Philippine cinema has been a hotbed for internationally acclaimed films, having won a number of awards in various festivals in recent years.
However, there have been criticisms against the unabated use of poverty and and corruption as subjects. The critics even use the term “poverty porn” for some of these works.
Liza Diño-Seguerra, Chairperson of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, hopes to change this perception. At the 2018 Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) media conference, Diño made her case, saying she aims to uplift the country’s image by presenting films with diverse topics.
“Beyond the socio-political issues, there are so many facets about Philippines itself that can be tackled in films,” she explained. “There are other choices the same way we talk about strong voices, the illness of our society. We have so many inspiring stories so why not feature those too? We can also show the beautiful places here.”
Diño thinks some foreigners become anxious in visiting the country after seeing a PH film depicting poverty and/or violence in its capital.
“To be honest, some foreigners don’t want to come to the Philippines. They don’t like to have partnerships with us because they think it’s dangerous here,” she said. “When they watch a film that depicts poverty, automatic it registers in their mind, ‘This is the Philippines. The Filipinos live in slum areas,’ ‘The people there beg for a food,’ etc.”
“I’m not saying this is not reality, but we’re trying to imply that this is not the only reality. There is so much more to our country and as filmmakers, our goal is to represent the Philippines in the best way we can.”
The chairman stressed she’s not controlling the artistry of Filipino filmmakers, but only to encourage them to look into showing the “brighter side,” too.
Tags: Film Development Council of the Philippines, Liza Diño, Liza Diño calls for ‘diversity in films’ to uplift PH image, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Entertainment, mb.com.ph, media conference, Philippine Cinema, Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino