About Pelikulove

Meaning Behind the Name

Pelikulove: a fusion from the Filipino word “Pelikula” meaning film but expanded to mean as a conveyor of all forms of arts and culture AND “Love” universally defined as an intense feeling of deep affection all-embracing for self, family, neighbor, country, humanity, environment and all of creation; love for truth and discourse for growth. Because we believe you cannot really change anything without falling in love.

Our Purpose

Thanks to the ever-developing technology of the internet, the world opened and became not just an information superhighway but a hyperconnected place. However, we’re also seeing a growing need to look inwards else we get carried away by the next Netflix, Masterclass, or any other pervading culture. Isn’t it high time we make one of our own?

Enters Pelikulove, a startup multi-art online portal envisioned to help build and strengthen Filipino creative communities primarily through online training programs, fora for connectivity, and production showcases to provide space for the Filipino voice, specially new works, and new perspectives not often seen or heard in mainstream circuits. We aim to nurture an environment of openness and critical thinking that fosters creativity, progressive-thinking, collaboration, support, and healthy discourses both on- and offline. Following social entrepreneurship principles, we hope to build a community that is inclusive and sustainable.

Founding Story

Ellen Ongkeko Marfil, a cum laude broadcast communication graduate from UP Diliman, engaged in transformative arts through the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). From there she moved to mainstream film (Star Cinema) and television (ABS-CBN, GMA News and Public Affairs) as producer and director. Finally, she went into independent filmmaking as director-producer (Erasto Films’ Mga Pusang Gala, Boses, Lakbay2love), and below-the line and on-the-ground distribution, where she directly met her audiences locally and internationally.

In 2015, she put up Pelikulove, initially as a promotions tool for her independent film. But with online’s potential for greater reach and influence, and its ability to have instantaneous community engagement, she knew it was Pelikulove as a medium itself that needs to be developed.

In the same year, Aimee Bertulfo, also a graduate from the same course and same university, and in search of production work and a meaningful endeavor, left her job as a social community manager in a big ad agency. She joined Ellen’s team and went on board as a partner a year later. She also spearheaded the Pelikulove OJT program where they met even more millennials like her who were digital natives, which strengthened their resolve that this was the way to go.

Ellen’s son, Lorenzo Marfil, who shifted from sociology to study online technology, also became instrumental as he became their digital consultant. Slowly,they found their direction.

Why Start with the Rody Vera Online Playwriting Course?

In 2016, we partnered with Virgin Labfest and created video teasers for their 12 plays. We had about six to seven OJTs (Batch 2) then and all of them, even our staff, had their first taste of the VLF – even first theater – experience. All movie-watchers, they all had the same expression of awe at the variety of cutting-edge content they were exposed to and the impact of live performances.  

We realized this was one area needing support that is somewhat doable for us. Thanks to today’s technology, we can now capture and immortalize theater works, even better, to hold training courses that can simultaneously grow the theater community.

We also learned Rody Vera’s writing workshop in CDO paved the way for a soon-to-be “extra virgin labfest”. Now imagine giving Filipinos nationwide, even worldwide, access to an online writing workshop and how that can possibly hasten the efforts of various groups in mounting theater fests. Hopefully, we can have as many theater fests as there are film fests which, for this country, is cheaper, more doable, and with theater’s communal yet intimate nature, could truly be powerful.

Why now? According to our digital consultant Lorenzo, as the world becomes heavily hooked online, the need for human connection also rises. So we’re actually asking you to join us not for you to stay glued online, but to have an engaging life outside the web.

Now what is theater without its playwrights?

We believe writers play a very special role in our society. They are the articulators of the times, and as artist-mentor Rody Vera says, “the keepers of our collective memory.” If you’re an aspiring Filipino writer of any medium, an actor, a director, why not learn from one of the best? From a mentor who’s born and raised here, who honed his craft while studying the depths of the Filipino heart and soul, a true game-changer? (Know more about our artist-mentor here)

So take his course. Watch the plays-on-video. Write your story. Find your tribe. Even better, find mentors for staging. Find sponsors for funding. And maybe you can stage your own theater fests even in a basketball court, in a barangay hall, anywhere possible. Then together, perhaps, we can bridge the gaps.


Be part of our community. We’re just getting started.


Welcome home.

