Diane Ventura has only just begun building up her resume as director but even so, she already knows that in order to predispose oneself to success, he has to do it right the first time.
This she proved in her very first short film, The Rapist, which explores the many sides to the issue of rape filtered through psychoanalysis.
Released last year and starring Cherie Gil and Marco Morales, the maiden offering got recognition in the recently concluded International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) in New York for being one of the Top 3 Most Popular Film and was also one of the three movies that was up for Best Short Film. This film competed against 42 other short films from countries like USA, Taiwan, Australia, Belgium, Russia, United Kingdom, South Korea, Italy, France, and New Zealand, among others.
Hailed by many for its compelling storyline, intelligent camera work, the attention to detail, the cinematography, and the superb performance of the cast, the The Rapist follows the story of a man suspected of rape, who undergoes psychiatric evaluation. In recalling what transpired from his point of view, the motives of those involved in the case get blurred and even the supposedly set roles between client and therapist are put on shaky ground. By the time the film is over some 15 minutes later, even the viewer becomes unsure which side to take, considering the multi-faceted presentation of the case that is as subjective as one’s unique morals and values.
Then again, it would be absurd to expect anything less from someone like Diane; she who has done acclaimed music videos and creative production in the Philippines, manager of one of the most groundbreaking artists in the Philippines, Eraserheads, along with Domino, Pupil and Ely Buendia for his solo career.
Prior, Diane took up Art Studies at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and took a course in Advertising Management at the De La Salle University. She also took Filmmaking course in the summer of 2009 at the New York University- Tisch. She is currently taking up Film Studies at the New York Foundation for the Arts.
And get this: While other directors take years of getting experience and education to come up with decent work, Dianne did so—and how!—after just finishing a short filmmaking course in New York. She is currently writing her next film and is said to be preparing herself to do a feature length.
“I like close up shots when I have certain messages I’d like to highlight and something that is relevant to the script in terms of the emotions involved. I give it a lot of thought, what camera angles will most suit the scene. It’s never a random thing,” she said of her directorial sensibilities.
In full control of her undertakings and sure of her vision all the time, Diane, who owns and runs DVent Productions, is not the type who’d shy away from taking risks if it means ensuring the best for her outputs. In The Rapist, for example, she offered the lead role of psychiatrist to Cherie even though they haven’t met before. Diane just sent her the script after which she received a call from the iconic actress almost at once.
Diane is not the type who’d pander to anyone’s approval. When released, the The Rapist was criticized by some for allegedly being “pro-rape.” But Diane silenced them by saying, “I understand how this movie could be misconstrued as condoning the vile act of Rape but in this film i’m not talking about the jump out of the bushes assault of a helpless victim. I’m talking about certain situations wherein a girl actually has the power and capability to get herself out of a possibly precarious situation where she feels uncomfortable and unsettled. It’s about female empowerment and not allowing to be put in situations that they do not want to be in or get themselves to a position where their decision-making capabilities are vitiated.”