Erik Matti laments how films have become ‘about patronage’: ‘The worst kind of cinema support’
Renowned director Erik Matti expressed concern on how local producers apparently no longer make films for the Filipino-wide audience and have instead gravitated toward producing movies that “film festival gatekeepers” would want.
Matti pondered how “times have changed in movies,” through his Instagram page on Monday, Oct. 2.
“I always was just a Hollywood fan. All my list of movies that changed me were all movies that get my adrenaline up whether or not it was a slow burn or not,” he wrote. “But something changed over the years. I don’t know if it was the time when everyone wanted to be in every international film festival all over the world or when we didn’t have the distribution support of the theater owners.”
“But films became about patronage. No one talks about the sins of patronage but it’s the worst kind of cinema support that filmmakers can get not just from local but even from international,” he continued. “And people have learned to play that game here.”
Matti further pointed out how some producers in the country have been apparently inclined to make movies that would be pleasing to those “who have the power to bring their films to their festivals.”
“Local producers have learned to sweet talk international programmers with the kind of films they make. A lot of them don’t make films for the Filipino wide audience anymore,” he lamented.
Seemingly reminding his fellow filmmakers, Matti said, “We can actually make films that can speak to an audience we have yet to tap without second guessing the types of films that festival gatekeepers would want us to make.”
The acclaimed director then admitted that at some point, he also yearned to be part of film festivals that he would “skew” his movies to the programmers’ preference.
“But ever since a decade ago, I promised myself that I will only do the films I want whether or not it is intellectually as serious as film festival programmers would want or that our local audience would identify with,” he wrote. “I want my films to go to festivals but not at the expense of second guessing them and ending up making films that don’t speak about the kind of films I want to make.”
“I want to make films where people would take it for what they are whether or not it ends up in a festival or not. After all, we just really want to make movies,” he concluded.
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Matti had fans and fellow celebrities nodding in agreement, with some thanking him for voicing out the struggles in the film industry.
Matti is known for his award-winning films “On the Job,” “BuyBust” and “Honor Thy Father,” among many others. Matti has several projects lined up including Anne Curtis’ comeback film, a movie with Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos, and a series about the entertainment industry, which stars Judy Ann Santos, Edu Manzano and Gina Alajar. /ra