Our Team

Ellen Marfil
Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil

CEO & Artistic Director

Ellen Marfil
Aimee Bertulfo

COO & OJT Supervisor

Ellen Marfil
Mica Flores

Asst. Operations Officer & Social Media Manager

Ellen Marfil
Glo Topue

Marketing OIC

Ellen Marfil
Nilo Magno

Marketing Officer

Ellen Marfil
Mitch Malubay


Ellen Marfil
Ferl Larrosa

Production Manager

Ellen Marfil
Ruth Reyes

Technical OIC

Ellen Marfil
Christian Concepcion

Special Projects Manager

Ellen Marfil
Anton Claur

Driver, Gaffer, Messenger

In Loving Memory

Ellen Marfil
Lorenzo Marfil

Digital Consultant

Ellen Marfil
Flordeliza Espepe

Resident Cook

Hall of Thanks

Special thanks goes out to the people who have helped build Pelikulove to what it is today

Martin Marfil, Rody Vera, Joel David, Jeffrey Jeturian, May Rodriguez and Bantayog ng mga Bayani, Bobbi Viola and Bahay Nakpil-Bautista Foundation, Coke Bolipata and Casa San Miguel, Ricky Davao, Cherry Pie Picache, Meryll Soriano, Julian Duque, Emmeline Verzosa and Philippine Commission on Women, Kim Peji, Sari Dalena and UP Film Institute, Ladies Who Launch, Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), Cardinal Luis Tagle and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Philippine Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (PSCAP), World Vision, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), UNICEF, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Dr. Margie Holmes, Boy Abunda, Coco Martin, Atty. Edmon Evangelista, Atty. Ronald Uy, Atty. Suzette Medina, Ricky Lee, Jerry Siapoc, Ram Banal, Anton Claur, Grace Dela Concepcion, Erben Cardiente, Amiel Kabigting, Vanz Lavado, Med Valentus, Bel Banca, Roger Macua, Divine Espepe, Keebs Castro, Beryl Lao, Alpha Habon, Rod Marmol, Fatima Gaw, Gab Murillo, Kerstin Pinto, Gay Domingo, David and Marites Quitoriano and Orangefix, Deng Silorio and Intelimina, Norman Silvestre, (Workshop participants) May Cardoso, J-mee Katanyag, Maynard Manansala, Dingdong Novenario, Carlo Tarobal, Migy Obina; (forum guests) Chris Millado, Maribel Legarda, JK Anicoche, Ross Pesigan, Angeli Bayani; (Beta testers) Jose Mojica, Jom Sanchez, Elmer Gatchalian, Beryl Lao, Aaliyah Ybañez, Kaithreen Cruz, Lean Dela Victoria, Christa De La Cruz; (First batch of trial course students) Jean Dee, Jai Barrientos, Dominic Lim, Ian Laput, Salvador Bolano, Jose Labro, Alyette Ang; Dodjie Fernandez, Mia Bunao, Nanette Matilac, Jenn Cayanan, Ian De Luna, Jam Plopinio, Willy Mayagma, all our FilmmakeHERs and TheatHERs

OJTs: (Batch 1) Jemy Damian, Ellain Idea; (Batch 2) Dianne Rodriguez, Vangeline Nuñez, Kamille Espiel, Lorenzo Marfil, Kathleen Estrada, Thea Uy; (Batch 3) Charlie David, Kim Ong, Robin Estargo, Kate Castillo; (Batch 4) Kris-An Torres, Christel Castillo, Jan Bernardino; (Batch 5) Nikki Zurbano; (Batch 5.5) Caloy Sabordo, Lean Dela Victorio, Kenny Ibe; (Batch 6) Christian Concepcion, Alec Garcia, Wynona Galvez; (Batch 7) Deborah Padrigo, Jenlie Herrera, Winston Laurito; (Batch 8) Ten Banda, Jeld Manalo, Ally Ravago, Celine Salinas; (Batch 9) Czarina Ignacio; (Batch 9.5) Ferl Larrosa, Ruth Reyes, Bobby de Veyra; (Batch 10) Kris Morada, AJ Aguilar, Bea Colcol, Catherine Gallano; (Batch 11) Deanne Capiral, Jeremie Abarido, AJ Santos, Annie Reynales, Jessa Sargento, Tessa Gonzales