One with the Wolfpac
IAFT Acting Alumni and now Filmmaking student, Christian Lat is from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and filmmaking is one of his passions. He is part of Wolfpac Films, a group that supports young indie filmmakers.
He had also garnered awards and nominations with his films. Last January, he won as Best Actor at the 2015 Sinulog Film Festival.
• Sparta Film Challenge Canada – Smile – 2nd best picture, Best acting, and Best actor award
• Sinulog Entry – Salamat Lo’ – Best Actor and 5 nominations Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
• Sinulog Entry – Guso Business – Nominated for Supporting Actor
• SPARTA XLII Ottawa, Canada Entry – OFW – Best Picture, Best Story and Best Visual
• 48-Hour Challenge Entry – Pusong Sawi – Top 8
• Sinulog Entry- Nino – 6 nominations (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Story, Best Editing, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor)
Hear what Christian has to say about his chosen career and about IAFT.
How did you learn about IAFT and what made you choose IAFT for your film education?
When I arrived in the Philippines, then first thing I did was looking for a good acting school. One day I went to an IAFT open house in Saint Benilde and shortly after, I called to my mom and told her I was going to Cebu and that’s that. I chose IAFT because they showed a variety of impressive films and how its programs that actually allows you to be in front of a camera while working with them.
Why did you decide to pursue filmmaking?
The pursued filming because I always had a love for the arts and I saw filmmaking as an outlet to express all my thoughts. It’s the only thing I can see myself continually pursuing. This country has given me so much and it will always be my home. There are so many stories to tell about this country and I want to be one of the people to let the world know about these amazing untold stories. I want tell these stories as a writer, actor, director, any form possible really!
How has your education and experience at IAFT help you?
My time with the IAFT has helped me so much. My mentors at the academy were the ones who provided the tools and guidance which has given me the success that I have had up till now. I’ve build a personal connection with my mentors and we have gotten pretty close. Whenever I see them outside of school I tend to bug them with a lot of questions!
How would you rate your education and experience at IAFT?
A number system would be too ordinary, so I would have to rate it as “unreal”. When I came to the Philippines, I basically started as a blank slate, knowing no one and having almost nothing. But now, I’ve met so many people, friends, colleagues and even professionals in the industry which I could never have imagined to have if I was back in Canada sitting at my computer table gaming.
What’s the one piece of advice you would like to give all IAFT students?
Work hard and lose yourself in your work. A lot of the time, your sanity will be challenged like having to work 20 hours or more straight but there is no greater satisfaction than seeing your work that you have pooled your blood and sweat into, ON THE BIG SCREEN.
How has your education at IAFT impacted you?
The education has given me a taste of the basics/intermediate skills for the industry and it has taught me that there is always something knew to learn. I am so grateful to have met my mentors, since they have played a big part in me success and I cannot thank them enough.
What has been your most memorable experience at IAFT?
Definitely when I was an acting student doing the improv shows with Alex Murphy. It was all “raw” passion and we we’re doing pretty crazy stuff like wearing grandma costume, wigs, and water guns. That is something I will never forget and of course meeting the WOLFPAC!
What do you think of the mentors at IAFT?
They’re amazing, they’re always there for you; they continue to show that they will always have your back. It’s just a matter of you dropping that ego or insecurity and ask not being afraid to ask those questions you think are stupid, they can really help you.
What do you enjoy most about filming?
When something unexpected occurs. During one of our shoots, the SWAT TEAM showed up in full attire and all their vehicles.
What is it like living in Cebu?
I love Cebu, the people here are friendly, traffic isn’t as bad as Manila’s and the weather is fantastic. It’s got a good nightlife and there are beaches everywhere.
What would you say is the most challenging aspect of the filmmaking process?
It’s the collaboration part, filmmaking to me is a team game and it all boils down of one’s ability to taking one’s resources, time and talent while fitting it into one’s vision. No matter how good you are, if you can’t work well with other, you will never get that blockbuster you want.
What part of the film making process do you find most rewarding?
It’s those memorable experience on set and meeting individuals that has the same passion as you.
What projects are you working on right now?
I’m working on my thesis film right now, and another 72-hour film challenge which well be shot and edited within 3 days.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to do feature films here in the Philippines, I want to bring my own taste and vision to the Filipino Cinema.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
I only see myself making more films and acting. There is only now, the present moment. I ain’t going anywhere.