Entertainment production company Reality MM Studios signed up five new directors to its roster to address the growing demand to create content for international release.
Directors Dean Marcial, Siege Ledesma, Kerwin Go, Kip Oebanda, and Joey de Guzman will be joining the Reality MM Studios group, working closely with owners Dondon Monteverde and Erik Matti.
Reality MM Studios is best known for internationally-acclaimed films such as "Honor Thy Father," "BuyBust," and "On The Job". Their most recent projects, including the Upstream Originals "A Girl and a Guy" and "Rabid," were recently acquired by streaming giant Netflix. The six-part crime thriller "On The Job" is available on HBO Go and is the first Philippine original production launched on HBO Max in the US and Europe. "On The Job: The Missing 8," the sequel to the 2013 "On The Job," bagged the Volpi Cup at the 78th Venice Film Festival and was the only film from Asia out of the 21 international films in Competition.
Reality MM Studios is in various stages of production for multiple commissioned projects for international streaming platforms.
Matti sees these opportunities given by global streamers as a gateway for Filipino content to make it globally. "We want to continuously push our content to not just showcase Filipino stories and talent, but to make an effort to have the project rise above the clutter and thrive in the global arena."
Monteverde believes that it's about time everyone recognizes Filipino filmmakers. "Filipino talent deserves to be on the world stage. With bigger budgets, we have what it takes to tell stories in a bigger stage."
Matti recognizes that in the Philippine entertainment industry, the success of films and series is driven by the star-power of its actors. But he sees the importance of moving the narrative forward via the vision that comes from skilled directors. "In the new age of content-making, as much as actors are the stars of content, who create these content, are the stars themselves."
Reality MM Studios, he also said, dares to create distinctly different content in a bid for more international companies to start working with more Filipino production companies.
"We are really motivated to show the best of Filipino talent and craftsmanship to the global stage. It's not an easy task, but we're starting it now," Matti says. "We always try to go against the grain. Swim upstream when everyone's going downstream. Hard times demand bigger risks. Tough, but it's definitely worth it."
Joey De Guzman is a young filmmaker born in the Philippines and raised in New Zealand. After finishing his Master’s Degree in Design (Auckland University of Technology) and gaining work experience while chipping away on weekend passion projects, Joey made the move back to his home country in 2016. His goal, to rediscover his cultural roots and chase his filmmaking dreams.
Joey has since been with Reality MM, continuously refining his filmmaking skills and further honing his storytelling voice through directing commercials, music videos, TV series’ and now feature films. Taken under the wing of Philippine Cinema’s most prominent names - producer Dondon Monteverde and critically acclaimed director Erik Matti (On the Job 2013, Honor thy Father 2015, Buy Bust 2018, OTS the missing 8 2021), Joey has found himself at home with Reality MM, known for producing excitingly unique genre films.
Joey's passion is in action films. Having grown up immersed in blockbuster movies, video games and martial arts, Joey believes that violence in cinema is an art form that can be as meaningful as it is entertaining. His ultimate goal is to create unforgettable, thrilling experiences through technical brilliance, character and emotional weight.
Joey's filmmaking career is at an exciting beginning, teeming with new ideas waiting to be realized. Currently, Joey is in the development of one of his dream projects - a martial arts action film.
Dean Colin Marcial is an international filmmaker working in New York and Manila. His award-winning films have been screened all over the world including TIFF, SXSW, Sitges, Fantastic Fest, and Slamdance. Several of his shorts are Vimeo Staff Picks and Short of the Week selections and have been featured on VICE, CNN, and Filmmaker Magazine.
In 2010, he co-founded Calavera USA, a Brooklyn-based production company whose credits include All That I Am (SXSW Special Jury Prize '13, distributed by Gunpowder & Sky), FISHTAIL (Tribeca '14, distributed by Netflix), and YEARBOOK (Sundance Jury Prize '14, 25+ awards, 125+ festivals). In 2017 he was a recipient of the Tribeca All Access Grant & TAA Alumni Grant and shortlisted for the Russo Bros. Fellowship at the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival. In 2021, he was awarded the Jerome Foundation NYC Film/Video Production Grant for his feature GREEN GORILLAS. He was born in the Philippines, raised in Long Island, and graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Kerwin Go is a director/cinematographer based in Manila, Philippines. After attending Los Angeles Film School, he wrote and directed ‘Eskrimadors: A Filipino Martial Arts Documentary’ which was a nominee for Best Documentary in the Gawad Urian Film Awards 2010. He served as Director/Writer/Cameraman for Asian Air Safari, an aviation and travel show on Asian News Channel, Cinematographer for Melodrama Negra (audience choice award Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2012), Tuhog (2013) and Dear Other Self (2017).
He is also a freelance director for TV commercials, and branded content. He has worked with companies such as Honda, Nestle, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Nissan, Isuzu, Chevy, Disney Channel and other multinational brands.
His debut feature film as director, ‘Mina-anud’, was a recipient of the Singapore Film Financing Forum 2017 Basecamp Colour Prize is slated for release in August 2019. He is also in development for ‘Maniatica’, a Filipino Gothic Horror film.
Siege Ledesma worked in the call center industry for nine years. It was in this unlikely milieu that she found a passion for cinema.
In 2012, she took a leap of faith, and enrolled in a one-year Motion Picture Production course at the Asia Pacific Film Institute. Her thesis film and first directorial feature, SHIFT (2013) won Best Picture at the 2014 Osaka Asian Film Festival, chosen as the Closing Film at the 2014 Udine Far East Film Festival, and participated in over 10 international film festivals with glowing reviews. Shift was also acquired and distributed in Japan by Pictures Dept.
Her second feature film in-development, CAT ISLAND, was a recipient of the 2016 Next Masters Project Development Grant of Talents Tokyo, won the Aurora Media Holdings Producing Award at the 2017 TFI Network Talent Lab, and further developed at The Write Retreat – Mallorca filmmakers’ residency in 2019. She also received the Inter-Asia Project Award (Best Project) at the 2019 Neo Cinemap Fukuoka Project Market, and participated at the 2020 Jeonju IFF Project Market.
Her first directorial short animated film, Out of Eden, is a grant recipient of the first GIFF Festival of New Cinema and is currently in production.
Siege is an Ani ng Dangal awardee, and a fellow of Network of Asian Fantastic Filmmakers, TFI Network’s Luang Prabang Talent Lab, and Talents Tokyo.
Kip Oebanda is an award-winning director who created films based on his personal experiences. One is the highest grossing Cinemalaya back in 2018, “Liway” starring Glaiza De Castro. It is a personal film to him because for one, it is the story of his mother, Cecilia, with a nom de guerre Kumander Liway who was once a member of the New People’s Army during the Martial Law years. It is also based on true events about his life as a young boy growing up in a prison cell in Bacolod.