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PH film industry in ‘dire situation’ – Erik Matti

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Renowned Filipino director, screenwriter, and film producer Erik Matti has expressed his stance on the film industry in the country and described it to be in a “dire situation.”

Matti took this notion to Facebook Thursday citing that someone should do something about it and that the government should intervene with the issue. He noted that the situation was a “plea for help.”

Erik Matti (Facebook)/mb.com.ph

Erik Matti (Facebook)

“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,” the 48-year-old director said.

According to Matti, the film industry was at its “busiest the past three years.”

Despite of the hundreds of movies being made, Matti questioned what happened to the local audience because not even the big studios are making “good business” except for the “sporadic mega hits.”

Several local films already aired the past three weeks, including one of Matti’s, but he noticed that it did not make “good business” despite the marketing fanfare.

Among the films Matti might be referring to are comedy film “Tol,” the young adult romance “Sakaling Maging Tayo,” and the comedy drama “Born Beautiful,” the sequel to 2016’s Die Beautiful.

Matti’s Reality Entertainment produced “Tol” and premiered on January 30.

Meanwhile, Regal and Viva have released several films as well to which Matti said did not receive well at the box office “despite the marketing and promising stories.”

The BuyBust director also pointed out the recent Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) and cited that the filmfest did not make as much money as the previous years.

He said the filmfest was not a hit no matter how much MMFF claim it to be.

“[I]nstead of looking at the problem head on of the dwindling audience they just chose to deny it,” the multi-awarded director said.

“Is it 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,” the film producer added.

The 2016 MMFF Best Director also described the whole situation as “alarming” and that the film community “cannot keep on spending millions for movies that no one gets to see.”

He wrote, in all caps: “SOMEONE SOMEWHERE SOMEHOW SHOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS.”

For Matti, the industry nurtures artists with local filmfests and strengthens its ties on international connections.

However, he questioned: “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?”

The post had around 1, 400 reactions and 850 shares as of writing.

Aside from BuyBust, Matti received several awards from directing notable films such as “On The Job,” “Honor Thy Father,” and “Seklusyon.”

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