Wenn Deramas asks the public to grade BFF

by Jocelyn Dimaculangan
May 15, 2009
Wenn Deramas initially felt bad when he learned that his latest dramedy BFF (Best Friends Forever) was not given a grade by the Cinema Evaluation Board. However, he says that the laughter and joy that he gives to moviegoers is priceless.

Sharon Cuneta and Ai-Ai delas Alas showed a different side of themselves in the Star Cinema movie BFF (Best Friends Forever). The Megastar poked fun at her weight and had no qualms about appearing in deglamorized and hilarious scenes. Meanwhile, Ai-Ai showed that she could deliver dramatic lines in key moments between her and her BFF.

Right after the screening of the film, PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) was able to talk with director Wenn Deramas but instead of being elated about the outcome of the film, he was a bit disappointed about the news he heard about his new project.

That afternoon, they submitted their movie to the Cinema Evaluation Board but they were surprised to learn that the Board did not give a grade to the film.

When asked why the CEB did not issue a grade for the film, Direk Wenn responded by saying, "Hindi ko na alam, hindi ko na inalam. Para sa akin, sana malaking tulong iyon para sa pelikulang Pilipino na iilan na lang iyung gumagawa tapos parang ganun pa na imbis na suportahan. Lahat naman ng pelikula ko may grade na B...okay lang naman iyon."

Given the fact that the CEB did not grade his film, Direk Wenn that it is now up to the public to judge his comedy film, which is now being shown in cinemas nationwide.

"First time ko nakaexperience ng ganun...yung hindi n'yo pagbotohan. Kumbaga sa grading system e, hindi pinag-aksayahan [ng panahon]. Kaya nga kanina, naririnig ko sigaw ng tao, tuwa ng tao, hindi mo naman mapapalitan iyon, e. Ni hindi mo mababayaran iyong tuwa na nabigay mo sa kanila, kaya, bahala na ang tao na mag-judge."

The CEB is the government agency in charge of giving grades to submitted films to see if they are eligible to receive amusement tax exemptions. A graded "A" film is entitled to 100 percent tax exemption while a grade "B" film is entitled to 65 percent tax exemption.

Does he regret not being given the chance to receive tax exemptions because the CEB did not grade his film?

"Iyon na nga e, gusto ko bang isipin na ganun, na kung kikita iyung pelikula sana may, may kalahating makukuha pa iyong producer. Ewan ko, hindi ko alam kung ano ang dapat isipin kasi nangyari lang iyan kaninang hapon [May 12]. Nagpeprepare ka for premiere night, ginawa mo iyong pelikula para umabot sa playdate, inaasahan ng marami kahit gipit sa panahon pinilit mong maging okay... Tapos iyong konting incentive lang, di ba? Hindi ko naman sinasabi na purihin n'yo iyung pelikula pero wag niyo namang bastusin. Parang nabastos. Pakiramdam ko lang," says Direk Wenn.


RARE OCCURRENCE. PEP got in touch with Cinema Evaluation Board head Christine Dayrit but she explained that she did not attend the screening of BFF yesterday.

"I had to inhibit myself from the screening because we own (my brother Mark is President) of Golds Gym Alabang where some scenes were filmed. Delicadeza na lang. I did not view the film. The collated CEB review comments are with the FDCP [Film Development Council of the Philippines] office and will be made available to the producer," says Ms. Dayrit. "Nagulat nga ako na walang grade ang film. It's very rare."

When PEP talked with committee head Boom Tenorio earlier today, May 15, he declined to give the reason why the CEB members decided not to give a grade to the Star Cinema film. "They [producers] have to know first the comments of the board. Our staff is compiling the comments already and they will give the collated comments to the producer."

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Mr. Tenorio then revealed that around 15 members of the Cinema Evaluation Board attended the screening and that just last month, they also opted not to give a grade to another film.

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board has given BFF (Best Friends Forever) a rating of PG-13.


Direk Wenn said that he already expected this rating. "Talagang from the very start alam namin iyun pelikula PG 13 talaga because of the tema na kabit, asawa, ganyan. Nakita n'yo naman siguro iyung effort ko para maging wholesome yung hindi wholesome."

BFF (Best Friends Forever) is currently being screened in cinemas nationwide.






Trailer courtesy of Star Cinema

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Wenn Deramas initially felt bad when he learned that his latest dramedy BFF (Best Friends Forever) was not given a grade by the Cinema Evaluation Board. However, he says that the laughter and joy that he gives to moviegoers is priceless.
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