Meet Ramona Diaz – Journey 2009 Documentary

Ramona Diaz is a 2004 Sundance Film Festival Awardee for the documentary film “Imelda”.

Check out the Teaser for the new Journey Documentary

She narrated how she got into show business: “During my junior year at Emerson College in Boston, they had this wonderful program where you got to spend the summer in Los Angeles interning for a major production company.

I landed at the now-defunct Mary Tyler Moore (MTM) Productions on the CBS/Studio City lot. These were the years they were producing golden television – Hill St. Blues, St. Elsewhere – groundbreaking shows. Then, of course, there was the fun show, Remington Steele with Pierce Brosnan. This was his breakthrough role. I got to know people working on these shows. A year later, after graduating, I went back to Los Angeles because Remington Steele had an opening for an assistant position. And that’s how I started.”

via GMANews.TV – Ramona Diaz: Pinoy filmmaker in the US – Pinoy Abroad – Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs – Latest Philippine News – BETA.

More on Ramona:

When, with unblinking earnestness and nary a trace of irony, Imelda Marcos tells the camera that “when they went to my closet, they found shoes, not skeletons,” Philippines-born filmmaker Ramona Diaz’s heart must surely have leaped – she had her gotcha moment, her Imelda in the 16mm can. After all, it was the 3,000 pairs of shoes housed in the closet of the former first lady of the Philippines that “became a legend most.” But what surprised Diaz – who followed a fully cooperative Marcos around the Philippines for 30 days in 1998 – was that almost a decade after the couple was ousted, Mrs. Ferdinand Marcos was completely without remorse or guilt for their decades of repressive martial-law rule. Denial or self-delusion? (Ferdinand died in exile in Hawaii in 1989, and Imelda was allowed to return in 1991 to her homeland and remain so long as she adhered to the conditions of what amounts to a “country-arrest,” in which the government holds her passport and must approve her travels. Her request that her husband be buried in a cemetery for state heroes was denied, and his body will lie entombed in a mausoleum in the back yard of the governor’s mansion in his former home province until the state agrees to the burial Imelda feels he is entitled to. (Meanwhile, litigation is ongoing in more than 150 suits, and there are huge, unsatisfied judgments having to do with the disposition of the hundreds of millions that the Marcoses funneled out of the country to private Swiss bank accounts.)

Link > “Walk a Mile”

What inspired you to make a film about Imelda Marcos?

Although I wanted to make a film that went beyond the number of pairs of shoes Mrs. Marcos owned, the one thing I was not interested in producing was a historical film of the Philippines under the Marcos regime. My interest was in Imelda the character, her complexities and contradictions, and ultimately, her universality. I wanted to deal with the larger social and structural explanations for her illusions, like the postwar materialist culture, the celebrity culture of dictatorship, Cold War international politics and expressions of nationalism. Is Imelda Marcos unique or do all of us really have a “little Imelda” in us, as one shoe advertisement claimed?

You were able to get ‘up close and personal’ with your subject. How did you gain access to such a famous personality?

Mrs. Marcos, like other famous personalities, is addicted to the camera. She loves the camera and the camera loves her. So the idea of my making a film about her life, following her around with a camera, was not new to her. (In fact, a film crew accompanied her on all her trips so she was used to this “intrusion.”) I also approached her when she was no longer first lady and therefore I think she was missing some of the attention she used to get when she was still in power. It was reliving her glory days.

The one thing that the crew and I had on our side was time. We didn’t spend just an afternoon with her, we spent approximately a month with her. This really helps. Access opens up and everyone just calms down—the crew, the subject, the director most especially. Everyone just gets comfortable.

Link> PBS on Ramona


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