Mar 21
FOR A WORKER-FRIENDLY FILM & ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY by webmaster  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Wed, Mar 21, 2007

By Leo G. Martinez
Director General, Film Academy of the Philippines

(last of four parts)

Worker-friendly in the sense that it respects the workers’ intelligence and judgement

[] Self-regulation instead of MTRCB

The MTRCB as a watchdog is a deterrent to our filmmakers’ and workers’ aim to express themselves in their work. The MTRCB asks for a portion of a film to be cut because it does not see its importance as say, how the director sees it. Or the film is classified for an audience which is not the film’s intended. Filmmakers have to toe some restrictions to avoid confrontations with the MTRCB. This is not an environment that enhances the film industry. In this age, the MTRCB is irrelevant. There should be a move instead to educate and sow the culture of self-regulation and responsibility among the film industry members. Perhaps we will come out with better films if allowed to grow.

[] Strengthening of peer-recognition and peer-selection system in film awards

The Luna Awards of FAP is a significant award because the awardees are recognized and selected by their peers. The awards system was revised three years ago because there was a need to install a system that would ensure that all films produced in the year get the chance to be viewed by those who would select the awardees. The new system also installed three levels of jurors, the Citers who view the films year round and cite the work that merit consideration; the Nominators who view the cited works and select from them the nominees; and the Voters who view the nominated works and finally cast their votes for who they think should get the awards. Between them is a literature that includes the standards that a professional film worker looks for to deem the work excellent. The educational component is for all the jurors to understand the standards for excellence and to select his choices based on these. Still the Awards face some problems. Right now, only MTRCB reviewers are allowed passes to view films in any theatre. It would help if all of the Luna Jurors are also issued these passes so that they can view all the local movies as required. It would also be best if theatre owners are harnessed to participate in this system by providing the jurors free entry to their establishments. The Awards also need a budget which is not available under the present funding system provided by the government to the FAP.

Worker-friendly in the sense that it strengthens the FAP’s financial capabilities that will redound to the individual working guilds’ development

[] Congress to review FAP papers and correct deficiencies

If the film industry is to flourish, there is a need for Congress to review
the legal papers that created FAP and to correct its deficiencies which include among others:

— A definition of the FAP’s mandate and scope; what does Government want to do with FAP?
— A clear definition of its personality- is it government or not?
— A provision of regular and sufficient budget
— An acknowledgement of FAP as an essential organization that looks after an essential industry

[] Cabinet member in charge of Culture who will also speak for and represent the welfare of the film and entertainment industries

There is no one in the cabinet that can speak for and fight for the needs of the film and entertainment industries. What the President has is a Consultant on Entertainment. But entertainment does not mean the film industry. And entertainment sounds too frivolous. What the government needs to realize is that the film industry is essential and films promote our culture. Perhaps there should be a cabinet member in charge of Culture who can represent it in the scheme of government.

CBA and labor issues

There is a need to study and propose a system that would answer the film workers labor and collective bargaining issues. At this point, what needs to be known is if a union would be helpful or would it tend to be otherwise.