Roberto A. Suarez (November 27, 1942 – February 8, 2010), commonly referred to as "Bobby" or "BAS", was a Filipino film producer, director and screenwriter.
He had a very humble beginning. At an early age, he sold various things on the street to support a sick mother and 3 younger siblings. Since they were homeless, a Kalesa operator allowed them to stay beside a horse's stable for shelter. When his mother died, he and his other younger brother was brought to the Manila Boy's Town, a temporary refuge for abandoned and orphaned children. While inside the orphanage, he served as an altar boy and would be sent out on the streets to sell various things like newspapers,sampaguita flowers and shined shoes. Mr. Suarez showed exemplary intelligence while inside the orphanage. He was a consistent leader of his group and graduated valedictorian. When he reached puberty and it's time for him to leave the orphanage, he worked as an errand boy at the Manila City Hall in the Office of the City Mayor of then Mayor Arsenio Lacson.
To help pay for his college education, Bobby worked as a janitor-messenger for the Philippine branch of international movie distributor, J. ARTHUR RANK FILM DISTRIBUTOR (P.I.) INC. Through his dependability and resourcefulness, Mr. Suarez was soon promoted and eventually became the company's Assistant Sales Manager in 1963.
Then in 1965, Bobby was appointed Sales and Marketing Manager for Fortune Films, owned by retired general Macario Peralta.
His film marketing expertise brought Bobby to Hong Kong where he established INTERCONTINENTAL FILM DISTRIBUTORS, LTD. in which he also served as Managing Director. He was the one who introduced dubbing Chinese films to English and selling it all over the world.
During that time, Bobby became close to legendary Spanish filmmaker, Sr. Don Antonio Isasi and was able to learn the rudiments of movie directing.
To help meet the growing demand for movies worldwide and armed with a knowledge of directing he learned from his 'master' Director Isasi, Mr. Suarez then ventured into producing and directing movies, producing and directing many low-budget quality English movies featuring both Caucasian and Asian actors. His movies was marketed all over the world, including theatrical exhibition in the U.S.A. and Canada, considered to be the most sophisticated and hard to penetrate market. Some of these movies even landed in the Top 50 Grossing Films during its theatrical run in the said territory. His movies are considered cult classics. Some of his movies even became the gigantic inspiration of superstar Hollywood directors.
In 1990, BAS was presented a special award by the European Publishers as the Asian movie producer and director whose movies are at par with European movies in terms of quality and standard.
He was awarded the Gregorio Valdez Memorial Award and the Ciriaco Santiago Memorial Award both by the Filipino Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (FAMAS). The Ciriaco Santiago Memorial Award was given to honor performers and directors of productions who have gained international recognition for their cinematic excellence. In February 2006, The Singapore Straits Times gave Mr. Suarez a special award for his contribution in helping place Singapore in the Movie World Map. In December of that same year, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Academy of Film and Television for helping put Philippines in the Movie World Map.
Mr. Suarez's experience and mastery in the art and science of international movie production, distribution and marketing of commercial movies is evidenced by his membership of prestigious organizations such as the Writer's Guild of the Philippines (WGP), the Director's Guild of the Philippines (DGP), the Writer's Guild of America-West (WGA), the Movie Producers Distributors Association of the Philippines (MPDAP) and the Philippine Motion Pictures Producers Association (PMPPA).
He peacefully joined his creator in February 8, 2010 after a series of heart attacks and a kidney operation. He is survived by his wife, Gene, their children and grandchildren.
Here you can share your comments or contribute with more information, content, resources or links about this topic.