The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) has disapproved the public exhibition of the trailer of the short film TheRapist.
The award-winning short film starring veteran actress Cherie Gil was directed by Diane Ventura and earmarked for commercial release on November 2. The date is also the supposed opening day of Ventura’s first full-length feature film, the award-winning Mulat (Awaken) starring Jake Cuenca, Ryan Eigenmann and newcomer Loren Burgos.
In a letter sent to Solar Films, the local distributor of both films by Ventura, MTRCB chief Eugenio Villareal ruled that the trailer is “not for public exhibition” citing the “language and scenes depicting sexual activity” as the reason for such a decision.
Ventura, defending her short film and insisted, “I understand how this movie could be misconstrued as condoning the vile act of rape. But in this film, I’m not talking about the jump-out-of-the-bushes assault of a helpless victim. I’m talking about certain situations wherein a girl actually has the power and capability to get herself out of a possibly precarious situation where she feels uncomfortable and unsettled.”
She added, “It’s about female empowerment and not allowing yourself to be put in situations that you do not want to be in, or get yourself in a position where your decision-making capabilities are vitiated.”
Without question she agrees that rape is a detestable crime. “That is why this film is important. It tells us that though, we have no control over other people’s actions and moral values, but we do have control of ourselves and being aware of this fact helps us in becoming more proactive. This way, we have the power not to put ourselves in a helpless predicament.”
Mulat gave Ventura the Best Director citation, and Best Actor citation for Jake Cuenca from the International Film Festival Manhattan in New York; and Best Narrative Feature and Best Actor for Jake Cuenca over the summer’s Brazil World Cinema Festival.