The Board of Governors of the Film Academy of the Philippines met on Wednesday, January 30, and discussed three urgent issues concerning this year’s Luna Awards, the actors’ intellectual property rights and possible changes in the Metropolitan Manila Film Festival rules.
The board of governors—composed of presidents of the guilds under the umbrella supervision of the FAP, as well as Academy officers and advisers—opted for a much earlier staging of the 26th Luna Awards which will honor the achievements of films shown in 2007.
It could be recalled that the Luna Awards last year was staged almost at year’s end because of financial problems and the lack of sponsors. For the last three years, the awards night was produced by the private outfits of Albert Martinez (for 2004 and 2005) and Harlene Bautista (for 2006).
The Academy was still able to hold the awards night in simple but appropriate ceremonies that focussed on giving recognition to the winners, as well as all those nominated for exemplary achievements for the year 2006.
Director General Leo G. Martinez told the board of governors that he would like to institute changes in the membership of the citers for this year’s awards derby which will be held earlier—hopefully before the middle of this year.
The FAP provides a system where peers choose the best of the year through three tiers of members, namely, citers, nominators and voters.
Martinez said that he intends to invite some citers who might as well represent the indie filmmakers and those producing digital feature films. He told the guild presidents to submit proposed changes in the present setup of citing, nominating and voting.
Martinez also informed the board that a meeting of officers and representatives from the Academy, the Intellectual Property Office and the Kapisanan ng mga Artista ng Pelikulang Pilipino at Telebisyon headed by President Jeorge ‘E.R.’ Ejercito Estregan has been scheduled for March 12.
The meeting will discuss the performers’ rights to collect royalties for films they appeared in when these are shown thru video cassettes or on television or cable channels.
The meeting will take up the FILSCAP experience which has successfully collected royalties for composers, singers and even musicians.
The third issue discussed during the board meeting is the scheduled symposium on February 23 called by MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando to discuss changes in the rules of the Metropolitan Manila Film Festival.
The symposium intends to come up with a consensus about changes in the way entries are screened and selected, as well as the technical management of the annual film event.
The BOG decided to send a delegation to be composed of the guild presidents and the officers and advisers of the Academy.
Senior Adviser Eddie Romero, national artist for cinema, stressed that consensus drawn up during the symposium—which will be made up of producers, filmmakers and other industry workers—must be implemented by the MMDA which has been supervising the filmfest for several years now.
Martinez added that a similar symposium was held in 2005 but the pertinent changes discussed and approved during the meeting were eventually disregarded by Chairman Fernando.
Among the contentious issues to be discussed are the mode of selecting festival entries through finished products or screenplays and the one-producer-one-entry, one director-one-film rule.
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