May 7, 2015, 2:19 p.m. – COMMERCIALIZATION and the lack of support from mainstream
media has left today’s Philippine cinema in a “sorry state,” a renowned
filmmaker said on Wednesday during the USTingan round table discussion at the
UST Graduate School’s Tanghalang Teresita Qurino.

Filipino filmmaker, writer, and producer Peque Gallaga said
quality independent or “indie” films were having difficulty getting a share of
the spotlight, making Philippine movie industry almost “extinct.”

According to Gallaga, the country’s media conglomerates,
like Lopez-owned ABS-CBN, determines what films should be on top, resulting in
the domination of box-office-driven films.

Although the “indie movement” has grown in following and
attention, it lacks the support of mainstream media to really take off, he

“Our problem with indie film is that no matter how good or
how bad your movie is, if it does not catch the attention of [ABS-CBN], it does
not exist,” Gallaga said.

Filmmaker Manolito Sulit, a former fellow of the UST Center
for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS), challenged directors and
film producers to invest in making good indie movies that could be shown to
mainstream audiences.

“[Kailangan natin ng] producers na handang tumaya, handang
gumastos, handang mag-risk ng pera para ito’y maipalabas ng kasabay ng mga
usual na pelikula na pinapanuod ng mga masa,” Sulit said. “Bakit hindi natin
isama sa menu [ang indie films]?”

Gallaga is known for his films such as Oro, Plata, Mata
(1982) and Magic Temple (1996).

Sulit is known for the political and social critique film
Barako (2007). He graduated from UST in 1993 with a degree in journalism.

'Go back to the basics'

USTingan is a round table discussion held every semester and
organized by the UST-CCWLS. Alpine Christopher P. Moldez


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