‘Hollywood dominates industry’ – filmmakers

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(From left) Spanish director Arturo Prins, Ecuador’s Alfredo Leon, Instituto Cervantes Director Carlos Madrid together with Spanish directors Juan Pinzas and Vicente Perez Herrero

(From left) Spanish director Arturo Prins, Ecuador’s Alfredo Leon, Instituto Cervantes Director Carlos Madrid together with Spanish directors Juan Pinzas and Vicente Perez Herrero

Instituto Cervantes hosts round table with visiting Spanish directors
AS part of the World Premieres Film Festival, several Spanish and Latin American filmmakers visited the Philippines to screen their movies and hold a round-table discussion with Filipino directors and film enthusiasts on July 2 at the Instituto Cervantes in Malate, Manila.

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Dubbed “Off Hollywood,” the forum had these filmmakers share their views on the challenges they constantly face in a global scene dominated by big-budgeted Hollywood productions.

“This is a growing problem worldwide, not only in the Philippines or in Spain. The Spanish directors, together with the Ecuadorian director who were present said that the problem also lies in the onset of technology. That is the main challenge right now,” said Carlos Madrid, the newly seated director of Instituto Cervantes.

Using Metro Manila theaters as an example, Madrid added, “The problem also lies on the need to create more public awareness on other options. If we have the proper and constant means to disseminate information to the public, then events such as the World Premieres festival by the FDCP [Film Development Council of the Philippines] would have a larger following, and people will know that there are other choices besides Hollywood movies,” the director told The Manila Times.

A random check carried out recently in the cinemas of a major Manila mall showed that out of 14 theaters, the American blockbuster Transformers: Age of Extinction was screened in all the 14 theaters.

The impressive roster of Latin American filmmakers at the round table are comprised of Ecuador’s Alfredo León León, who is behind Pulse, a short film which won the Audience Award of the First Iberoamerican Zero Latitude Festival of Quito in 2003; Spanish director Juan Pinzás who participated in the 34th edition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival, and behind such titles as Érase otra vez (1999), Días de boda (2002) and El desenlace (2005); another Spanish director Vicente Perez Herrero, who is a feature fiction and documentary filmmaker; and again from Spain, Arturo Prins, who is behind a documentary on the terrorist attack in Madrid in 2004 entitled Boomerang 11M (2008).

For the World Premieres Film Festival at SM Megamall, Leon screened Monkey with Hens; Pinzas, New York Shadows (2013); Herrero, Skin for Sale, which is included in the “100 Best Documentaries” list by the critics of Documenta Madrid; and Prins, Autopsia de un amor (2013).

“We should not compete with Hollywood blockbuster films. Independent and artistic films have a specified audience, and what these films need is an outlet to create more awareness for the public. Being up-to-date with technology can also help these films reach a wider audience,” Madrid concluded.

WITH A REPORT FROM SHEILA MAÑALAC

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