The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) is unlikely to allow the showing of the film “Plane” in Philippine theaters due to the bad image it portrayed about the Philippines.
Meanwhile, organizers of the first summer Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) scheduled in April have started accepting movie entries.
Senator Robinhood Padilla raised the possibility of disallowing the movie “Plane” to be shown in domestic theaters as he called for the ban of the film.
Padilla on Saturday said he received a commitment from MTRCB officials led by chairperson Diorella Sotto, when they met at his Senate office on Friday.
“Yes, they told me they have talked to the film’s Philippine distributor. And now we want to write the producers of the film,” Padilla said in a radio interview when asked if he received a commitment from the MTRCB not to allow the showing of the film in the Philippines.
Padilla thanked Sotto for her promise to call the attention of the film’s Philippine distributor. He said he explained to Sotto his reasons for calling for a ban on the film.
In his manifestation last Feb. 15 in the Senate, Padilla condemned the bad image of the Philippines as depicted in movie,” saying the reputation of the country is at stake. He referred to the film purported that Jolo is controlled by rebels, with virtually no government presence in the island.
Padilla noted the derogatory film comes at a time when the Philippines is trying to revive its tourism industry after the pandemic.
Padilla also voiced concern over the film’s portrayal of Jolo residents as siding with the terrorists.
“If the producers of the film claim it is fiction, they should not have said the story happened in the Philippines,” he said.
Padilla reiterated he cannot keep quiet on the matter because he chairs the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media. He also chided “critics” who questioned his protests against the film.
“I cannot keep quiet. And I call on you not to side with the foreigners when our country is being attacked like this. Where is our sense of nationalism when our image is being attacked?” he said.
Padilla also said he wants to give the MTRCB the mandate to issue guidelines where films that may damage the Philippines’ reputation not be shown here. “One condition to consider is that the film should not damage the Philippines’ reputation,” he said
In another development, a total of 23 films were submitted for this year’s MMFF, although 10 of them were resubmissions from last December’s filmfest.
Concurrent MMDA and MMFF chairman Romando Artes described the first Summer MMFF as “historic” as it received the highest number of film submissions since the festival started.
“With the record-breaking number of films that have been submitted to us, we can say that our local movie industry is back in their game and is starting to create more quality films again for us to enjoy in the first-ever Summer MMFF,” Artes said.
“The MMDA and the film industry are both excited and looking forward to the success of the summer film fest which is another avenue to showcase local talent in making world-class Filipino films,” he added.
Artes also said the “MMFF’s victory is the victory of the whole Philippine film industry.”
The eight official entries to be included in the film festival will be announced on Feb. 24. They will be selected based on the following criteria: artistic excellence (40%), commercial appeal (40%), Filipino cultural sensibility (10%), and global appeal (10%).
The first Summer MMFF will run in all cinemas nationwide from April 8 to 18, with the Parade of Stars scheduled to be held in Quezon City on April 1 and the Awards Night will take place on April 11.