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Stellar Director Sockie Fernandez Inspires Youth | Pinay.com

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Sockie Fernandez’s credits could fill a page. She is a multi-awarded TV commercial, documentary and Indie films director. She is a trailblazer and started carving her path when most TV commercial directors were men. Today, there are so many women following her footsteps, and more promising, is a young generation inspired to  look beyond what’s possible.

“Direk Sockie is a very good professor,” Mai Mai Burgos of St. Scholastica College says. “She wants us to think beyond our possibilities and to be more creative in our stories. I really admire how—when we produce documentaries and show them in class, she always points out the beauty and the positive side of our work. Then, she shows us what is missing and guides us in ways that we can improve. She is very encouraging. She always pushes us forward. She is someone I really admire.”

Fernandez is passionate about teaching her craft to college students and taking on causes she cares about such as street children. Her advocacy commercials are on child abuse, child prostitution, teen mothers, women’s issues, and health and sanitation. “I can touch people and help change their lives,” says the film director.

Nenette Pacoli, Regional Director of Good News Production Inc., says, “I was just with Sockie about two weeks ago, and she was eager to speak before high school students. She said we don’t really need to teach them the details, but we can inspire them to do their best and use media for good.”

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The Director, at work on “Mama Tan,” a movie made to honor a family request.

Paccoll has worked with Fernandez on a few productions, including a documentary about street children, “Sockie always made sure that we got our message across to the audience,” she says, The street children show eventually won the International Christian Visual Media Silver Crown Award for Best International Film in 2002.

Working on the project was an eye opener for Fernandez who is well aware of the plight of street children in Metro Manila. Paccoli recalled Fernandez telling her, “One child said that she doesn’t touch people when she asks for money  because she knows they don’t like it.”

Fernandez’s local awards include her first 10-minute film, “Liyab,” (Flame), which was also an exhibition film at the Cannes Film Festival. Her 90-minute film “Gulong” (Tire) was a nominee (Best Children’s Film) for Australia’s prestigious Asia Pacific Screening Awards; the film was shown at the Busan International Kids Festival in South Korea.

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Direk Fernandez signs autographs for children at South Korea’s Busan Film Festival where her second movie, “Gulong” was an exhibition film.

As a child, Fernandez didn’t consciously pursue excellence, but she appreciated quality. “I liked quality food, clothes and restaurants. They didn’t have to be expensive,” she said. The idea of excellence hit her when she started working.

Her career was a steady climb from advertising talent caster to producer, director and currently, creative and production consultant of C-Hub, her own company, which focuses on content creation for product commercials and advocacy issues.

“Excellence is not perfection. It’s giving your best to any project whether you will be paid well, paid poorly, not paid, or even if you will be spending for it,” says Fernandez. Her movies are examples of the latter. “Liyab” was primarily a passion project. She invested her own money in her second movie, “Gulong”. Her street children documentary was also done for free.

“If I do anything, it has to be done right and it has to be worth my time and someone else’s time. Otherwise, it’s not worth doing,” says Fernandez. These days, her time teaching in St. Scholastica College is valuable to students. “This is a chance to impart the love for excellence and the love for doing their best to young people,” she says.

Below are some tips from Fernandez to young professionals who want to have a career marked with excellence:

  1. Don’t make money your first objective. Do what you can do well and the money will follow.
  2. Have a purpose, but be practical. Success will give you the voice that people will listen to. Be practical.
  3. Follow your passion. “I don’t blame kids who go to call centers, because they need jobs immediately. But if they can volunteer in projects they believe in, they should. They can combine their volunteer work with their money-earning job and eventually, their volunteer work may land them a job they are passionate about.”
  4. Think long term, but divide your goals into edible chunks. “Have a general 10-year plan, but focus on what you want for the year. Planning to do a film can be the focus for one year.”
  5. Work on your strengths. “If your strength is people, make sure you work with the best. Get the best casting, the best cinematographer. And always improve your skills.”
  6. Never stop learning.. “Grab any opportunity to learn something new and  meet new people.”
  7. Develop your instinct. “Everybody has the capacity to be intuitive, but some people are more intuitive than others. You have to listen to your instincts to know what to do.”
  8. Mentors are good. “I’ve had great mentors who believed in me and inspired me to do better than my best. They opened doors for me because they could. They taught me many things.”

A sample of Sockie’s latest work, click video:

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez is a veteran writer, editor and columnist who has worked with most local and some regional publications. Currently, she writes columns for Cook Magazine and Enrich Magazine. She is an occasional contributor to Business Mirror and Animal Scene. She is also an online staff member of Project Army. Mona has edited and ghostwritten several books and ebooks. She hopes to one day finish a book of her own.

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