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Cooler heads seek dialogue for fest

By: - Reporter
/ 08:51 PM March 12, 2012

More and more people are calling for a dialogue between filmmakers and the executives of the annual Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, as a result of the disqualification of one finalist in this year’s New Breed category.

In his Facebook account, screenwriter-producer Raymond Lee on Thursday asked the present batch of Cinemalaya grant winners if they didn’t plan on meeting with festival organizers to discuss what’s happening, “whether just to be informed or to make a stand.” Lee wondered, “Has it come to this—to each his own?”

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Cinemalaya has barred Emerson Reyes’ “MNL 143” from competing in the annual indie fete due to a casting disagreement with its director and producer.

Reyes’ supporters aired indignant reactions through social networking sites, saying the filmmaker’s right to choose his cast had been trampled on.

Filmmaker Loy Arcenas, whose “Requieme” is one of this year’s 10 New Breed finalists, also appealed to both parties to “sit down and talk … Without dialogue, we’ll just end up killing [Cinemalaya]…” Arcenas made the statement on Tuesday during a press conference hosted by Cinemalaya.

Zig Marasigan, another indie filmmaker, posted on his film blog site, lagarista.com: “Filmmakers should … reach out to the [organizing] committee and voice their concerns, but also … understand where the committee is coming from.”

Film producer and college professor Alemberg Ang posted on his Facebook wall, in Filipino: “These will all be ironed out. Let’s stop bickering and show cooperation, instead of a crab mentality.”

Critics jump in

Members of the Young Critics Circle (YCC) issued a statement, saying it was “[joining] the film community in condemning the recent disqualification of ‘MNL 143.’”

The social action platform change.org launched an online petition calling for reform in Cinemalaya operations and for the resignation of its executives—Laurice Guillen-Feleo, Robbie Tan and festival director Nes Jardin.

At press time, the petition had 319 signatures.

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Filmmaker Erik Matti commented, also on Facebook: “I don’t want to reform Cinemalaya. I want to take it out.”

(E-mail [email protected])

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TAGS: Cinemalaya, Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, Entertainment, MNL 143, Raymond Lee, Social Networking, Young Critics Circle
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