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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 23, 2013

Award-Winning Writer Ricky Lee Deplores Public'S Lack Of Serious Film Awareness These Days

RICKY LEE, award-winning screenwriter for such films as “Brutal”, “Moral” and “Karnal”, retired from writing movie scripts six years ago. “I chose to focus on writing my novels, ‘Para Kay B’ and ‘Amapola’,” he says. “But late last year, I was convinced by Chito Rono to write the ‘Pamana’ episode for ‘Shake Rattle & Roll 14’. Ngayon, heto, I have two films being shot simultaneously, ‘Lihis’ and ‘Burgos’. Ang original script of ‘Lihis’ was written by me in 1983 pa. Nagpalipat-lipat sa iba’t ibang producers pero ngayon lang talaga naisapelikula, produced by Mrs. Baby Go. ‘Burgos’ naman is about the search of Mrs. Edith Burgos and their family for her missing son, Jonas. ‘Lihis’ stars Jake Cuenca, Joem Bascon, Lovi Poe, Gloria Diaz and Isabelle Daza. ‘Burgos’ stars Lorna Tolentino and Rocco Nacino as the mother and son. Both films are directed by Joel Lamangan. Meron pa kong isang movie that will start shooting in May, ‘Laureana’, directed naman by Mel Chionglo for Sineng Pambansa starring Nina Jose and Allen Dizon. Atty. Joji Alonso of Quantum Films has also commissioned me to write the script of my novel ‘Para Kay B’. Gusto niyang gawing pelikula.”

With so many projects, we can say that he’s really back with a vengeance. But Ricky regrets that the generation of moviegoers today has no awareness about writers and directors.

“Noong 70s and 80s, kilala talaga ang mga director led by Brocka and Bernal, whose works win awards and also make money at the box office. Maski mga writer noon, binibigyan ng importancia. Today, the public has no serious sense of movie history. Even a director like Dante Mendoza who won in Cannes, he has no following like Brocka and Bernal before. Ako, sa schools, mas kilala ko for the books I wrote on scriptwriting and my novels, no longer for the movies I wrote. It’s really sad. Kaya when Marilou Abaya, Mario O’Hara and Celso Ad. Castillo passed away in the same year, last year, parang it’s really the passing of an era. Yun namang indie films na ginagawa ngayon, they might win awards abroad, but the public has not really embraced them. Ang mainstream movies naman, mostly romantic comedies and infidelity movies, and made like in a factory. Hindi na iisa ang writer kundi may pools of writers, unlike before na ang director, may creative freedom para ipaglaban kung sino ang writer na gusto niya.”

To all that Ricky said, we can only second the motion.