"It's very hard. Alam mo, it's very hard to disqualify. Very hard kasi naumpisahan na namin, e.
"Imagine, I've read the script... tinrabaho ko na... Tinitingnan pa namin yung plot!
"E, bakit kami magtatanggal? Especially [kung] alam namin [na may] promise."
According to Tan, also among Cinemalaya's founding members which includes Laurice Guillen Feleo, the festival grants P500,000 to each finalist they select.
This is the reason why he and the committee are bent on overseeing the success of each film entry.
"E, ganun naman talaga 'pag meron kang binigay na pera, hindi ba? At least you have a say, di ba?
"Kami, ang ultimate goal namin kasi, [is to make sure] magwu-work at gaganda ang project.
"Wala naman kaming pine-favor na stars or actors to cast."
Tan recalls cautioning MNL 143's producer and director. He told them that if they want to stick to their initial casting, they can go ahead without Cinemalaya having a hand in the funding of the project.
Despite Tan's warning, the director and producer of MNL 143's decided to insist on having Alan and Joy as their lead stars.
In the end, the Organizing Committee chose to disqualify them on such grounds.
Tan, however, mentions that filmmakers who participate in Cinemalaya still own their films:
"Dito, ang mga filmmakers, sila pa rin ang may-ari. They own the film. Except that we want to have a say in how it should be done."
PROCESS OF SELECTING CINEMALAYA ENTRIES. Robbie Tan, who has been producing films for 30 years now, describes the rigorous process of screening about 200 plus full-length narrative entries each year that they must consider for the Directors' Showcase and New Breed categories.
For the latter grouping, they selected 50 entries, narrow it down to 25, and finally choose 11.