"Ang success namin is that we're still around, kasi na-sustain namin.  Kailangan nasu-sustain, and the quality of the program is maintained," says Cinemanila festival director Tikoy Aguiluz.

Photo: Jocelyn Dimaculangan

"I mean, c'mon, maski na austere 'yan, yung programa namin, hindi nawala. Walang compromise. Walang compromise sa standard."

Tikoy is referring to the ceremonies and receptions with this year's festival officially held for only five days (December 1-5), and three-day extended screenings (December 6-8), at the Robinson's Galleria cinemas.

"Pupulaan mo yung maliliit [na aspects], pero yung program, hindi mo puwedeng pulaan," stressed Tikoy. 

"'Wag na nating pag-usapan yung...pare-parehong problema yun, e. It's just that it all boils down to the problem of...

"Malaki talaga ang cost to launch a festival like this. Malaki talaga!

"Yung sa cost, 80 percent of it, napupunta sa rent [for the venues].

"But we try to be flexible, and pag walang budget, we work it out.   

"Ang philosophy namin, parang gumagawa ka ng indie films.

"Pag may budget, okey lang. And pag walang budget, gagawa ka ng paraan. And importante, magawa mo.

"Last year, we have a big event...bongga 'yon! But, ang sa akin, ang importante, yung program. 

"The films are our stars!"  

It speaks so much about the 12-year-old Manila-based international film festival which Direk Tikoy considers a success.

"Ang success namin is that we're still around, kasi na-sustain namin.  Kailangan nasu-sustain, and the quality of the program is maintained," he said in parting.