Early Female Directors

Karugtong ang Kahapon

Before Marilou Diaz Abaya (Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan Ang Nakaraan, 1983; Alyas Baby Tsina, 1984), Rory Quintos (Anak, 2000), Olivia Lamasan (In My Life, 2009; Maalaala Mo Kaya? Regalo episode, 2005), and Laurice Guillen (Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story, 1993; Kapag Langit Ang Humatol, 1990; Ipagpatawad Mo, 1991), Fely Crisostomo, Maria Saret, Leody Diaz, and Consuelo P. Osorio were the only known female directors. They have become part of Vilma Santos’ filmography.

Fely Crisostomo is a Filipina film director and actress. She was the first woman to win the FAMAS Award for Best Director in 1967.- Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Fely Crisostomo’s Vilma Santos Films

Susan Kelly

Maria Saret is a Filipina film director and writer. She was first recognized for her 1966 screenplay of the film Miranda: Ang lagalag na sirena starring teen star, Marifi. In 1973 she directed her first feature film, the drama about women in prison, “Bakit may bilanggo sa anak ni Eba?” starring Gina Pareño, Rosanna Ortiz and Alona Alegre. Saret was nominated for the 1989 FAMAS best director award for the movie Lorenzo Ruiz, The Saint…A Filipino! She won the best screenplay at the Film Academy of the Philippines for the same film.

Maria Saret’s Vilma Santos Films

– Vi co-starred with Dante Rivero (their second film, after Mga Tigre ng Sierra Cruz), Anthony Alonzo, Sandy Garcia, Cloyd Robinson.(READ MORE)


Leody Diaz is a Filipina film director and actress. Her earlier credit consists of 1965’s Labanang Babae (The fight of Women) as an actor and as the writer of Bella Bandida (Bella, The Woman Bandit), She started directing in 1967 via Target: The A-go-go Generation, a comedy musical which became her main genre of her body of work.

Topical, Realistic Themes “…Tony and the Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions plan not only to produce big budgeted films for international competition next year, but to bring into local movies topical, realistic themes like student power, social unrest, violence in our midst, etc. But meanwhile, the gring has to go on. Right now he is filming Blue Seal Mata Hari under the direction of Leody Diaz, where he is experimenting on teaming up Filipino actors with colored women and vice – versa. And for the first time, he said, a Filipina actress, sex siren Liza Belmonte, consented to be kissed by a colored man in this film. So it goes too with Tony, where he is paired with two colored women with kissing scenes…” – P. Oden Amurao, Republic Weekly, 03 October 1967 (READ MORE)

Leody Diaz’s Vilma Santos Films

Jukebox King

Consuelo P. Osorio is a Filipina film director and actress. Her earlier acting credits consists of 1949’s Bulakenyo and 1984’s Bagets Part 2, her first and last films.. Like Leody Diaz, Consuelo became active in late 60s to early 70s directing singing teen stars in musical-comedy or musical-drama genres. Peque Galaga, the popular director of Oro Plata Mata fame, was quoted saying, Consuelo P. Osorio of Premiere Productions as his early mentor because, “It was she who tutored him on points such as casting that would spell success in surviving in the industry.”

Ateng Osorio – “…I asked the receptionist who was the TV writer present that day and she mentioned the name: Consuelo Osorio, also known as Ateng Osorio. She told me which studio she was working that time and I proceeded to find her. Unfortunately, upon entering the TV barn, a production assistant told me that she actually went to the cafeteria to have coffee. So I went to the cafeteria and tried to find her. I asked the person at the till to point out to me Miss Osorio, and she did. She was seated at a table, smoking, talking to another lady, and both of them, I noticed, were looking at me. I approached them and introduced myself. She gave me a handshake and introduced the other lady: “She’s Mitos Villareal, our director.” After shaking Miss Villareal’s hand, I didn’t hesitate to tell them that I was there because I want to become a writer for TV and the movies. They both smiled. “You’re a bit too young to work as a writer,” Ateng told me. “Besides, you look more like an actor than a writer! We immediately noticed you the moment you entered this room. You are unusually fair. You are even fairer than Jeanne Young. Leave your phone number with me, I’ll find something and I’ll give you a call….Well, perfect timing. I need someone your age. I am auditioning today and tomorrow for new talents for BBC Channel 2. Since I already know that you can do it, you’re in. I need you to come for taping on Saturday night. Come with me and I’ll give you the script.” I wanted to say no, but for some reason, I couldn’t. Besides, this lady was super nice and I didn’t want to say no to her. So I went with her and we proceeded to the office and the producer of the show handed me a blue mimeographed script. It says: PROGRAM: Dulambuhay ni Rosa Vilma WRITER: O.B. Pangilinan MAINSTAY: Vilma Santos. To make the long story short, I ended up appearing with Vilma Santos and Walter Navarro. I played Walter’s younger brother in that episode. Thank God all my scenes were take one. And after the show aired, all my friends teased me non-stop about it. Ateng Osorio was directing films that time as well and she wanted to cast me in them but I begged off. I finally told her that acting is not what I wanted to do. I want to write. She then said: “I’m committed for seven months to direct movies which I have already written myself. After they are all finished, we’ll discuss a movie I will be directing for Barangay Pictures. I have a storyline. You will write the screenplay…” – Jose Mari Lee, Pinoy Comics TV Movies (READ MORE)

