Congressman Edcel ‘Grex’ B. Lagman of the first district of Albay recently filed House Bill 2738 which seeks to transfer the role of organizing the annual Metropolitan Manila Film Festival from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to the film industry players themselves.
HB No. 2738 will empower the Film Development Council of the Philippines to facilitate the creation of the Metropolitan Manila Film Festival Executive Committee with these specific functions:
– Give due recognition, awards distinction, appreciation through the MMFF and other forms of regard for significant efforts and accomplishments for the development of the motion picture art and science in the country.
– Set up and administer a viable system of objectives to encourage the growth and development of high quality motion pictures in the country, with incentives to grant recognition to deserving individuals or entities who have contributed to the vital task and objectives of improving the quality of filmmaking in the country.
–Collect the proceeds of the MMFF and disburse the shares to different beneficiaries.
–Establish, operate and maintain a Film Archive for the purpose of preserving and disseminating motion pictures which are the historical, cultural and aesthetic value of the nation.
The MMFF Executive Committee, as envisioned by HB 2738, shall be composed of the following: The Executive Director of the FDCP as chairperson; a representative each from the guilds under the umbrella of the Film Academy of the Philippines for producers, directors, actors, screenwriters, cinematographers, sound technicians, musical directors, production designers and assistant director and production managers; the Mowelfund president; the NCCA chairman and a representative from the local government units of Metro Manila.
Rep. Lagman explained: “Up to now, it continues to puzzle me why MMDA is running the MMFF and not the movie sector themselves. The MMDA’s primary concern is to solve problems on traffic, garbage and flooding in Metro Manila and not to organize a movie event or festival.”
If the bill is approved, the proceeds of the MMFF could be used by the local movie industry to subsidize locally produced films and upgrade the skills and technology needed to make our local film industry competitive.
“It is high time that we give back to our local movie industry what are due them so that they can bring back the lost glory of being Asia’s premiere in film production. The benefits of the MMFF belong to the movie sector and shall not be used to give perks to MMDA officials and other government activities which have no direct relation to the movie industry. The only way to achieve this objective is to let the movie industry players organize and manage the MMFF and nobody else,” Lagman explained.
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