MANILA, Philippines – Comedian Pokwang called cinema owners out for supposedly prioritizing profit in pulling out movies like Culion and Mindanao, both entries to the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) because of low ticket sales.
“Nakakalungkot naman ang asal ng karamihan ng sinehan sa Pinas,” she said in a Facebook post on Friday, December 27. “Huwag naman tayo puro sa pera lang kasi di naman natin madadala sa hukay yan!”
(The way many cinemas in the Philippines operate is frustration. I hope we don’t only focus on money, since we won’t be able to bring that to the grave.)
She called on the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), which organizes the MMFF, to hold a dialogue with cinema owners.
“Magkaroon sana kayo ng dialogue with mga sinehan or agreement na sana yung mga pelikulang kagaya ng Culion at Mindanao ay bigyang prioridad din at wag alisin agad sa sinehan para lang mas kumita kayo! Wag nyong alisin at burahin sa isipan ng henerasyon ngayon ang kwento ng ating lahi!”
(I hope you will have a dialogue with cinema owners or an agreement to give priority to films such as Culion and Mindanao and to not pull them out early in cinemas just because they want to earn money. Don’t remove the stories of our race in the minds of the current generation.)
The comedian, whose real name is Marietta Subong, is part of a different MMFF entry, Mission Unstapabol: The Don Identity, which stars Vic Sotto. Pokwang’s partner Lee O’Brian, meanwhile, is part of the cast of Culion.
In his speech during the awards night on Friday, December 27, Mindanao director Brillante Mendoza said he hoped more cinemas would screen their movie. On December 28, only 38 cinemas nationwide screened Mindanao.
“Ang hiling lang po sana namin ay madagdagan po kami ng sinehan bukas. At sana itong award na ito, magpatuloy at mapanood natin ang ‘Mindanao.’ Ginawa namin ito para sa inyo,” said Brillante after receiving the award for Best Director. (FULL LIST: Winners, MMFF 2019 awards night)
(Our only wish is for us to get more cinemas tomorrow. With this award, we hope you’ll be able to see Mindanao. We did this for all of you.)
Actress Judy Ann Santos also appealed for more cinemas to show the movie.
Mindanao won 11 awards, including top acting honors for Judy Ann Santos and Allen Dizon. – Rappler.com