PEP Special Year-End Report: Grade A Films of 2010

When a film is deemed worthy of grading by the Cinema Evaluation Board, the film is subjected to the board's members evaluation on its direction, screenplay, cinematography, editing, production design, music scoring, sound and acting performances.

Noy, the indie film starring Coco Martin and Erich Gonzales (both in photo), is the Philippines' official entry to the best foreign language film category of the 83rd Oscar Awards.

Almost all local producers aspire for a grade A rating from the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB).

On the artistic end, that's because the public will equate a grade A with high standards of filmmaking.

And on the financial end, getting an A, the highest grade, gives the film's producers a 100 percent amusement tax rebate from the government.

For films graded B, 65 percent of the amusement tax collected on such films goes to the producers.

The remaining 35 percent goes to the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), the umbrella organization that runs the CEB.

The films graded A, all released in 2010, are the following:

Ralston Jover's Bakal Boys,

Raul Jorolan's The Red Shoes,

Dondon Santos' Noy,

Chito Rono's Emir,

Joel Lamangan's Sigwa,

Gil Portes' Two Funerals,

Laurice Guillen's Sa 'Yo Lamang,

Jerrold Tarog's Senior Year,

Marilou Diaz-Abaya's Ikaw ang Pag-ibig,

Louie Suarez's RPG: Metanoia,

and Albert Martinez's Rosario.

PROCESS OF GRADING FILMS. How does the Cinema Evaluation Board decide which films deserve a grade A?

First, the producers of the film have the choice of submitting their film for review to the CEB, a government agency.

When they do, the CEB reviews, evaluates, and grades the film within five working days from the date of submission of the application.

The CEB runs two rounds of voting: the first is to determine whether the film is worthy of tax incentives; the second and final voting is to determine whether the film is graded "A" or graded "B."

Members who viewed the movie are given a form asking: "Is the film worth grading?"


If majority of the members answer "Yes," the CEB continues with the evaluation process.

The minority who answered "No" can no longer take part in the next step, which is the deliberation process.

This is to indicate that the CEB grades the films qualitatively, not quantitatively.

Those who answered "Yes," then fill up another form that asks them to grade the film either an A or a B.

They are asked to comment on the following aspects of the movie, which the CEB criteria have "deemed effective":

Direction:deemed effective when the film's intentions are made clear and realized through the effective orchestration of all the film's elements;

Screenplay: the film's intentions are made clear by the characterization, dialogue, plot and narrative structure of the material at hand;

Cinematography: creatively visualizes content through the lighting composition, camera movement, and related camera techniques in the manner appropriate for the film's intentions;

Editing: creatively compresses or expands time, space and movement, and arranges images in a manner appropriate to the film's intentions;

Production Design: successfully creates the time, period, locale, atmosphere and look of the film, and contributes to characterization through the use of sets, costumes, props and make-up in a manner that suits the film's intentions;

Musical Scoring: the music is used to heighten mood and emotion, help define character, and reinforce rhythm pace in a manner appropriate to the film's intentions;

Sound: dialogue, music, sound effects and silence are reproduced, orchestrated, and mixed in proper proportion to suit the film's intentions; and


Acting Performances: the performers play their characters truthfully and honestly in a style to suit the film's intentions.

OVERALL:in evaluating and grading a film, the Board shall look for excellence in the art and craft of film making in its totality, take into consideration scenes of the film in context, its manner of presentation and culture.

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