Photo by Noel Orsal
When director Jade Castro was asked for his opinion regarding the continuing controversy in the 8th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, the filmmaker initially said that the issue has long been present in the competition.
It does not surprise him that the disqualification of filmmaker Emerson Reyes's full-length narrative, MNL 143, from the New Breed category, spawned a reaction from the film community.
The festival's Organizing Committee apparently found the casting of Alan Paule and Joy Viado as long lost lovers "not suitable to the material."
(CLICK HERE to read about the issue.)
"Napaka-unfortunate nung mga pangyayari, although hindi naman ako nagugulat kasi parang matagal na na may ganung issue sa Cinemalaya," states Castro in an interview during the press screening of his new mainstream film, My Kontrabida Girl, last night, March 12, at Cinema 3, The Block SM North EDSA.
"Natutuwa ako na ngayon [dahil] maraming nagbo-voice out.
"Dun ako natutuwa kasi napag-uusapan. Maraming filmmakers on both ends ng debate na nag-i-speak out."
Castro straightforwardly voiced out what he thinks Cinemalaya's Organizing Committee, headed by competition director Laurice Guillen Feleo and monitoring head Robbie Tan, should do next:
"Kung ako tatanungin, since tinanong ako, ang sa tingin ko, dapat magbago muna ng management for now dahil sa gulo."
Castro further says that whoever replaces the presiding committee heads must decide if the competition should or should not push through on its 8th year.
"'Tapos, kung tutuloy man, pagkatapos nila gawin yung Cinemalaya this year, isang mas malaking usapan kung ano man mangyari in the future."
SUPPORTIVE OF EMERSON REYES. Castro does not deny that he recognizes Reyes's sentiment when the director of MNL 143 decided to stick to his original cast.
"Naiintindihan ko si Emerson.
"Actually, marami na akong filmmakers na nakikita ko yung plight nila kasi dumaan din ako dun, e."
He recalls that he encountered the same interference by the Cinemalaya's Organizing Committee when he joined the film festival in 2007.