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2018 Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino Final Report

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We present our report on the 2018 Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino, a film festival that took place from August 15th – 21st, all around the Philippines.

Note: We recommend reading this article on a laptop.

Introduction:
This report aims to provide a clear view of the film screening distribution during the 2018 Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP). It will also shed light on how Cinema Chains treat films during the festival. We will first explain how we created the database used for this report. After that we will introduce the PPP to those not familiarized with it. Then we will present our data with different charts and graphics. We hope this Report is of interest to the PPP, Filmmakers, Producers and general public. Thanks for your time.

Sebastián Nadilo
(AsianFilmFestivals.com | FilipinoShortFilmDatabase.com)

Methodology
The research covered 178 Venues nationwide, 63 from the National Capital Region (NCR) and 115 from the Province. Data was gathered from ClickTheCity.com and Theater Chain Official Websites from August 15th to 21st, 2018. The time of data recollection was from 10 pm until 12 pm (Manila Time). Daily data was transferred into an Excel File for further analysis.

About the Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino
The festival, now in its second edition, is a nationwide week-long celebration which will exclusively screen Filipino films in all theaters nationwide. It is organized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in partnership with the theaters, and public and private partners. The mission is to recognize Filipino artistry in films, promote our country and its talents globally, protect our film cultural heritage, and empower every Filipino through film development and education. During the PPP cinemas can’t screen other movies except in 3D, IMAX theaters, 4DX, Director’s Club and A-Giant.

This year the Selection Committee included Cherie Gil, Joey Reyes, Sheron Dayoc, Lee Briones-Meily, Carlos SiguionReyna and Manet Dayrit.

On April 4th, 2018 at a press conference the PPP announced the new rules for this year film submission. There were two big changes from last year, the number of Main Films was reduced to 8 and films would require Philippine premiere and must not have been previously shown in any format in the country, including at local Film Festivals. This last change was widely criticized by many Filmmakers, Producers and people from the industry as they believe this eliminate the possibility of screening award films from other festivals on a nationwide scale. There was also a sensation that the PPP could mirror the mechanics of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), known for caring more about commercial success than screening good quality films.

On July 9, 2018 the PPP presented the Official Films to the public these were:
Ang Babaeng Allergic sa Wifi by Jun Robles Lana
The Day After Valentine’s by Jason Paul Laxamana
Unli Life by Miko Livelo
Bakwit Boys by Jason Paul Laxamana
Madilim ang Gabi by Adolfo Alix Jr.
Pinay Beauty by Jay Abello
Signal Rock by Chito Roño
We Will Not Die Tonight by Richard Somes

As for the Short Film Competition (Sine Kabataan) the films were:
Alas Nuebe ng Tanghali by Enalyn Legaspi
Anonymous Student Vlog by Christian Babista
Bahay-Bahayan by Bryan Spencer Reyes
Bato Bato Pick by Ardinian Jaq Sanque and Lorys Plaza
Isang Tula para sa Nawawala by Rodemille Singh
Koleksyong Pamalo by Len Frago
Masaya Ako by Daniel Edwin Delgado and Tiara Angelica Nicolas
Runner by Levi Jun Miscala

On August 2nd, 2018 the PPP presented the films for the Special Screening section the films selected were:
Balangiga: The Howling Wilderness by Khavn who was shown at the QCInema 2017 and was awarded at the Gawad Urian and FAMAS 2018
Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus by Dwein Baltazar that was shown at the CineFilipino on May 2018.
High Tide by Tara Illenberger, shown at the ToFarm Film Festival 2017.
Kiko Boksingero by Thop Nazareno, who won two acting awards at the Cinemalaya 2017.
Paki by Giancarlo Abrahan, who won Best Picture at the CinemaOne Film Festival 2017.
Tu Pug Imatuy by Arnel Barbarona who was shown at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2017 and Sinag Maynila 2017. The director also won Best Director at the Gawad Urian 2018.

We have to mention that the official movies were shown Nationwide but the Special Screening Films were shown at NCR region only and in some SM Cinemas. If people from the provinces wanted to see the Special Screenings films they would need to call their local cinemas to demand the screening. Only a few films were able to find audience in the province.

Controversies
The Cinema Evaluation Board
Some days before the festival start a huge controversy surrounding the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) surfed. We won’t extend ourselves too much into this topic because it will take us some pages to explain everything but we want to address what happened. For those who don’t know the CEB is an independent body of the FDCP, which main purpose is to review films submitted to give tax incentives to film producers and filmmakers through the amusement tax of every ticket sold in cinemas nationwide. The film can get either Grade A or B depending on their “quality”, if the film is not graded there is no possibility to be reviewed again (1). Two special screening films weren’t graded by the CEB; “Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus” and “Balangiga: The Howling Wilderness” which draw wide criticism towards the CEB and the system their use to grade films. Gusto Kita was regraded on a revote with a B after the appeal filled by the producer.

