Mar 19, 2019

After receiving the prestigious Prince Claus award from the Royal Palace of Amsterdam and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands last December, National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik (born Eric De Guia) was given a tribute last night by the Dutch Embassy through an art-filled celebration at the Bellas Artes Projects in Makati.

Dubbed as the “Father of Philippine Independent Cinema,” De Guia was among the seven recipients of the highly respected award given to individuals around the world whose actions have made a significant and positive impact to culture and society.

He is the third Filipino to receive the royal accolade following music scholar Elena Rivera Mirano who was awarded in 2001 and filmmaker Lav Diaz in 2014.

Last night’s celebration included a cultural performance by dancers from the Cordillera region, an exhibit of the artist’s artworks, and a short film made for De Guia by the Prince Claus Fund.

In the film, Prince Claus awards committee member Solange Farkas describes De Guia as a “ruthless rebel in the film world; an artist who fights to preserve the history and memory of his country.”

“He has created a dazzling and unique work without following conventional forms of production,” she said. And these are not just reflected in his films.

The awards committee cited De Guia not only for his legendary films but also for his “very selfless” works and advocacies for environmental, human, and indigenous rights. This includes the massive “ark” he built at the Ili-Likha Artist Village in Baguio which houses a cinema.

“Lately he has been working in his community and actually building spaces with whatever’s at hand and accepting it with most beautiful optimism you can find,” awards committee member Manuel de Rivero said. “He is one of those creative persons that is impossible to classify.”

The Prince Claus award, named after King Willem Alexander’s father Prince Claus, was founded in 1990 to celebrate the efforts made by artists and cultural practitioners in areas around the globe where cultural heritage, expression, and production are often limited. The nominees are chosen by a group of cultural experts from around the world.


Header image courtesy of Ramon Nocon

Get more stories like this by subscribing to our weekly newsletter here.

Read more:

The role of dwendes in Kidlat Tahimik’s creative process

Socially critical artists join roster of future National Artists

You can soon stream the Nick Joaquin classic film “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino”

Read more by Amierielle Anne Bulan:

National Museum now displays Jose P. Alcantara’s 50-feet relief sculpture

How Francisca Reyes-Aquino sought and fought for our country’s folk dances

Why it’s important to view art to understand than to critique

TAGS: award Celebration Dutch Embassy Kidlat Tahimik Netherland Embassy Netherlands Prince Claus