Was the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino a success?

If we were to grade the second year of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the film festival that the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) instituted, will it merit a very good, average or a freaking F? Did the Liza Diño headed festival of quality Filipino film end with a big bang? Or did the PPP just earned a lot of heavy sighs, raised eyebrows and better-luck-next-year consolation?

Its week old reign ended in a supposedly thanksgiving party wherein Christian Bables, lead star of Signal Rock, received a citation as Special Jury for Outstanding Acting and the Chito Roño opus, went home as Critic’s Choice.

Was the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino a success?
Christian Bables, lead star of 'Signal Rock,' a PPP 2018 entry.
Bakwit Boys and The Day After Valentine’s, both directed by Jason Paul Laxamana, on the other hand, were cited as Audience Choice.

And the rest of films, we are not made aware why they were not cited all. Given the fact that only a triumvirate of films were found meritorious, why then did they choose eight?

Can FDCP quantify and qualify their claim that this year’s PPP was better in all aspects of festival mounting and implementation if compared to last year’s festivity? When one monitors the many posts and shouts outs from various social networking sites, how come that there seem to be an impression and impression that the cinema audiences support to it is deemed wanting?  

With only four motion pictures making a “killing” at the box-office and if we are to believe the unofficial grosses, despite the claim that the festival had more audiences during the weekend, indeed, the audience appreciation and appreciation for PPP’s year 2 was quite unimpressive.  

Can we affirm that this was a case of festival fatigue? The days that separated the conclusion of the 14h Cinemalaya and the beginning of PPP were just too close for comfort.

Per reports, Cinemalaya had a bigger audience turn out, not only at the CCP but also in its Makati venues. The biggest box-office drawers were the martial law-themed movies ML and Liway. The roster of winners were generally well accepted.  

Did the price of the ticket for the PPP films dampened the enthusiasm of potential audiences? Ticket prices for the PPP films ranged from P180 up to P270, depending on the venue where you watched. Cinemalaya ticket prices were at P150 only.

During its initial year, the PPP ticket prices were similar with the one held at CCP. If they continued with last year’s ticket price, can we safely conclude that more people could have flocked the cinemas?  

On Facebook, Nonoy Gallardo shared this post, “Ang Cinemalaya claro ang positioning: Festival of independent movies. Kaya claro ang expectation ng audience: Hindi pandering to popular taste. Yung PPP ano?”

What branding and imaging did PPP project? An August MMFF? A film festival that looked and felt like a Cinemalaya copycat? Or, since it is just two years old, the definite branding and imaging are still being discovered and shaped?

Another post on Facebook from Terence Ang, “Let’s be honest here. Kumita ba talaga ang PPP last year? Isn’t it true that more than half of the gross ay galing sa 100 Tula? And that’s not because of PPP or their management, mas gusto lang talaga ng madla ang mga “romantic” films. Hindi rin natin pwede icompare ang PPP sa Cinemalaya, Q at C1, kasi iba yung reach nila.”

The next back to back festival will happen in October, Cinema One Originals and QCinema. With the same time frame as Cinemalaya and PPP.  

In September, TOFARM Film Festival, according to reports, will have more cinemas and a host province.

We still await the four finished films for this year’s MMFF 2018 to complete the top 8 film entries.

Thus, I cannot help but wonder, with too many festivals happening in a given year, continuing the PPP, will it be a boom or a bane?

Topics: Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino , Film Development Council of the Philippines , Christian Bables , Signal Rock , Bakwit Boys , The Day After Valentine’s
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