Rianne was born in Quezon City, Philippines and brought up as a young child in the nostalgic Cubao. Before entering grade school, she moved to Antipolo City. Living within the boundary of Antipolo and Marikina, she found herself taking her grade school and high school years in the nearby Marikina, her mother's hometown.
She wasn't able to visit her father's hometown of Bolinao, Pangasinan until she was in college. That was a pretty long wait. But finally seeing it was simply awesome. Think about the nearby Hundred Islands and other beach spots there. Splendid.
As a young adult, she was brought back to Quezon City as she took college at the country's premier state university, the University of the Philippines (UP) - Diliman Campus. She was privileged enough to be selected on her first choice school and her first choice course.
She graduated the university with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Audio-visual Communication -- where she was 0.01 short of becoming a Cum Laude. But then again, she didn't (or shouldn't) ultimately regret it. As a freshman, she readily bargained for only one thing: to get the Best Thesis Award in her batch at the expense of not becoming a Cum Laude. And so she did. After which, her realization was: dream high, aim high. People don't necessarily have to be too conservative about their goals. She could have been a Cum Laude and a Kodak Film Awardee/Best Film Thesis Awardee with the right mindset and hard work.
Be careful what you wish for. Truly a lesson learned.
Grade School and High School Years
From her grade school to her high school years in Marikina City's renowned educational institution Our Lady of Perpetual Succor College, she was a consistent honor student. Yet, she was best known for her visibility in a number of extra-curricular activities. She honed her versatile character through her very active lifestyle and the diversity of her experiences within the many organizations, seminars, workshops, and interschool competitions she involved herself in. She garnered awards in: interschool quiz bees in English, Math, Science, and History; essay writing contests; poster-making contests; and slogan-making contests. She was an award-winning artist, debater, and journalist.
She further developed her writing skills as she joined various competitions in journalism, the most prominent being the Division Secondary Schools Press Conference and Regional Secondary Schools Press Conference. From grade school to high school, she consecutively won a number of awards including: 1st Place in Copywriting and Headlining in English and Filipino; 2nd Place in Editorial Writing in English; and 7th Place in Feature Writing in English.
She harnessed her leadership skills as the Vice-President of the Glee Club and Patrol Leader of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines during her grade school years. As a high schooler, she became the Editor-in-chief of the school paper The Horizon, President/Trainer of the Marian Club, Vice-President of the Marikina Editors' Guild and Marikina Representative for the PAMARISAN (Pasig/Marikina/San Juan) Editors' Guild. She was also active as an officer and member of a couple of other clubs and organizations inside and outside the school.
She received the Campus Best Debater Award for two consecutive years and she graduated with honors, along with the Campus Journalist of the Year Award, during her high school graduation. Her grade school graduation also had its fair share of rewards being an honor student and top-notcher of the first-ever implemented national examination NEAT (National Elementary Achievement Test).
As a film student of the University of the Philippines Film Institute, she became readily active in a number of organizations and extra-curricular activities.
During her freshman year, she joined the university's film organization UP CAST (UP Cinema Arts Society). She was also a member of the UP Fencing Club and trained in UP and the Philsports Arena for epee and foil competitions. She finished 16th at the Fencing Novice Competition way back in 1999. In the same year, she joined UP SAMASKOM (Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral sa Komunikasyon), a renowned university organization known for the annual musical comedy variety show LIVE AIDS, serving as a good training ground for harnessing skills and talents in acting, performing, marketing and production work. SAMASKOM has a proud roster of successful alumni in the entertainment industry including media professionals, musicians, comedians, and directors.
As an upper classman, she started working in the industry as a freelance production artist. Aside from performing for SAMASKOM, she became an associate member of PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association). She was also a student DJ for 106.7 Kool. Later on, she transferred to Monster Radio RX 93.1. She was trained in using sound broadcast equipment (consoles, carts, and MD players), and also in doing segues, newscasts, OBBs, CBBs, and AOBs, and recording and dubbing radio plugs. Her broadcasting and voice acting skills led her to freelance stints as host for parties and events. She also worked as dubber/voice talent for animes, infomercials, live shows, and film productions. She acquired a very good background in events management and marketing through her stay in the radio industry and through her orgs CAST and SAMASKOM.
As a graduating student, she chose to give up her thespian days to go full time as an independent filmmaker. She finished her internship at the production house Videofilm Production Center where she worked for two TV commercials. She invested in a number of workshops in writing and filmmaking as well. She worked in different projects as production assistant, production manager, and assistant director.
Her thesis film “Karsel” (“Prison”) was the first thesis film production shot in 35mm at the University of the Philippines Film Institute. She became the recipient of the Kodak Film Award. In the same year, her film was awarded the university’s Best Production Thesis. The film was also nominated for the Gawad Urian for Best Short Film. It competed at the TAU International Student Film Festival (Tel Aviv, Israel), International Women's Film Festival, among many other film festivals and competitions.
