QCinema pricey tickets a cultural service mockery

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GEORGE VAIL KABRISTANTE

GEORGE VAIL KABRISTANTE

Quezon City seems to live up to its name as the City of Stars. Said moniker, however, literally left a bad taste in the mouth of the iconic star builder German Moreno. Also known as Kuya Germs, people close to him knew he had long wanted to position his brainchild Stars Walk of Fame project modeled after Hollywood’s prototype at least in the environs of city.

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Caveat used to hear Kuya Germs saying the footprints of movie stars and personalities of the movie industry embedded and enshrined on a walkway in a sort of a public museum would give a patina and human face to said claim of Quezon City.

Too bad his voice turned into a howl in the wilderness, as his brainchild found a home instead on the walkways around the activity center of Eastwood City Mall in Pasig City, where not a few iconic stars and filmmakers came to honor on several occasions the great man’s symbolical walk of fame rites and as an avowed expression of his love for movies.

Quezon City has continued to build upon the City of Stars branding, a way to admit as the local meme of Hollywood’s dream factory that had seen better days, when the liberal spirit of local filmmakers ruled and sustainably lived on what was once basically a democratic enterprise for mainstream movie industry workers.

Toward this end of showcasing a list of admirable films from the world over, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte has gathered the endorsement of the City Council to prop up her ongoing QCinema International Film Festival project with UP Masscom professor Ed Lejano delivering an impressive job of choosing remarkable film features and short films from local and overseas at his programming table.

As one of its highlights, the annual festival has sought the participation of emerging and established film directors through their annual screenwriting competition with a less exploitative amount of seed money as prize to jumpstart the production of winning entries for the festival.

Not to be upstaged either for its doable aims of using film as medium for entertainment, education, social development, and liberation, Mayor Herbert Bautista has earlier on launched his most sought-after Pink Film Festival with one of the country’s top forerunners in indie filmmaking, prolific prizewinning book author on films, human, and international gay rights advocate Nick Deocompo as programmer.

Comparing the two festivals in terms of promotion, Belmonte’s PR group has much to learn from Bautista’s exuberant and lovable coterie of press groups highly trained in the art of media blitz by Deocampo himself.

Prior to these two festivals, character actress from PETA Evelyn Vargas spearheaded one of its kind with the support of Manoling Morato during his term as MTRCB chief. Unable to get the support of some government agencies other than Mayor Bautista, Vargas’ initiative was cut short a year after. It dwindled down to a children’s filmfest hosted later in Marikina, and a year later in Palawan till it went kaput.

Today is the last day of QCinema International Film Festival. You can catch up on the last screening at UP Town Center from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. the classic Three Colors Trilogy (Blue, White, Red) of the famous Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski, considered one of Europe’s most influential directors, which goes into the virtues symbolized by the French flag.

For local fare, Laurice Guillen’s award-winning debut film Kasal, is showing at 3:30 p.m. at Galleria 7. It stars Hilda Koronel and Christopher De Leon.

It looks like Quezon City can now boast of an international filmfest to its constituents as its brand of cultural service largely for the elite sector who can well afford the pricey admission fees positively associated with the branded names of Belmonte and Bautista. And for how long, only God knows.

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