GOVERNMENT PUSH. Epy Quizon calls on the government for some more push in helping Filipino films and the industry. File photo by Precious del Valle/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Actor Epy Quizon weighed on issues hounding the Philippine movie industry – declining ticket sales and box-office figures, among others. 

Epy, son of the late comedian Dolphy, called on not just the support of the press and audience but also the government.

"Siguro isa na rin itong paraan na humingi ng konting suporta pa na hindi lang yung mga press, mga taong bayan na nanoood ng Pelikulang Pilipino, but also the government natin," the actor said on Thursday, March 21, during a blog conference for the movie Portrait of Love.

"Lagyan pa ng kaunting push, kauti pang tulong para ibalik natin yung glory days ng Philippine cinema. Sayang kasi ang ganda ng mga pelikulang Pilipino, lalo na ang mga kwento natin."

(I guess this is a way to ask for more help not just from the press and the Filipino movie viewer, but also our government. Just a little push, more help to bring back the glory days of Philippine cinema. It's a shame because our films are beautiful, our stories are beautiful.) 

Epy, who had just returned from the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market, said he could not help but feel sad with what's happening in the industry. He pointed out that compared to the pavilions of Thailand and Korea, the Philippine booth was not as big even if the country was one of the leaders in the movie industry in Asia.

Sharing his observations from Hong Kong, Epy said: "Nakakaiyak kasi sila pataas ng pataas yung quality, yung laki ng [pag] promote ng pelikula nila. Tayo, paliit ng paliit, so kailangan siguro tayo magtulong-tulong imbes na magtapakan..."

(It's sad because while the quality of their films, the promotions for their movies increase, our decrease. So I think we need to help each other instead of putting each other down.) 

"We have to support each other, especially films like yung mga ganito (Portrait of Love), na independently produced. Kailangan natin suportahan, i-promote para dumami pa yung mga gustong tumaya. Kung papatayin natin ang mga maliliit [na film companies], eventually mawawala at mawawala ang pelikulang Pilipino."

(We have to support each other, especially films lik Portrait of Love that are independently produced. We need to support and promote these movies so more people are willing to invest. If we let small film companies die, the Filipino film will one day die too.) 

He added: "Nakakalungkot dahil nabuhay ako sa pelikulang Pilipino, kasi iyon ang nagpakain sa akin at nag-paaral sa akin. And I just want to give back."

(It's sad because I grew up with Filipino movies. It was what fed me and got me to school. And I just want to give back.)

Portrait of Love lead stars Kiray Celis and Polo Ravales also said they were alarmed by problems the industry is facing.

Kiray, who is active in promoting anti-piracy of movies, said she's very scared and worried.

"Feeling ko lang kailangan natin i-embrace or kailangan natin respeto yung trabaho ng isa’t isa. Kasi hindi natin binibigyan ng paghahalaga, kaya hindi natin sinusuportahan or pinapanood... Feeling ko kailangan itaas yung standards ng mga pelikula natin…feeling ko kailangan natin mag-level up," she said.

(We need to embrace and respect each other's work. Because we don't seem to put value in it, so we don't support it. I think we need to increase the standards of our movies. We need to level up.)

Polo said that movie goers prefer to watch blockbuster films from Hollywood because they believe it's worth their money. He also praised the movie's producers Roger Totane and his wife Jane for taking the risk to do a movie.

"Iba na ang mga viewers ngayon. So nakaktakot at nakakalungkot na ganun [ang] nangyayari. That’s why sobra akong believe kay Tita Jane dahil naglakas loob siya gumawa ng pelikula na Filipino. That’s why na appreciate namin siya."

(The viewers now are different. It's scary and sad that this is happening. That's why I believe and admire Tita Jane because she really took the risk to make a Filipino movie. That's why we appreciate her.)

PHILIPPINE CINEMA. Epy Quizon, Kiray Celis, and Polo Ravales share their thoughts on the problem that hampering Filipino movies. Photo by Alexa Villano/Rappler

In support of weekend screening

Film producers recently held an emergency meeting with Film Development Council of the Philippines chaiperson Liza Diño-Seguerra about the industry's issues. Among their decisions? To move film premieres from Wednesday to Friday. In the Philippines, new titles typically debut in cinemas on Wednesdays. 

Epy said he's for it.

"Sana gawin natin Friday kasi pag Wednesday, like ako mahirap manood ng sine sa Wednesday kasi may trabaho ako," he said.

(I hope we make it Friday because if Wednesday like for me, it's hard to watch during Wednesdays because I have work.)

"And then sa next day ang mangyayari sa pelikula mo, kung walang manood nasa side ka na or first day last day ka na. Bigyan naman natin ng pagkakataon makapunta yung mga movie goers natin sa sinehan sa Friday na galling sa trabaho bago sila umuwi...mabigyan ng weekend chance lahat ng filmmakers. Sana for all films sana magpalitan kahit Thursday night or Friday morning."

(And then the next day, what happens is if nobody watches your movie, you're put to the side. Let's give our movie goers a chance to watch movies on a Friday before they head home from work. Let's give filmmakers a chance to screen their films over the weekend. Hopefully for all films, it becomes Thursday evening or Friday morning.)

Source: Rappler

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