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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.

Jan 28, 2017

The Film Development Council Of The Philippines Patners With SM Cinema For The Exhibition Of Local Indie Films, Hope It Succeeds

LIZA DINO SEGUERRA, head of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has inked a contract with SM Cinema that will give indie films regular exposure in eight of their mall theaters nationwide. This will include SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, SM Fairview, SM Iloilo, SM Southmall, SM Cebu, SM Bacoor and SM Mall of Asia (or SM Davao or SM Lanang).

Liza says this will give indie filmmakers the chance “to market, to promote, and to distribute their films to wider audience.” She adds “many of our talented directors and actors started out in independent films and so there is indeed a need to nurture and support them by giving their films more exposure, more venues to reach more people.”

This is well and good and we really appreciate Liza's efforts to have an outlet for indie films. We just hope they’ll be able to sustain it, because we remember that they already had such an arrangement before but they were not able to maintain it due to lack of viewers. To begin with, the movies were not really promoted so people don't really know about them.

Viva Entertainment also had an arrangement with SM for a while to show acclaimed Asian films (some of them dubbed in Tagalog) but it also did not prosper because people did not support it. Even had a big presscon for it but each movie should be promoted individually for prospective viewers to be properly informed.

After all is said and done, moviemaking and exhibition remains to be a business before anything else, and if projects like this would be losing financially, then we can only expect businessmen to discontinue it. It’s sad but the fact remains that most local moviegoers still prefer Hollywood releases and more commercial films that offer mindless entertainment, notably romcoms, especially those made by Star Cinema who has perfected the right formula that viewers enjoy.

Maybe the proposed indie film theater will work as an arthouse outlet (like what they have abroad) whose primary targets will be aficionados of good, serious films, as well as professionals and students looking for a different kind of filmfare as an alternative to the usual movies made for sheer entertainment. Our prayers and best wishes that it would truly prosper this time.