Direk Mik: Sustaining his art and passion in uncertain times

Published February 7, 2021, 12:50 PM

by Rom Mallick

WEEKEND READ: Mikhail Red is carving out a path for Pinoy films to be recognized more abroad

At 29, Mikhail Red is well on his way to establishing himself as a director to contend with, although he recognizes the influence of his father, Raymond Red. 

Compared to his father, a pioneer in the independent film scene, the younger Red, Direk Mik, has chosen to explore more sustainable means to tell stories on multiple platforms. Small wonder his works have found their way into streaming services like Netflix. He has also been tapped to direct an international series for HBO Asia. 

Mikhail Red (Photo taken from his personal IG)

“I see every greenlit project as an opportunity to try something I haven’t done and learn more about the craft,” Mik tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “For 2021, I’m signed to do a detective/serial killer film and a period horror film. I’ve also been working on sci-fi project Quantum Suicide with Japanese co-producers. We’ve been gathering grants and research. I really hope we eventually get this off the ground.”

Many would say that Mik was propelled to fame by his second feature film Birdshot (2016), which was selected as the country’s entry for the Best Foreign Language category of the 90th Academy Awards. It won Best Film at the Asian Future Section of the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival. While this may be the case, the young director has since continued to churn more titles, including Eerie (2019) and Netflix original Dead Kids (2019), as well as the Pinoy zombie thriller Block Z (2020).

“I’m not afraid to diversify and push the limits of my versatility as a filmmaker,” Mik explains. “I have fun switching genres, working with new people, and trying new techniques. I enjoy creating works that can reach a wider audience. I love fusing genre elements with true events, universal themes with local milieu.”

Asked about the biggest lesson he learned from 2020, Mik says he’s gone back to what is essential. “I’ve learned not to take things for granted and focus on what truly matters to me,” he says. “I’ve learned how to enjoy the process and savor the struggle while accepting that not everything will be as perfect as you imagined. I’ve learned that it is sometimes better to fail than to procrastinate. I’ve also learned to expect the unexpected, and make wise decisions to ensure the sustainability of my art and passion amid the uncertainty of our industry.”