future of the Filipino in a time of social and ecological uncertainty. It is for anyone who laments that the Filipino is forgetful.
FilDocs is a nonprofit organization that aims to elevate the appreciation of documentaries and support documentary production in the Philippines. It was founded and registered in 2019 by filmmakers Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, Monster Jimenez, Jewel Maranan and Baby Ruth Villarama to organize the 2020 Daang Dokyu Festival, but also as a commitment to the cause of illuminating shared history, and inspiring better knowledge, better choices, and a stronger understanding of Filipino identities and stories.
What began in 2018 as a research initiative by Maranan on “Mapping the Filipino Documentary” that gradually generated over 1,500 titles, with the concerted effort of a research team during the 2020 Daang Dokyu Festival, has since resulted in the Dokyubase. While only a fraction of those titles are now hosted on daangdokyu.ph, we envision this both as an initial public offering, and as a way to organically grow the Dokyubase.
Explore part of this database of Philippine documentaries.
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
British Film Institute
SOAS University of London
Concerned Artists of the Philippines
Directors’ Guild of the Philippines
JCI Quezon City Capitol
Central Digital Lab
Film Geek Guy
Chevening Alumni Philippines
Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce