CCP-Cinemalaya partnership with Quezon City possible for 2015

Cinemalaya monitoring committee head Mel Chionglo reveals: “The government financed [Cinemalaya], including subsidies, this year. That’s what Quezon City has to shoulder, with some benefits. But no takeover.” Cinemalaya Competition Chairperson Laurice Guillen adds: “We welcome institutional and private partners whose goals and ours are compatible.”

Photo above shows the winners of Cinemalaya X (L-R) Michael Tuvier


Noong November 9, sa awarding ceremonies ng QCinema International Film Festival 2014 na ginanap sa Trinoma, Quezon City, may isang malaking balita ang inanunsiyo ni QC Mayor Herbert Bautista sa kanyang speech.

Malamang daw na ang Quezon City local government ang magiging host o partner ng Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival sa 11th edition next year, 2015.

Looking back, mula 2005 hanggang 2013, ang Cinemalaya Foundation Chairman na si Mr. Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco ang nag-finance ng popular na indie festival.

Kasama dito ang film grants na tig-P500,000 each, all of the 15 full feature films (10 films under New Breed and 5 films under Directors’ Showcase category).

Ngunit simula ngayong 2014, huminto na ng suportang pinansiyal si Mr. Cojuangco, pero nanatili siyang Cinemalaya Foundation Chairman.

Natuloy pa rin ang popular indie film festival last August 1-10 na ginanap sa CCP Theaters at Ayala Cinemas sa Metro Manila.

Narito ang ilang bahagi ng speech ni Mayor Herbert noong gabing iyon sa QCinema awards ceremonies:

“There’s initial word already, Mr. Antonio Cojuangco wrote the office of the mayor already… Cinemalaya will be hosted by Quezon City next year.

“So, I leave it to the Quezon City Film Development Commission and to the office of the vice mayor to do the negotiations.

“Although maraming banggaan nang konti!

“May mga nagsasabi na kailangan, kasama ang CCP [Cultural Center of The Philippines]. Meron ding nagsasabi na hindi dapat kasama ang CCP.

“Tutal, may mga taga-CCP ngayon dito. So, bahala na kayo kung paano natin imi-merge lahat ‘yan…

“But definitely, Cinemalaya was under Tonyboy for ten years. And now hopefully, Tita Laurice [Guillen] wants to discuss this with me.

“But I leave this to the Vice Mayor and the Quezon City Film Development Commission this task to do.

“So, we have the Quezon City Film Development Commission handling the QCinema International Film Festival, we have the Pink Festival for December, and we have Cinemalaya,” pahayag ni Mayor Herbert.


Sa hiwalay na panayam, sinabi ng QC Film Development Commission na willing sila na magbigay ng pondo para ipagpatuloy ang Cinemalaya sa 2015.

(Read: Herbert Bautista, Quezon City willing to share funds for future Cinemalaya edition)

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Sa isyung ito, kinontak ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) ang dalawang tao mula sa Cinemalaya Organizing Committee: sina Direk Laurice Guillen (Cinemalaya Competition Chairperson) at Direk Mel Chionglo (Cinemalaya Head of Monitoring Committee).

Paglilinaw ni Direk Mel sa PEP, “It was Mayor Herbert who sent feelers to finance Cinemalaya. QC asked for a proposal. Laurice sent it.”

Nilinaw ni Direk Mel na wala pang “final word” tungkol sa partnership ng Cinemalaya at QC.

Since nasa Pasay City ang CCP, mawawala na ba ang Cinemalaya sa nasabing pamosong institusyon – kung magkatuluyan man ng deal sa QC?

“No final word [yet] on whether Cinemalaya will eventually partner with QC. Definitely, [if ever] it will have to be a CCP-Cinemalaya partnership with QC,” pahayag ni Direk Mel.

“Definitely, kasama ang CCP, but Quezon City can have special events and be part of the organizing team.”

Effective August 15, nag-resign na si Nestor Jardin as Cinemalaya Foundation President. Ang Vice-President ba nitong si Direk Laurice Guillen ang papalit kay Mr. Jardin?

“No developments yet in Cinemalaya Foundation or Festival set-up.

“FYI, several people and groups have called CCP and Cinemalaya, willing to help. It depends on what’s best for the festival.”


DIALOGUE WITH FILMMAKERS. Matatandaang nagkaroon ng “isyu” sa pagitan ng ilang past Cinemalaya filmmakers at sa organizing committee headed by Mr. Cojuangco, nang “i-upload” ang ilan nilang mga pelikula sa YouTube.


Iba’t ibang “versions” ng naturang isyu ang naglabasan sa social media, mula mismo sa “galit” ng ilang filmmakers. Maagap namang na-delete ang YouTube files. Sa mismong Cinemalaya awards night, nag-public apology sina Mr. Jardin at Mr. Cojuangco.

Kinalaunan, nagpatawag ng dialogue sa pagitan ng dalawang kampo, sa CCP pa rin. Kumusta ang nasabing dialogue?

“No big issue sa dialogue with filmmakers. They aired their sentiments and Tonyboy expressed his. Yun lang,” maikling tugon ni Direk Mel.

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ON PARTNERSHIP WITH QC. Nakapanayam rin ng PEP si Direk Laurice Guillen mismo, upang magbigay ng official statement tungkol dito.

“It is true we sent a partnership proposal to Mayor Herbert Bautista, but we have not yet discussed the Government of Quezon City's role in the partnership,” sabi ni Direk Laurice.

“Essentially, Cinemalaya Foundation Inc. and the CCP have been partners since the beginning and that status remains intact in the proposal."

Sa mga sumunod na araw pagkatapos ng speech ni Mayor Herbert, naglabasan sa social media ang iba’t ibang ispekulasyon sa magiging takbo ng Cinemalaya 2015 – kung sakali mang matuloy ang partnership nito with QC government.

Binalikan ng PEP si Direk Mel.

Magme-merge na nga ba ang brand name na “Cinemalaya” with that of “QCinema”?

“The rights of the word ‘Cinemalaya’ belongs only to CCP and the Cinemalaya Foundation. Kaya ‘di [ito] puwedeng gamitin ninuman,” pagdidiin ng beteranong direktor.

So, walang magaganap na pag-“merge” daw ng Cinemalaya and QCinema, if ever?

“I don’t think so,” sagot ni Direk Mel. “A successful format with CCP and Cinemalaya will never be tailored to suit any benefactor’s wishes, ‘di ba?”

So, maging final deal man ang Cinemalaya-QC negotiations, kumpirmado pa ring ang CCP ang magiging “bahay” ng Cinemalaya films?

“Yes. But CCP has screening agreement with Ayala Cinemas.”

Mare-redesign ba ang contract ng Cinemalaya with the filmmakers next year?

“No word yet.”

If ever, saang “aspect” papasok ang participation ng Quezon City government? Magiging “benefactor” ba ito tulad ni Mr. Cojuangco na nag-shoulder ng film grants ng competing films at iba pang festival expenses?

Pagpapatuloy ni Direk Mel: “Mr. Cojuangco’s responsibility ay the entire festival, [pero] ‘di kaya ng CCP ang budget.

“Kaya he spends 10-15 million pesos a year!

“The government financed the entire festival, including subsidies, this year. That’s what Quezon City has to shoulder, with some benefits.

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“But no takeover,” mariing paglilinaw ni Direk Mel.

So, maliwanag sa proposal na kung sakali mang magkasundo, ipi-finance ng Quezon City government ang buong festival?

“Essentially [yes]… with benefits for Quezon City,” sagot ni Direk Mel.

Noong kasagsagan ng preparation for Cinemalaya X last August 2014, sa kanyang interviews ay inamin ng then-Cinemalaya Foundation President na si Nestor Jardin na ang Department of Budget and Management (DBM) ang nag-finance ng festival, by providing CCP with a grant of P15 million pesos.

Ito ay dahil nga hindi na nag-commit this year si Mr. Cojuangco.

Pinapatotohanan rin ito ni Direk Mel.

“Yes, DBM funds yung this year,” sabi ni Direk Mel.

“It was Nes [nickname of Mr. Jardin] who wrote them for help.”

Kung magkasundo ang Cinemalaya Foundation at ang QC government, ang magiging deal o contract kaya ay on a yearly basis?

“I don’t know if CCP or Cinemalaya will agree on a yearly basis. Dapat, sigurado ka sa working relationship, ‘di ba?”

May “deadline” ba ang negotiations ng Cinemalaya at QC government upang ianunsiyo sa publiko ang resulta ng napagkasunduan?

Marami nang loyal fans and supporters ang naghihintay ng nasabing official announcement.

“There are plans for next year,” aniya. “Pag-uusapan pa.”

Binalikan ng PEP si Direk Laurice. Curiously, ano nga kaya ang nilalaman ng proposal ng Cinemalaya sa QC government?

“It's more prudent not to discuss it until Mr. Cojuangco and Herbert talk. Thanks for the info and your support,” sagot ni Direk Laurice.

Ngunit sa patuloy na pagre-research ng PEP, isa pang source namin ang nakapagbigay-impormasyon ng nakasaad na detalye sa proposal ng Cinemalaya Foundation sa QC government.

Diumano, ang Quezon City ang magbibigay ng seed grant para sa competition and monitoring budgets.

Sa pagbalik-tanong namin kay Direk Mel, specified ba na ang Organizing Committee ay pamamahalaan pa rin ni Direk Laurice as Competition Chairperson at siya [Direk Mel] bilang Head of Monitoring Committee?

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“Organizing Committee is headed by CCP. No specifics. But obviously, Cinemalaya is specified to head competition, monitoring, etc.

“CCP handles the festival,” pahayag ni Direk Mel.

Samantala, nakarating kay Direk Laurice ang interview ng ilang media kay QC Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, kunsaan natanong ito sa mga “plano” ng QC, sakali mang magkatuluyan sila ng partnership with Cinemalaya.

Ano’ng reaction dito ni Direk Laurice?

“You know, Mell, I think it's premature to discuss the matter on the media for now until the parties involved have come to an agreement on the proposal.

“All I can clarify for now is that: Cinemalaya belongs to the Cinemalaya Foundation, Inc. under its Chairman, Mr. Antonio O. Cojuangco.

“The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is a partner in that it handles the festival. It will continue to house the festival alongside the satellite theatres.”

Sinabi rin ni Direk Laurice na mananatili ang proseso at ng nasabing festival na ikinatagumpay nito sa loob ng isang dekada.

“Cinemalaya is a brand. The process and mechanism that is responsible for creating and making it work will be kept.

“We welcome institutional and private partners whose goals and ours are compatible,” paliwanag ni Direk Laurice.

Noong November 20, nag-text ang PEP kay Direk Laurice kung may bago nang development?

“No updates re QC. You will be the first to know,” sabi ni Direk Laurice.


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