Progressive and insightful Filipino-American filmmaker Enzo Williams is back in the country, observing the ongoing election season with a positive mind and hopeful eyes.
“Every election year presents new and more interesting discoveries for all of us, and I am not just referring to the roster of colorful candidates and personalities seeking public posts,” Williams shared recently. “Every election year gives people in the creative industries to come up with new content, and new ways of churning out material.”
Williams is referring to the political ads that keep on getting more interesting, and more pleasing to the senses as the years go by. “Those who have the resources and the machinery definitely can hire the most expensive creatives and get the services of production companies that have the latest state-of-the-art equipment. But I believe it is not just about budget. A good and sensible political ad should have a straightforward message and a brilliant concept. It has to be clear who its intended market is.”
He added, “If your client is targeting a national post, then the message should be able to affect voters from all walks of life, and easily understood and grasped by the majority of the voters, and I mean the masses and the middle class included. Your ad should affect people for it to have recall. It should also have a high level of sincerity in order to be believable.”
One particular political ad that we still remember is the one Williams created and directed for President Rodrigo Duterte in 2015. Billed as “Your Last Merry Christmas,” the crisp and commanding video showing then presidential aspirant Duterte addressing the people who continue to sow lawlessness and crime in the country. It was praised around the world for its amazing concept, straightforwardness, simplicity and effectivity.
“That one was fun to do, and the message was simple and clear. Shooting the president was a breeze. That ad will always have a special place in my heart as a content creator and director,” Williams said.
As for his filmography, Williams will always be known as the dreamy college boy from Los Angeles who won a best director award in film school and then flew to Manila to direct his first feature film about a local hero. Titled Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo, the film received 22 awards the following year from different awards-giving organizations, including three best film awards, and gave Williams two best director trophies.
Flexing his artistic muscles after that wonderful breakthrough directorial stint, Williams went on to direct the blockbuster movie The Escort and the military-themed film AWOL.
Just very recently, Williams shared his expertise with the Patrol Partylist because he said he believes in its advocacy to uphold public safety and security. “This sector, that includes the police force, the military, the firemen, the security guards, the barangay tanods, the front liners during disasters, is often bypassed and we’d like to focus on their importance in maintaining the peaceful, safety and general well-being of the Filipinos,” he shared.
After a few meetings and brainstorming sessions with Patrol PartyList representative Jorge Bustos, who is originally from Pampanga, Williams came up with a wonderful, no-nonsense video, that shows what the Patrol partyList has done for the past years, including more than 70 bills passed, all meant to protect the Filipino family. The well shot video also clearly enumerated what the partylist vows to continue upholding, endorsing and implementing through its well laid-out health, education and livelihood programs.
After the elections, Williams hopes to start work on his next full feature film, and he gave us a hint that it might be another military-themed action drama. “It is something that I have been quietly working on the last few years, already a very clear movie in my mind that I hope to start shooting real soon.”