Statement of the UP Film Institute regarding the CINEMALAYA issue

The UP Film Institute (UPFI) expresses its concern over recent issues
surrounding this year's Cinemalaya competition brought about by
casting disagreements between certain filmmakers and the festival's
key executives.

As an independent film festival, Cinemalaya is committed to support
films by young filmmakers that "freely interpret the Filipino
experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity." Such films can
only be made if the filmmaker is given the freedom to make the most
important artistic decisions for the film. The choice of principal
actors is clearly essential to the achievement of the director's
vision and therefore must be seen as the director's right and

For certain Cinemalaya officials to insist on replacing the director's
choices with their own for whatever reason is an unwelcome imposition
that cannot be countenanced because it strikes at the core of the
filmmaker's freedom to pursue his original artistic vision. It is
alleged that similar impositions have been made on some filmmakers in
the past and these filmmakers have suffered them in silence for fear
that their grant releases would be withdrawn.

Since 2005, Cinemalaya has succeeded in discovering and giving voice
to scores of talented filmmakers who might otherwise have languished
in anonymity for many more years. Moreover, in just seven years,
Cinemalaya has brought into the light a repertoire of indie films that
have truly enriched the national cinema of the country. For all this,
Cinemalaya has earned the respect of the film community and has become
the inspiration to many aspiring artists.

To preserve Cinemalaya's integrity and credibility as the leading
independent film festival in the country, the UPFI now calls on
Cinemalaya Foundation officials and members, and especially Cinemalaya
Foundation Chairman and patron Antonio O. Cojuangco, to take swift and
decisive action in resolving this serious matter in favor of the
independent filmmakers whose creative prerogatives must be respected
and upheld.

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