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SPOTLIGHT

2 PPP directors slam CEB’s zero grade

/ 12:06 AM August 20, 2018

Dwein Baltazar

Two indie filmmakers, Khavn dela Cruz and Dwein Baltazar, expressed disappointment over the zero grade given by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) to their entries in the ongoing Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP).

They also shared with the Inquirer precious lessons on their experiences and hardships at PPP—from the controversy regarding their zero grade from the CEB and the struggle to maintain theaters and attract audiences.

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A zero grade from the CEB means the film could not avail of tax rebates as follows: 100 percent for Grade A and 65 percent for Grade B.

Said Khavn, who fielded “Balangiga: Howling Wilderness”: “Sobrang hirap magpalabas ng pelikula sa Pilipinas. Mas mahirap pa kaysa paggawa ng pelikula. Kung anumang leaps/tagumpay/development ng Pinoy filmmaking na naabot ng digital revolution/evolution—pagdating sa theatrical distribution, nasa medieval period pa rin tayo. Dark ages. Hindi napro-protektahan ng gobyerno ang filmmakers—mula sa mapaniil na sistema ng kapitalismo (malls), kolonyalismo (Hollywood domination) at corruption, CEB, amusement tax, et al.”

Special features’ entry

Baltazar, whose film “Gusto Kita With All My Hypothalamus” is part of PPP’s special features section like “Balangiga,” decried the CEB zero grade: “Siyempre nu’ng matanggap namin ang decision, nakakapanlumo dahil napakalaki ng taxes na nakapataw sa amin e ang liit na nga naming pelikula at nanlilimos na nga kami ng audience…Itinatawa ko na lang iyung nakakaloka nilang summation.”

Khavn dela Cruz

She related: “First time kong naranasan ito, dahil unang beses kong naglabas ng pelikula na hindi sa isang festival like CineFilipino and Cinema One. Day one ko lang nalaman kung gaano kalaki ang kalaban… sobrang naramdaman ko kung gaano kami kaliit. Hindi lang sa sinehan e, pati audience at suporta sobrang kapos.”

Continue the struggle

They, however, feel it’s important to continue the struggle.

“Sobrang halaga,” Dela Cruz asserted. “Kung hindi tayo kikilos ngayon, kailan pa? Mamamatay na tayong lahat, andiyan pa rin ang bulok na sistema. Dapat hindi na ito mamana ng mga anak natin, ng mga susunod na henerasyon.”

He remarked: “Ang nakalulugmok lang para sa karaniwang filmmaker, pati ang munting mundo ng cinema ay ubod na dinudumihan ng mga matagal nang nakaluklok sa kani-kanyang puwesto panahon pa [ng administrasyon] nina Marcos, Aquino, Arroyo na walang ambag sa pinagpupugay na Philippine cinema ngayon sa buong daigdig. Bagkus patuloy pa itong binubulok at winawasak.”

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Baltazar added, “Malinaw na kailangan na ng pagbabago. Mukhang matagal na rin namang may sumusubok mabago. Pero baka napagod lang ’yung iba. Ako mismo, nakakatatlong araw pa lang kami, pagod na (laughs)!”

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TAGS: Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB), Dwein Baltazar, Khavn dela Cruz, Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP)
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