Consuelo P. Osorio’s Vilma Santos Films

  • I Do Love You (1970) – Eddie Peregrina-Vilma Santos film with Esperanza Fabon and Bebong Osorio. (READ MORE)
  • Jukebox King (1969) – Eddie Peregrina-Vilma Santos film with Edgar Mortiz, Esperanza Fabon and Bebong Osorio. (READ MORE)
  • Mardy (1969) – Eddie Peregrina-Vilma Santos film with Esperanza Fabon and Bebong Osorio. (READ MORE)
  • My Darling Eddie (1969) – Eddie Peregrina-Vilma Santos film with Edgar Mortiz, Esperanza Fabon and Bebong Osorio. (READ MORE)

Other Female Directors

  • Ophelia Paris (1973) Directed by Celia Diaz-Laurel. The first movie of Vilma Santos and Cocoy Laurel, the other films are: Disco Fever and Pinay American Style (READ MORE).
  • Mga Reynang Walang Trono (1976) Directed by Amalia Muhlach (Amalia Fuentes). “…Amalia directed Vilma’s episode in Mga Reyna and agreed to second billing to Vilma in Asawa Ko. No doubt about it, Amalia Muhlach Sumilang Fuentes, is a Vilmanian. To seal their sisterhood and camaraderie, Vilma is Ninang to Liezl Martinez and to the latter’s son Alfonso. Why, Liezl even sang a song ’’Wind Beneath My Wings’ to her surprised mother that night which drove the strong-willed and still beautiful Amalia to tears…” – Mario O. Garces (READ MORE)

Filmography: The Young Idols (1970)

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Basic Information:  Directed, story: Ben Feleo; Cast: Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Reycard Duet, Johnny Delgado, Rosanna Ortiz, Alvarado Muhlach, Ernie White, Eva Marie, Alicja Basili, Rocco Montalban, Tibo Legaspi, Sancho Tesalona, Carlos Diaz, Eddie Nicart, Fred Esplana, Jacinto Grana, SOS Daredevils, Edgar Garcia, Angel Confiado, Mila Israel; Executive producer: Amalia Muhlach; Original Music: Danny Subido; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description:   No Available Data

Film Achievement:   No Available Data

Film Reviews; “…By late 1969, movie producers had been tapping a Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz love team. Edgar was a Tawag ng Tanghalan winner. They started to be together in the movies, My Darling Eddie (1969) and The Jukebox King (1969)…In 1970, the love team of Vilma Santos and Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz was officially launched in the movie Young Love, together with the another popular love team during that time, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. The Vi and Bot love team went on to do 14 more movies in 1970—The Young Idols, Songs and Lovers, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Love Letters, Love is for the Two of Us, Mga Batang Bangketa, My Pledge of Love, Renee Rose, Baby Vi, Because You Are Mine, Edgar Loves Vilma, From the Bottom of My Heart, and I Love You Honey. All did well at the box-office…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

“…Noong Dekada ’70, ang mga young stars ay kailangang marunong kumanta dahil yun ang uso kaya naman nagtayo ng sariling recording company ang nasirang manager ni Vi na si William Leary dahil ayaw niyang pahuhuli sa uso ang kanyang alaga. Ilan sa mga naging recording artists ng WILEARS RECORDS bukod kay Vi ay sina Edgar Mortiz, Ed Finlan, Sahlee Quizon, Hilda Koronel at Esperanza Fabon. According to Vi, kapag nagrerecord siya ng kanta ay nakatalikod siya sa dingding ng recording company at si Bobot ang umaalalay sa kanya. Ang SIXTEEN, na sinulat ni Danny Subido ang unang recording na ginawa ni Vi at ito ay flipsided by It’s So Wonderful To Be In Love. Ang SIXTEEN ay agad naging gold record at dahil dito ay gumawa ng pelikula ang Tagalog Ilang Ilang Productions, ang home studio ni Vi at ito ay ginawa nilang pamagat katambal si Edgar Mortiz. Hindi nyo naitatanong, muntik nang manalo si Vi bilang most promising singer sa AWIT AWARDS noong early ’70s…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

