Last year, I received a message in Every Teacher A Reader’s inbox on our Facebook page. I shrieked a little when I read it and immediately showed my husband the message – It was from the producer of the film adaptation of F.H. Batacan’s Smaller and Smaller Circles! The message? We were being invited to a special screening of the film!
One month later, with a little help from some friends and social media, we opened the screening to other interested teachers. It was a pretty exciting event because apart from being fans of the book, it was the first time (for most of us) that we, teachers, were invited by filmmakers to preview a film because they wanted to get our thoughts and opinions about the movie.
After the screening, we were able to listen and talk to some of the people behind the film: Ria Limjap (producer), Moira Lang (producer), Raya Martin (director), and Carla Humphries (actress).
It was very interesting to hear what other teachers had to say – about the way the film was edited, how people from the religious sector were portrayed, casting, the soundtrack, when it should be shown, which grade level of students should be allowed to see it, and more. I also picked up a few points about the movie industry and the importance of supporting local films and the work it takes to stay in the theaters.
Needless to say, I enjoyed the film and I think it was a pretty good adaptation of the book. But what I definitely enjoyed more was the opportunity to watch with a group of teachers and exchange ideas with the filmmakers. As corny as it sounds, it made me feel valued as an educator – that we can actually have a voice when it comes to content created for our students. I hope that people from different industries and teachers can continue to collaborate this way.
Smaller and Smaller Circles will be shown in cinemas this December 6, 2017. It has been rated R-13 by the MTRCB. For more details, visit their Facebook page.