(1) – While making this article the Rules and Regulations of the CEB have been changed on their website the text “Note: An action for reconsideration is LIMITED ONLY TO UPGRADING FROM “B” to “A” was erased but still can be found in the “Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Republic Act No. 9167; Article 6, Section 24, Paragraph M.

Problems with Schedule and Film Display in Cinemas
There were reports that certain cinemas changed screening hours without telling people. Other report talked about Gateway Cinema hiding “special screening films” in the electronic billboards and offering other films to the audience. Other report talked about a teacher who couldn’t buy 50 tickets for his students to see Balangiga: The Howling Wilderness and was offered tickets for another film.

The Screening of Foreign Films during the festival
Contrary to the PPP rules, which states that cinemas have to screen local movies except in IMAX and 3D screens, there was a strong presence of foreign films in many cinemas. Foreign Films started this PPP with 257 screenings nationwide but after a few days cinemas decided to increase the number of screenings violating the PPP rules. The biggest increase came on August 18th (Saturday), foreign films screenings increased 177% compared to August 17th (Friday), reaching 800 screenings nationwide. These numbers stay throughout the rest of the festival. The festival and the FDCP didn’t make any statements despite the claim of many directors. It’s important to note that this screenings took place in regular cinemas (non-IMAX or 3D screens).

General Information:
During the 7 days that the festival took place, there were a total of 22507 screenings for local films and 4036 screenings for foreign films. Almost 31% of local screenings occurred in the NCR Region (8772 screenings) and the rest throughout the Provinces (13735 screenings). As expected SM Cinemas, which has more venues than any other Cinema chain, was on top of the chart with 8294 screenings nationwide (36.95 %). The most screened movie was The Day After Valentine’s with 5789 (nationwide); 2145 in NCR and 3644 in the Province. The least screened movie (from the Official 8) was Madilim ang Gabi with only 625 screenings.

Screening distribution

grapha

graphb

graphc

The screening distribution nationwide shows that The Day After Valentine’s lead the chart with 25.72% of the screenings, as expected the movie also lead the in the NCR Region and in the Provinces. Three movies The Day After Valentine’s, Unli Life and Ang Babaeng Allergic Sa Wifi were able to grab most of the screenings nationwide (67.11%). Another thing to mention is that four Special Screening films weren’t able to have screenings outside the Metro Manila.

Variations during the festival
Important note: the following charts displays all Special Screenings together under the tag “Special Screenings”.

Nationwide

graph1

NCR

graph2

Province

graph3

Looking at the charts above we can tell cinemas tried to accommodate their screening schedule to fit movies that had better performance at the box office. We can see that The Day After Valentine’s, Unli Life and Ang Babaeng Allergic sa Wifi stay on top throughout the festival. On the other hand Pinay Beauty who started with 515 screenings (nationwide) was quickly dropped. Staring the 4th day the film registered a drop of 65% of its screenings reaching only 180 screenings. The film lost 63 venues during that time.

We Will Not Die Tonight and Bakwit Boys shown an increase in their screenings in the opening days. Finally Signal Rock and Madilim ang Gabi stayed at the bottom with few screenings nationwide during the whole festival.

The introduction of foreign film on the 4th day made a big impact on the local screenings, all of them except The Day After Valentine’s shown a decreased in their numbers.

Screening Distribution per Theatre Chain (Nationwide)
Important Note: Cinema Chains with less than 6 venues where grouped under “Others”.

graphd

Screening Distribution by Theater Chains (Nationwide)
Important Note: We only graphed five cinema chains.

graph4

 

The Festival in Metro Manila

Variation of Screenings by movie

metropic1

Variation of Venues by movie

metropic2

From the two chars above we can say that in the first days there was a big fluctuation in the number of screenings for some movies. Ang Babaeng Allergic sa Wifi, Bakwit Boys, Madilim ang Gabi and Pinay Beauty shown a strong decreased in the their numbers. On the other hand The Day After Valentine’s, Unli Life and We Will Not Die Tonight increased their numbers. Special Screenig films started well but after day the 2nd day their numbers decreased and stayed around 41 screenings. It is interesting to see that on the 4th day all of the movies shown a decreased in their numbers except for The Day After Valentine’s. This was because Cinemas were making room for Foreign Films.