“…The loveteam of Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos endured a stiff competition from teeny bopper love team of Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III and came up with equal success with string of hit films during the musical era of the 70s. Together they did forgettable but commercial hits and also some hints of the years to come to Vilma Santos’ long career. The most notable one: Dama De Noche. Total Number of films with Vilma Santos – 25 (Young Love, Teenage Jamboree, Songs and Lovers, Renee Rose, My Pledge of Love, Mga Batang Bangketa, Love Is for the Two of Us, I Love You Honey, From the Bottom of My Heart, Baby Vi, Love Letters, The Wonderful World of Music, The Sensations, The Young Idols, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Leron-Leron Sinta, Edgar Love Vilma, Don’t Ever Say Goodbye, Dama de Noche, Anak ng Aswang, Because You Are Mine, Kampanerang Kuba, Kasalanan Kaya, Karugtong ang Kahapon…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Si Edgar Mortiz ang unang nakapareha ni Vilma Santos as a teen star. Nakilala sila as the “Subok na Matibay, Subok na Matatag” loveteam called Vi and Bot at naging magka-steady sila sa tunay na buhay. Marami silang ginawang pelikula as teen stars in the early 70s…” – Showbiz Portal (READ MORE)

Filmography: Mga Reynang Walang Trono (1976)

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Basic Information: Direction: Fely Crisostomo and Amalia Muhalch; Cast: Amalia Fuentes, Vilma Santos, Eddie Gutierrez, Robert Arevalo, Rudy Fernandez and Eddie Garcia, Rez Cortez, Greg Lozano, Mar F. Cornes; Story: Rino Fernan Silverio; Screenplay: Toto Belano; Cinematography: Hermo U. Santos; Production Company: AM Productions; Release Date: February 26, 1976; Serialized in Bondying Weekly Movie Specials – Video48

Plot Description: A story of two women who lived and reigned as queen in their own world. Dureza (Vilma Santos) a poor lass who got married to a rich man, Don Mauricio (Eddie Garcia) whom she does not love, but just to give comfort to her family. Amanda (Amalia Fuentez) a popular actress, whom people look up to, but due to unavoidable circumstances killed her husband. Both women end up in jail to pay for what they have done. Also stars, Rober Arevalo, Rex Cortez, Greg Lozano. Directed by Amalia Fuentes and Fely Crisostomo for AM Productions. – Trigon Video Distributor

Film Achievement: Film directed by two female, movie queen Amalia Fuentez and veteran director Fely Crisostomo; Originally written by Rico Fernan Silverio for Bondying Movie Special comics (1974-1975) and illustrated by Hal Santiago.

Film Review: “…By mid decades, Vilma Santos’ career was gradully moving into dramas catering the adult audience and films with social-adult issues. She did the sequel “Hindi Nakakahiya” and “Nagaapoy na Damdamin” about the affair of a young woman with an older man and “Mga Rosas Sa Putikan” about the lives of prostitutes. Aside from these films, she also did four light comedies and two notable ones: “Mga Reynang Walang Trono” a comedy with movie queen Amalia Fuentez and “Bato Sa Buhangin,” the box office hit that reunited her with the late Fernando Poe Jr. Bernal on the other hand, cemented his reputation as one of the most serious director with critically appreciated hit films, “Ligaw Na Bulaklak” staring the young sexy star, Alma Moreno and the drama film that featured two dramatic stars, Daria Ramirez and Elizabeth Oropeza in “Nunal Sa Tubig.” He also directed a light comedy, “Tisoy,” Christopher De Leon in title role…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…To recall, the senior and junior movie queens appeared in these movies: Bulaklak at Paru-paro (1970), Mga Reynang Walang Trono(1976) and Asawa Ko, Huwag Mong Agawin (1986). Amalia directed Vilma’s episode in Mga Reyna and agreed to second billing to Vilma in Asawa Ko. No doubt about it, Amalia Muhlach Sumilang Fuentes, is a Vilmanian. To seal their sisterhood and camaraderie, Vilma is Ninang to Liezl Martinez and to the latter’s son Alfonso. Why, Liezl even sang a song ’’Wind Beneath My Wings’ to her surprised mother that night which drove the strong-willed and still beautiful Amalia to tears. A Kodak moment, indeed. Priceless! While interviewing the three Muhlach generations, Fuentes, Liezl and young daughter Aliyanna, Amalia revealed to Vilma that she is protective of her ’unica hija’ Liezl. ”Ay naku, I think I also have become like my Mom, I’m also very protective of my children,” Liezl remarks…” – Mario O. Garces (READ MORE)