Cinemalaya: Controversies that never were
This year’s Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival won’t happen until July, but as early as now, people are harping on the controversies that are plaguing the project. If reports are to be believed, the festival is as controversy-riddled as it has been since it started seven years ago. But is it?
No Cannes do?
One such issue raised is that one of the official entries, “Busong” (English title: “Palawan Fate”), was screened outside the Philippines and even ahead of the Cinemalaya competition schedule. People also pointed out that the movie was “financed partly” by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the Cinemalaya Foundation and other local investors—essentially, that part of its budget and marketing support “came from the coffers of the Philippine government,” as critics reportedly argued, cited by a June 11 report on abs-cbnNEWS.com.
“Busong” is actually an entry to Cinemalaya’s Directors’ Showcase this year. It was, however, shown at the Directors’ Fortnight at the 64th Cannes International Film Festival in May.
But Cinemalaya’s competition director, Laurice Guillen, was quick to note that no violation was made. In the same abs-cbnNEWS.com report, Guillen said, “From the very start, it is clear that if a Cinemalaya entry is invited to Cannes International Film Festival before its showing at Cinemalaya, we gladly give in. But it’s only Cannes. Otherwise, there was another foreign film festival which invited it but we couldn’t allow it anymore.” In fact, Guillen also proudly said that the close showing to Cinemalaya was “very favorable.”