Cine Europa Exempted from MTRCB
Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista
“This year for the first time our movies do not have to go through screening and review since the MTRCB (Movie television Review and Classification Board) adopted classification of the EU (European Union) member states where the film originated,” said European Union Head for Political and Press Information Lubomir Frebort. He spoke at the press conference of the Cine Europa Film fest which will run from September 9-18 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza.
Frebort credited the FDCP (Film Development Council of the Phil.) for the new exemption, “This year is special for us because we just forged a partnership with the FDCP I’d like to give special thanks to them for this commitment with more access to the films of the European countries.” He explained that the new ruling was through the “assistance, cooperation and linkage between the council and the MTRCB.”
According to him the cooperation will benefit the Phil, “By doing so we are looking forward to bringing high quality films fromEuropebut at the same time we also hope that this new partnership will also allow us to bring more Filipino films to our partners and viewers in the European countries.”
Now on it’s 14th edition, Cine Europa will start it’s screenings at Shang Cineplex in Mandaluyong and will move on to Liceo de Cagayan De Oro University, Cagayan De Oro from September 23 to 25 and to Cebu’s Ayala Center Onstage from September 20 to October 2. Tickets to the screenings are free based on a first come first served basis. Audience members will also get a chance to win a ticket toEurope via KLM Royal Dutch Airlines through a raffle on the opening of the fest.
Organized by the European Union, there are a total of 19 films from the countries of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece,Italy , The Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
FDCP Chairman Briccio Santos elaborated on the legality of the exemption, “In the law the mandate of FDCP is RA 1967. It says if films are shown under FDCP they don’t have to go through MTRCB. An example is the ‘Sineng Pambansa’ where we have 9 festivals a year all over the country. In this case we simply expanded and invoked that same mandate with an agreement with the MTRCB regarding passing that responsibility to FDCP. So we are still operating within the law. It’s just that sometimes because of the years that we have not exercised that mandate, na kagawian it became a habit.”
Santos was also able to clarify why Cine Europa qualifies for it, “We think that we need to treat the diplomatic fests in a very separate light. In the first place they have chosen these films, culturally sensitive films. This has already gone through the cultural arm of the embassies. And therefore we assume that these films have already been selected in that light. And we will just adopt as harmonious as possible as graciously as they have brought these films to our country. We should really be grateful for what they have done in the past decade.”
Santos cites the MTRCB, “I think Chairman Llamanzares is doing a fine job. We commend her for understanding our cultural vision. She will always become a partner. There’s always an agreement and cooperation between our agencies. So long as we keep that, I think it will hold beyond our time and become an institution on its own because we can always invoke the mandate of the FDCP.”