Marla, to say the least, is one of the lucky ones. Her decade old career has expanded and improved and gained momentum so much so that her place as one of the few female directors in the industry is recognized. Her tenacious spirit has led from doing sound recording, editing, producing and production designing to directing, her one and true calling.
Born into a typical Filipino household with ex-number of aunts and uncles, her interest in media stemmed from watching Betamax and VHS copies of TVJ films borrowed from her uncle’s rental shop. But unlike others whose paths merely allowed them to spectators, her road led her to the University of the Philippines Film and Audio Visual Communication. Some might attest that her career really began with eccentric student films like Max Santiago: Agent for Hire. A few years later, Marla soon found herself working with artists like Rico Blanco, Gary V. Up Dharma Down, Vin Dancel, Freestyle, Side A, Nina, Christian Bautista, Sinosikat?, Kjwan, and Rico J. Puno. She became sought-after for her visions, which has brought to life many an artist’s song.
Along the way, she has also worked with MTV Philippines, Industria Productions, Informermedia, Production Village, Revolver Studios, Big Boy Productions and Unitel – lending her skills and talents as a director. Versatile and able, her reach has only become wider with the years. Clients have been treated to cool, enjoyable, exciting and unique concepts. Big brand names like Coca-Cola, BPI, Pizza Hut, SM, National Book Store, Coffee-Mate, Sun Cellular, Dolce Gusto, Belo Nutraceuticals, Nescafe, Nido, Chuckie, Ceelin, RiteMed, Café Puro, Tanduay, Sisters, Cleene, and Looney Tunes have entrusted their products to her. Some of her other note-worthy projects include an international PSA called MTV Exit (Exploitation and Human Trafficking) for MTV Asia and the only Filipino chosen to exhibit a short film for the very prestigious ADFEST 2008 Fabulous Four+ category in Pattaya, Thailand.
Though earnest and professional in work, she also exhibits a sense of humor, pleasantness and amiability. Colleagues would say that these combined traits make her a viable option in projects of different calibers. Her off-work competencies and hobbies also contribute to her well-rounded personality.
Her Coca-Cola Where Will Happiness Srtike Next: OFW Project received several recognitions such as 2011 Adobo Ad of the Year award, 2012 Platinum for Araw Values Award, 2012 Gold Boomerang for The Internet Mobile & Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP), 2012 Gold for Digital-Viral in Kidlat Awards, 2012 Gold for Best Family-Oriented Brand Campaign in Tambuli Awards, 2012 Silver for Digital/Viral in Spikes Asia and 2012 Platinum Award for Asia Pacific Digital Media Awards.
written by: Ryllah Berico
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