Early Years in the Industry as a Production Artist
Pains and struggles are temporary; but the films made are forever.
After film school, her acting, writing, and technical skills greatly benefitted her. Performing during her high school and college years (theater, events, radio, TV and film) has guided her in dealing with various people and further establishing connections. She readily promoted a thriving collaboration of remarkable artists working within her sphere. A few months after graduation, she worked as unit director/writer for Pilipinas Online-Bantay OCW, a public service TV program in ABC 5.
Aside from being a versatile production artist doing freelance work as a director/writer/assistant director/videographer/photographer for music videos, AVPs, events, and mainstream and independent film productions, she also became a speaker and facilitator for a number of art, film, and writing workshops and competitions, as well as career and independent filmmaking talks and symposia. On the side, she also worked as a freelance graphics artist, voice talent for promotional spiels and voiceovers, and host for parties and events.
She became a trainee assistant director for a soap opera in ABS-CBN before “Aninag” ("Light's Play") required her to go full time on the said production to keep up with her required timetable for her film grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
The success of “Karsel” ("Prison") inspired her even more to push through with the new 35mm short film “Aninag” (“Light’s Play”). After graduation, she made a concept and passed a proposal at the NCCA. Three months after, she was given a new opportunity to shoot the film. "Aninag" ("Light's Play") competed at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival and the Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival. It also won 3rd Place at the PBO (Philippine Box Office) Digitales Film Contest, a film competition by Viva Entertainment's PBO cable channel. The film was also exhibited at the New York Filipino Film Festival, among many others. It was also selected for the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) Audio-Visual E-Platform and the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market.
She shot the short film "Pera-perahang Lata" (Penny from the Tin Can), another film grant from the NCCA, in HD format through the help of Unitel Productions, Film Experts Inc./FILMEX, Optima Digital Inc., Engine Room, Outpost Digital Frontier, and Hit Productions.
During her stay as a fellow of the Korean Film Council's (KOFIC) Asian Film Professionals Training Program in Seoul, Korea, she shot the award-winning 16mm film "Technophilia" through the help of KOFIC, Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA), and Korea University.
During their back-to-back premiere, "Pera-perahang Lata" and "Technophilia" became the first independent short films successfully projected in HD format in the Philippines.
Establishing a Writing Career
Two years after graduation, Rianne received a regular stint as a professional writer for entertainment for Yehey.com. From there, her writing career peaked with a number of offers for freelance writing projects. She wrote film reviews, arts and culture features, news articles, celebrity articles, press releases, and corporate scripts for various clients. Her film blog containing comprehensive film reviews and photos of classic films, local flavors, Hollywood flicks, independent films, and critically-acclaimed films led her to even more writing opportunities as the years went by.
In order to learn the ropes of the corporate world, she spent three years of her young adult life as a full-time employee. She first served as a communications assistant for Hallmark Philippines. After which, she became a senior copywriter for U.S. Auto Parts Network where she received extensive training in SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). While working in these companies for her day job, she dedicated time to further her education with certificate and extension courses in business and arts. In between, she continued working as a freelance production artist and writer, especially during the weekends.
After almost five years in Yehey.com, she transferred to Herword.com for her regular film reviewing work. Later on, she landed on her first regular broadsheet writing stint in Businessworld as a film critic.
Living abroad allowed her to publish her first book as a co-author of The Asian Film Industry Book of KOFIC, as well as professional writing works for Yahoo! Movies, Yahoo! Travel, Yahoo! Voices, and other Yahoo! platforms. In no time, she started getting more U.S.-based clients for her freelance writing projects.
Becoming an Educator
A random offer to try out teaching became her gateway to her part-time profession as an educator. She first became a film instructor at the First Academy of Computer Arts (FACA). She taught digital storytelling, scriptwriting, independent filmmaking, and directing there. Later on, she was also offered a teaching post at the Colegio de San Lorenzo (CDSL) where she taught photography, video production, advertising, and writing for film, TV, and radio.
After a three-year hiatus, she was invited as a faculty member of the Digital Filmmaking Department of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB). After a few months, she was called back to teach at CDSL as well.
For her updated works, see her curriculum vitae and filmography.
Who are Filmmakers?
We are filmmakers.
Rianne advocates the idea of calling everybody doing film production work as filmmakers – -- not just the director, who is most of the time, the only person who seems to have find the ample right to be called one.
Film is a collaborative art. It is not a one-person work -- unless you become the director, actor, editor, and even the utilityman at the same time. And so, the lighting crew, production assistant, actors, production designer, director of photography, producer, practically everybody in the production, all have the right to be called filmmakers.