As far as the venue variation there wasn’t big changes expect for Pinay Beauty who suffered a loss of 15 venues in the first 4 days. We decided to pick this movie for an in-depth analysis.

In-Depth: Pinay Beauty

pinaybeauty

Pinay Beauty (She’s No White) directed by Jav Abello ranked 5th in Nationwide distribution with 1844 screenings (8.19 % of the total). The film was screened 731 times in NCR region and 1113 in the Province. Our data shows that despite having a strong start with 515 screenings on opening day, the movie was quickly removed from the cinemas. In the first four days the movie shown a decrease of 65% on the number of screenings (Nationwide). From the graphic below we can see that the movie suffered a decrease of 68% on Province screenings, starting at 338 on Day 1 and arriving at 108 on Day 4.

graph5

This big drop in the number of screenings is understood if we look at the Venue distribution in the below graph. We can see that in the Province the number of venues drop more than 50% in the first 4 days.

graph6

 

Which were the Cinemas that dropped Pinay Beauty

graph7

Looking at the distribution per Cinema Chain we can see that Robinsons Movieworld Cinemas and SM Cinemas show the biggest drops in the first 4 days. Robinsons Cinemas show the biggest drop with a loss of 75% of screenings.

Conclusions:
As always we are in contact with different filmmakers, producers and actors with the objective of understanding the statistics behind the Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino. We can say the PPP is a complex festival, which requires not only stats information but also some basic socio-economical comprehension of the Philippines.

The PPP takes places in a very different scenario than the Metro Manila Film Festival. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) are still working abroad and families don’t flock the cinemas as they do during holidays. The opening of the festival is also another factor to take into account, the PPP started on Wednesday instead of starting on a Friday. Despite all of these issues we believe the festival did well and we hope the FDCP releases the number of attendees instead of the box office.

Another critic we can make towards the PPP and the FDCP is their silence towards the increasing screenings of Foreign Films in normal theaters. This issue was discussed by many filmmakers online but until now organizers have not even condemned the action of the Cinema. This led us to believe that maybe they don’t care about this issue or that they have no power over the Cinemas which make us wondering… Who is in control?

We said it before on the report we made about the 2017 MMFF, Cinemas see movies as commodities so if they fail on the box office they will chose to screen a movie that attracts more audience. We think this is ridiculous and goes against the rules of the PPP. Cinemas didn’t increased foreign film screenings in a few cinemas, they increased foreign films by 177% on Saturday, a day that Filipinos could attend the cinemas to enjoy PPP movies.

Looking Forward
We have been following the film distribution in Philippines for 3 months and we have the numbers to back our views. We strongly believe the Philippines needs REAL change when it comes to protecting their own productions, secure more funds to produce local films and have a strong Agency that is effective against piracy.

Another important thing the industry should look into is having laws that allows a good competition within the Local Industry. We often see that companies such as Viva Films and Star Cinema get over 80-90 % of the local market leaving few screens for more independent productions.

As far as the next PPP we would like the organizers to modify the rule that doesn’t allow films screened at local Film Festivals submit to the PPP. We know the FDCP has done a better job than the MMDA at promoting and trying to reach out for audience. So we wish them the best of luck for the next edition.

News Sources:
CinemaBravo – FDCP calls for finished films for Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2018 (April 8, 2018) – https://cinemabravo.com/2018/04/08/fdcp-calls-for-finished-films-for-pista-ng-pelikulang-pilipino-2018

Rappler – Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2018: The 8 full-length films (July 9, 2018) – https://www.rappler.com/entertainment/movies/206835-pista-ng-pelikulang-pilipino-2018-full-length-films-list

Rappler – Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino announces 6 films under Special Feature Section (August 2nd, 2018) – https://www.rappler.com/entertainment/movies/208661-pista-pelikulang-pilipino-6-films-feature-section

Spot.ph – Guide to Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino (July 10, 2018) https://www.spot.ph/entertainment/movies-music-tv/74383/pista-ng-pelikulang-pilipino-2018-a00220-20180710-lfrm

Websites:
Click the City – https://www.clickthecity.comhttps://www.clickthecity.com
Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino – https://pistangpelikulangpilipino.ph
Implementing Rules and Regulations of the R.A. No. 9167 – https://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2002/ra_9167irr_2002.html
Image of Pinay Beauty taken from: http://pop.inquirer.net/56463/ganda-ka-5-beautiful-lessons-jay-abellos-movie-pinay-beauty

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