“This is alarming.” Erik Matti appeals for help for local film industry

  • Erik Matti is the film’s director under Reality Entertainment
  • ”TOL’ one of those films that flopped in cinemas recently
  • Erik Matti laments the dismal state of the Philippine movie film industry

Erik Matti, a professional filmmaker and director, believes that the Philippine film industry is in a dreadful situation. Though there are increasingly more Filipino movies being produced for the past three years, only major films get box-office hits.

Being a veteran in the film industry, having a string of flops in local movies is very alarming. He was greatly affected by this that he expressed his concern through his Facebook account last February 07. He wrote,

“The state of our film industry, the business of it, is in a dire situation. Someone should do something about it. Government should intervene. This is not a slow death anymore. We are on life support and we need resuscitation. No more pointing fingers. I think we’re beyond that at this point. This is a plea for help.”

“The film industry is at its busiest the past three years but no one gets to see the movies we make except for the sporadic mega hits. Hundreds of movies are being made now but no one is really doing good business including the big studios. What happened to our local audience?”

He also pointed out that even their movie ‘Tol that is under the Reality Entertainment banner, which is founded and managed by Matti, did not do well on the big screen, in the past three weeks of the show; although this may seem very unlikely to fail because of its funny storyline. And despite the positive feedback and praises that it received before its release, it still didn’t manage to hit big in the tills.

The romantic comedy film ‘Tol was released last January 30, and was starred in by Arjo Atayde, Ketchup Eusebio, Jessy Mendiola, and Joross Gamboa. Together with the movie ‘Elise’ of Regal Films and ‘Hanggang Kailan’ of Viva Films, all three did not perform well at the box-office.

“This week Regal and Viva premiered films and again it wasn’t received well at the box office despite all the marketing and promising stories. Even MMFF no matter how much they claim with pride that it was a hit, it wasn’t. It didn’t make as much money as the previous years. And instead of looking at the problem head-on of the dwindling audience they just chose to deny it.”

He also expressed that maybe the blame can be of the vast availability of online streaming movies that netizens chose to stream online rather than go to cinemas. He screams for help that someone can extend some movement on building up the film industry again.

“Is the online platforms killing us? Is it support of cinemas? Is it Hollywood? Is it bad marketing? Is it esoteric, irrelevant, tired or uninteresting stories? Is it traffic? Is it downloads? Is it poverty? Has our audience outgrown our films? I really don’t know at this point.”

“All I know is, we cannot go on making movies where no one sees them. We cannot blindly just trudge along busily working on our films without thinking about whether all this passion is really worth it. We cannot keep on spending millions for movies that no one gets to see. This is alarming.”

“SOMEONE SOMEWHERE SOMEHOW SHOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS.”

While film festivals continue to be a platform to cultivate and showcase talents in local filmmaking, Matti presented the issues between quality and commercial success.

“This industry nurtures its artists with our local filmfests. We look after our film workers with so many films being produced. We strengthen ties on our international filmfest connections. We revel on the little things we accomplish and splash it on big bold letters in the headlines. But are we really doing something for the film industry where it matters most? Are we really getting our films to the audience it was actually made for? Or are we just bringing them to the small audience we embarrassingly deserve?”

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