ANINO SA APUHAP

Robbie Tan bars finalist to Cinemalaya festival
By Ricky L. Calderon
THE MANILA STANDARD TODAY
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We received a call from Jon Lazam, the writer and codirector of the Cinemalaya entry Mga Anino sa Apuhap, seeking support for the video after it was disapproved by producer Robbie Tan. On April 28, Tan verbally declared the disqualification of the Cinemalaya full-length finalist Mga Anino sa Apuhap in the presence of the video project's production team headed by Lazam, writer and codirector. It came to them as a surprise since the group had been assured by Tan on several occasions that they can proceed with the production even when he has not approved yet the release of the first tranche of the seed grant (P200,000) from the Cinemalaya Foundation. As a result, by the time they were disqualified, the group had already spent more than P50,000 on costumes, props, set furnishings, post-production equipment, and other expenses. Furthermore, they had already made arrangements with actors Victor Neri, Assunta de Rossi and Lauren Novero, among others, regarding the production's shooting schedule and had been meeting with them to discuss the script and the planned treatment for the video.
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According to Jon, the grounds why such a decision had been made were not clear although one of the possible reasons the project was disqualified might have been the production's failure to convince the Cinemalaya Monitoring Committee on a "realistic" counterfinancing plan.
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The production team of Mga Anino sa Apuhap is waiting for a formal disqualification letter from the Cinemalaya Organizing Committee. However, it has been more than a week since Tan's announcement and they have not received an official word from the organizers of the festival of feature-length videos. Meanwhile, the team has sent a written letter of appeal for reconsideration to Nestor Jardin, president of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The center is one of the organizers of Cinemalaya. However, since the deadline for the submission of the rough cut of the video is less than two weeks from now, the group feels that the only recourse is to ask for an audience with the members of the committee and be granted the proper venue to appeal their case.
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A number of Cinemalaya finalists from last year and this year, as well as concerned video directors and artists have pledged their support for the group's appeal through a signature campaign that was launched during an informal meeting last Friday at Round EyeGlass on Adriatico Street in Malate. This encouragement, as well as the untiring commitment of the artists involved in the project, is the main reason the group behind Mga Anino sa Apuhap vowed to go on whatever the outcome of their appeal.
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Mga Anino sa Apuhap is an attempt to look into the woeful plight of blind musicians from the perspective of a band leader who had in the past his fair share of fame and glory, but who now has to deal with the fear of facing an inauspicious future.
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For those who want to show their support for this project, or have any questions or comments, you can contact the people involved in the project at 0917-463-4086 or send an e-mail to: forkupine@yahoo.com.

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