20 short films aim to show real issues in May polls

By Marinel Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:30:00 04/08/2010

AmBisyon 2010 directors at the CCP exclusive premiere

“WE WILL CHALLENGE THE ‘X’ rating and take it to the highest court,” said ABS-CBN executive Maria Ressa of the MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board) decision to ban two short films included in “AmBisyon 2010.”

Brillante Mendoza’s “Ayos Ka” and Jeffrey Jeturian’s “Ganito Tayo Ngayon, Paano na Tayo Bukas?” were given the “X” rating by the censors last week. This prohibits the films from being shown in theaters.

“AmBisyon 2010” is a collection of 20 short films produced by ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel) “to show the real issues at stake” in the coming elections.

“That [rating] rallied us around the cause—freedom of expression,” said Ressa, news and current affairs department head.

Expected reaction

“I sort of expected the way the MTRCB reacted to my short film; the movie is critical of the administration,” Jeturian said during the premiere screening of “AmBisyon 2010” Tuesday at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Jeturian’s film follows a day in the lives of three people who get to read the government’s claim of economic growth. The director said his film aims to show whether the reported gains are felt by the common folk.
Mendoza’s “Ayos Ka” is a music video with lyrics that starkly contrast with images of poverty, prostitution, drugs and murder. On second review, “Ayos Ka” received an “R” rating, restricting it to viewers 18 and above.

“What’s surprising,” said Jeturian, “was, the same materials were approved for airing on TV. I guess the judgment was really arbitrary.”
“The MTRCB is allowing the showing of ‘AmBisyon 2010’ only on ANC,”

Kane Choa of the corporate communications department said on Wednesday.

Jerrold Tarog, director of “Faculty,” said he was pleased his work was included in the omnibus. “This project is a first,” he said. “Although I have to admit that, with the limited budget given to us, there’s only so much we can do.”

“Faculty” is about two teachers with two opposing approaches to education. “I asked for that subject (education) because I’m currently doing another full-length feature on the same subject. ‘Faculty’ is a veritable prequel,” Tarog said.

A filmmaker’s job

Pam Miras’ “Wag Kang Titingin” is about war and violence, seen through the eyes of a child. “This omnibus is good because it involves the independent community in the elections,” she said. “It’s just sad that it will not be shown in movie houses.”

Jon Torres’ work is titled “Ayaw Namin ng Demokrasya: Gusto namin ng Pag-ibig, Pag-asa at mga Katulad Nito.”

Said Torres, “I chose democracy for a topic because it’s [abstract] and leaves more room for experimentation. It made me ask, ‘What is democracy? Do we really need it?’”

Jade Castro, who made “Hindi Ako Makatulog ‘Pag Wala Ka Sa Tabi Ko,” said, “I wanted to be part of ‘AmBisyon 2010’ because I’m a filmmaker who is also a Filipino. It’s my job to tell stories … to articulate what I know.”

“I thought, if I could present the farmers’ issues [and] struggles and present these in the context of the elections, that would be something,” said Ditsi Carolino, director of “Lupang Hinarang Sumilao,” about the 1,700-kilometer walk of 55 farmers from Sumilao, Bukidnon, to the Palace in Manila.

Ressa added: “I think we all decided that we need something better. There’s no way we can have change if we don’t change the way we see. It starts there. What we’re trying to do … is show the Filipinos a different way of seeing things, and who can do that better than these directors.”

Free screening

Also part of “AmBisyon 2010” are Eddie Frejas’ “Hanap Buhay,” Gym Lumbera’s “Dahil sa ’Yo,” Sunshine Matutina’s “Hingalo,” McRobert Nacario’s “Ang Assassination,” Ellen Ramos’ “Wasteland,” Aissa Peñafiel’s “Habol Hininga;”

Jon Red’s “Pandesal, Sardinas at Gatas,” Raymond Red’s “Pusila,” Emerson Reyes’ “Ang Telenovela ni Juan at Luzviminda,” Kiri Dalena’s “Requiem for M,” Emman dela Cruz’ “Laro,” Paolo Villaluna’s “Wasteland” and Erik Matti’s “Da More Da Meniyer.”

“AmBisyon2010” will have a free public screening at the UP Film Institute tonight at 7. The five-part TV special on ANC also starts tonight at 6 (four films every Friday), with replays Saturdays at 8 p.m., starting tomorrow. It airs on Studio 23 starting April 15, 10:30 p.m.


ANC Schedule:
5 Fridays 6PM – April 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7
5 Saturdays 8PM – April 10, 17, 24, May 1, May 8
5 Sundays 4PM – April 11, 18, 25, May 2, May 9
4 Mondays 1PM – April 12, 19, 26, May 3

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