Award-winning director Erik Matti slammed a senate proposal to give incentives to independent films that have won international recognition.
In a Facebook post, Matti blasted Senate Bill 323 filed by Senator Grace Poe.
According to the director, the proposal was pathetic and clueless as to what the film industry really needed.
Matti argued that the proposed bill is “thoughtless bordering on stupid.”
He said what the film industry need is local support because giving incentives to those films which won abroad will only take away local screening time of quality films. He added that incentives should be given to the local and domestic market.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Matti slammed S.B. 323 or AN ACT SUPPORTING THE PRODUCTION OF PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENT FILMS BY PROVIDING INCENTIVES TO FILMMAKERS WHO ARE GIVEN HONORS IN NOTABLE INTERNATIONAL FILM COMPETITIONS.
Under the proposal, the film production of the winning full-length film will be given 5 million pesos while 3 million pesos for the winning short film or documentary. The award-winning film will be automatically graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board and full tax exemption relevant to its commercial screening.
Meanwhile, this is not the first bill that seeks to incentivize Filipino films that won abroad.
In 2016, Camarines Sur 2nd District Representative Lray Villafuerte filed a similar bill in the House of Representatives.
House Bill 1557 or the Philippine Independent Film Incentives Act was filed in the 15th Congress by Villafuerte aiming to give incentives to the films which were given honors in international film festivals and award-giving bodies. The proposal took root from the fresh wins of Brillante Mendoza’s Ma’Rosa which gave Jacklyn Jose her first Cannes Film Festival Best Actress award.
Currently, there’s no law which incentivizes Filipino films that win international accolades.
However, R.A 6127 was already enforced since 2005.
It is the law that created the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and its agency, the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB)
Under the law, films which will be graded A or B by the CEB will be given tax rebate from the amusement tax.
For grade “A” films, 100% rebate of the amusement tax and for grade “B” films 65% rebate will be given to film producers.
Here’s Matti’s full Facebook post regarding Sen. Grace Poe’s Senate Bill 323.
This is a pathetic act to pass. The intentions are good but it is very clueless. Whoever proposed this to Grace Poe either has plans to make some money from this act or has never made any kind of research about the local films making it to film festivals abroad. This is the kind of act/laws being passed along with many other useless laws I’m sure that just wants brownie points for “doing something” for Philippine cinema but in the end really has done worse for everyone including taxpayer’s money. This is thoughtless bordering on stupid. This act gives away our local films to international festivals maybe because we couldn’t get any reception/screentime here in the motherland. What we need is to go local. Incentives here in the local domestic market.