Tonyboy Cojuangco pledged his continued support for Cinemalaya, the annual film festival that is now celebrating its 8th year this 2012.
In a press conference held yesterday, March 7, at the Phat Wong restaurant in Makati City, the businessman vowed to support the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.
He said, "As long as we are achieving the objectives, I will continue to be a part of Cinemalaya.
"In fact, we want to bring this further but I just need a business person. Most of the people running it are on the creative side and the production side."
Since its inception, the goal of Cinemalaya has been "to discover, encourage, and honor the cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers that boldly articulate and freely interpret the Filipino experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity."
The current members of the organizing committee are Mr. Cojuangco (Cinemalaya Foundation chairman), Tess Rances, Maan Hontiveros, Nestor Jardin (Festival Director), Robbie Tan (Monitoring Head), and Laurice Guillen (Competition Chairperson).
CRITICISMS. The Cinemalaya Foundation chairman says that he is not bothered by criticisms being hurled at the organizing committee for disqualifying the entry MNL 143.
It will be recalled that members of the film community have expressed their disagreement with Cinemalaya's decision to disqualify Emerson Reyes, who was initially chosen as one of the finalists of the New Breed category of the 8th Cinemalaya.
Emerson's entry titled MNL 143 was supposed to have Alan Paule and Joy Viado as the lead stars, but the Cinemalaya organizing committee said that his chosen stars "were not suitable to the material."
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There are those saying that Cinemalaya is not truly "malaya" (independent) because the organizing committee does not given complete freedom to the filmmaker.
In response to this criticism, Mr. Cojuangco said, "We're really not that free because we have constraints on budget, we have to finish the films by end of May and we require a certain quality because we want to make sure that [we offer] good quality products since we send them to festivals abroad.
"It's a very tight deadline with a very small budget.
"We make sure, especially the new filmmakers who have not done any extensive work in movie production, will be guided by people who know about these things."
An online petition is currently asking for the "reorganization, change of leadership, and reassessment of Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival (CIFF)."