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Film Academy Director Vivian Velez celebrates ABS-CBN shutdown while its film restoration will be halted

With Film Academy Director Vivian Velez happy with ABS-CBN shutdown, what will academy do to films being restored by ABS-CBN?

Film Academy of the Philippines Director Vivian Velez who is known as a vocal supporter of Duterte, was happy when Congress rejected ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal application.

Despite being appointed as the director of the Film Academy, an organization built to serve as a support to various guilds in the movie industry, she instead chose to contradict her mission by not favoring the appeal of one of the largest broadcasting companies in the country.

She even congratulated Congress for supposedly doing a favorable job for the country. And for making history after the votes resulted in an overwhelming affirmation of 70 members adopting the rejection while only 11 voted for the rejection’s dismissal.

Today… 🇵🇭We made history! 70 – 11

Posted by Vivian Velez on Friday, July 10, 2020

Velez mistakenly believes that ABS-CBN has been monopolizing the airwaves by having two channels at the same time. She also accused the network of supposedly being biased in its reporting. The network has already clarified and claimed otherwise.

You can't have two channels at the same time and monopolize the airwaves… #no2monopoly#no2biasmedia

Posted by Vivian Velez on Thursday, July 9, 2020

Little did she know, the denial will negatively give a major impact on the motion picture industry. Leo Katigbak, head of ABS-CBN Film Restoration and Archives announced that they can no longer continue with their operations due to no funding as a result of the shutdown.

This statement was shared by Kapamilya host Bianca Gonzalez quoting Leo’s words which said, “We have a few titles left in the pipeline that were completed, but the shutdown means there will be no further funding. As such, those movies that are already deteriorating will probably not be saved by the time we have resources again.”

The ABS-CBN Film Archives’ advocacy is to restore and provide classic films to the new generation of Filipinos. Thus the statement was deemed alarming because films beyond being a source of entertainment also play a crucial part in the country’s cultural heritage and identity. The rich history of the classics links to the present which enables the new viewers to value and appreciate the Filipino heritage. Sadly, the organization cannot continue restoring films since its preservation is costly, with one film costing around 1 to 3 million pesos to restore.

Leo on Twitter expressed his sentiments towards the decision of Congress to junk the franchise appeal, sadly bringing the film industry to its downfall this year.

He also shared his dismay towards the Duterte administration and some critics for belittling the arts and culture.

The guilds that Vivian should be supporting are now in danger of losing not only their jobs but also their passion. Guilds such as the Filipino Society of Cinematographers, Motion Picture Audio Society of the Philippines, Movie Workers Welfare Foundation, Pilipino Musical Directors Association, and all other that encompasses the art of cinema were failed by their supposed umbrella organization.

The Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) is known for its recognition of the film industry, its awards are called the Luna Awards, an achievement that is considered to be a counterpart of the Oscars. However, it has since been silent about the media issue making the organization a useless support system to the film industry.

In November 2019, Vivian Velez was appointed as the director-general of FAP taking over from Leo Martinez.

However, according to a report by Manila Times, her appointment was not supported by the elite heads of the twelve Guilds composed of film directors, actors, screenwriters, cinematographers, musicians, designers, and other workers like production managers, assistant directors, and producers.


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