Now that the Oscars, the mother of all awards, are in the offing, issues and problems in the local film industry need to be resolved before focusing on foreign lands like Hollywood.
This point was stressed by maverick filmmaker Jose Javier Reyes, as he attended the House of Representatives’ Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts headed by Rep. Christopher de Venecia, theater producer, director, former actor and scion of Sampaguita Pictures’ Gina Vera-Perez de Venecia, one of the daughters of film producer Jose Perez.
These past few weeks, showbiz denizens and observers were agog in rooting for actress Dolly de Leon as a possible Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “Triangle of Sadness,” a Swedish film which won the Palme D’Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival directed by Ruben Ostlund.
De Leon failed to clinch a nomination but the film is nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay at the 95th Oscars.
Meanwhile, Erik Matti’s “OYJ: The Missing 8,” the Philippine submitted film to the American Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)-- the agency that screens and nominates submission to the Best Foreign Language Film now billed as Best International Feature Film --was nixed by the Academy.
Reyes, popularly called in the film community as Joey Reyes, emphasized the immediate problems of the local movie industry that must be addressed namely shortage of active film producers and the very low Return of Investment (ROI) given by cinema operators and owners to the film capitalists.
Joey said he is frustrated by the way the local movies are faring at the box-office these days.
“Dismal, as I said, dismal. If I gave you the numbers of how much was the total gross on the opening day of the two movies that opened last Wednesday, the numbers are unspeakable,” announced Reyes at the House hearing. “And therefore, the results are very discouraging if we will depend on the cinemas as the source of the ROI of the producers.”
One of the local movies shown last week which Reyes must be referring to “Hello, Universe,” a comedy-fantasy film headlined by Janno Gibbs from Viva Films directed by Xian Lim.
Because movies shown in cinemas, said Joey, don’t make money anymore, producers are concentrating on streaming their film projects to digital platforms like Vivamax, Netflix, AQ Prime, among others.