Last updated 03:41pm (Mla time) 09/26/2007
RIGHTS is a collection of 30 second- to 2-minute advertisements showing and condemning extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other forms of human rights violations now widespread again in the Philippines.
As a response to the call of the victims and from various sectors to defend human rights, the films were contributed by various independent filmmakers, namely: Paolo Villaluna, Kiri Dalena, King Catoy, Anna Isabelle Matutina, Pam Miras, JL Burgos, Nino Tagaro, Sigrid Bernardo, Mike Dagnalan, John Torres, Jon Red, RJ Mabilin and Sigfreid Sanchez.
But we got this letter on September 19, 2007:
Ms. Kristine M. Kintana
Representative, Phil. Independent Filmmakers Cooperative
21 Kamias Road, Quezon City
Dear Ms. Kintana,
This is to inform you that your short film entitled “RIGHTS” was reviewed by the Board on September 18, 2007 and was classified “X”. Not for Public Exhibition, for the following reasons:
“Scenes in the film are presented unfairly, one-sided and undermines the faith and confidence of the government and duly constituted authorities, thus, not for public exhibition.”
You may appeal for a second review within five (5) days from receipt of this notice.
Very truly yours,
MA. CONSOLIZA P. LAGUARDIA
Chairman, Movie and Television Review and Classification Board
The MTRCB’s X rating on RIGHTS – a series of public service
advertisements on human rights – is a form of violation of freedom of
expression, validating the filmmakers’ opinion on the human rights situation in the Philippines.
The X rating on RIGHTS is not only an X mark for artist to express views and sentiments freely. Sadly, the MTRCB’s action is an X mark for the thousands of victims of human rights violations that cry for justice.
Despite the censorship, we, from The Southern Tagalog Exposure and the Free Jonas Burgos Movement will continue to reproduce and distribute copies of RIGHTS and will hold a series of public screenings for the benefit of the people’s right to know.
We pushed through the event entitled SHOOTING DISQUIET AND RAGE: Transgression and Transformation in Philippine Cinema
after the First Quarter Storm on September 21, 2007, Indie Sine, Cinema 3, where RIGHTS was originally set for launching.
We have also protested the censorship of the MTRCB in a press conference. This repression of freedom of expression and worsening human rights situation only gives us more reason to produce more films and actively participate in the struggle for justice and peace.
Watch the complete “RIGHTS” public service advertisement at: http://www.youtube.com/isabellematutina
If you want your name and organization to be counted as signatories of the unity/protest statement against the said decision, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Isabelle Matutina
Coordinator/Filmmaker, RIGHTS Filmmakers initiative
Victor Tagaro, Overall Coordinator/Filmmaker
Free Jonas Burgos Movement