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‘If you build it, they will come’

Most Kevin Costner fans remember this memorable line from the baseball drama, Field of Dreams. This is the same mantra that inspired Dr. Carl E. Balita to turn his vision into reality.

Dr. Carl E. Balita (right), with wife Lyne Balita, and senior actress-singer Celeste Legaspi (center)
Balita strengthens his advocacy of promoting Philippine Cinema by opening his own microcinema, the CBRC Dream Theater. He also extends his support to local independent filmmakers through the Independent Film Producers Association of the Philippines.

Microcinema is considered an alternative venue for indie films. In this venue, a film gets the “quality time” it deserves, full playing schedules, no sliding screenings, no first day, last day occurrences.

Balita declares, “It is the Age of the Microcinema, the Millennials, and the Independent Films and I believe, these realities must be addressed.”

He asserts the importance of films “as the best medium to communicate, a wonderful repository of art, culture, and history.”

“Lack of access to theaters and cinemas. Many times over, films lose their reach when they’re easily pulled out from commercial cinemas and wasted when they are shelved for a long period of time,” Balita says underscoring the pains of the local indie industry.

The CBRC Dream Theater, which was formally opened last June 22, addresses these concerns. The 250-seater microcinema, the biggest so far in Manila, is equipped with a 5000-lumens projector and a 5.1 Digital Surround Sound. It also has eco-friendly chairs made of “jeepney loads of pet bottles” manufactured in Valenzuela.

Since its opening, the CBRC Dream Theater has hosted screenings of Ang Larawan and Maestra, which made Angeli Bayani one of the best-supporting-actress victors in the recently concluded Eddys.

Last Pride Month, screenings of Joselito Altarejos’ Kasal and Alvin Yapan’s Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Paa and Charliebebs Gohetia’s I Love You, Thank You were shown. Future screenings include 100 titles from Cinema One Originals and other films from Cinemalaya.

Balita has also embarked in creating cinemas in 100 branches of CBRC and is even interested in building an “outdoor theater” in far-flung areas of Surigao, Vigan, Calapan, and Kabankalan.

Along with more than 100 branches, a market of 40,000 CBRC students and reviewees stand as initial potential audiences. The CBRC Dream Theater alone caters to the U-Belt students since it is the nearest microcinema to UST, FEU, UE, and PUP, to name a few.

As each CBRC Dream Theater hatch one by one, Balita will spearhead a summit of stakeholders involved in independent film production making.

In conclusion, he says, “I don’t have to wait for people to do it if I can do it. And if others don’t follow, I don’t care. I’ll still do it. Sa totoo lang, kung gusto ko ng pera, bakit ko gagawin ito? Sakit lang sa ulo. It’s passion.”

For inquiries on CBRC Dream Theater, contact Jerrick Josue David at 09454922869.

Topics: Kevin Costner , Field of Dreams , Dr. Carl E. Balita , Philippine Cinema , Independent Film Producers Association of the Philippines
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