MANILA -- Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) head Liza Diño has had enough. She's tired of defending her pet project, Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP), a new film festival slated next month that mandates cinemas nationwide to showcase local films for a week.
Diño took to Facebook on Tuesday to address those accusing her and the FDCP for harboring a "hidden agenda" with PPP that will ultimately push independent films out of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) held every December.
The conspiracy, according to Diño, alleges that by creating a separate film festival that will cater mainly to indie features, the FDCP is giving the go-signal for organizers of the MMFF to fill their lineup with entries from big studios.
It furthers that indie movies will then be unfairly locked out of the Christmas season, which is traditionally the strongest period for the local box-office.
In her lengthy post, Diño, who is also a member of the MMFF executive committee, denied the malicious accusations, saying: "Ang magandang intensyon ng PPP, sinisira ng mga malisyosong walang iniisip kung 'di ang sarili in the guise of protecting independent cinema."
"Imbis na makita ang kagandahan ng mas maraming plataporma para sa ating mga sariling pelikula, sinasabing kinakalaban ang MMFF at lalong hinihiwalay ang indie sa mainstream. Worse, it's coming from people na galing mismo sa industriya natin."
She then called out those wishing for the PPP to fail, explaining that a new festival that will put the spotlight on Filipino-made films should be celebrated rather than criticized, if one considers the difficulties in competing with Hollywood flicks, which cinema owners usually favor.
"FDCP hopes to resolve that issue by clustering our films together para ma-encourage ang audience na manood. Actually, if this becomes successful, the bigger vision is to have these platforms three times a year -- April, August at December," she revealed.
Diño concluded by clarifying that the FDCP will not be earning from the said festival. "We are doing this because we believe in the project and the success of this nationwide platform can be a game changer for Philippine cinema."
"It will prove that there really is an audience for quality genre films. The Filipino audience deserves this."
The PPP will run from August 16 to 22. The 12 films that will be shown are "100 Tula Para Kay Stella" (Viva), "Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B" (The IdeaFirst Company), "AWOLl" (Skylight), 'Patay na si Hesus" (T-Rex Entertainment Production), "Pauwi Na" (Universal Harvest Inc.), "Salvage" (CPI/Cinema One), "Bar Boys" (Tropic Frills Inc.), "Birdshot" (TBA Studios), "Hamog" (CPI/Cinema One), Paglipay (Tofarm), "Star na si Van Damme Stallone" (Unitel x Straight Shooters), and "Triptiko" (Michelna Brothers Production).
You can check out the trailers here.
Below is Diño's full statement: