For a while now, I have not watched a mainstream Filipino film made entirely by a Filipino crew or locally produced in the Philippines. I stopped watching a long time ago after realizing that mainstream Filipino filmmakers would be forever insipid, childish, and dumb. That is so because their audience are insipid, childish, and dumb too.
They actually scare me because they want economic and political changes in society and in government, yet they do not want intellectual changes in their tastes and worldviews. Perhaps they have no idea that citizens have to change first to see changes in their country. If you want to see how advanced we are as a people, go and watch the usual mainstream Filipino film, which showcases talents in literature and performance and skills in technology and production.
It seems to me the real film talents and skilled cinema technicians in the Philippines are in the independent productions, which have limited funds that can affect the quality of their film projects. The amateurish ones are in the mainstream filmmaking who enjoy unlimited funds but suffer from limited skills and unimpressive talents. I do not deny the capitalistic goals of many Filipino film producers.
There are good filmmakers who are forced to make bad films for ticket sales. I also consider them guilty of dumbing down the Filipino audience. They can still make quality “family films” that are funny and enjoyable but excellently made. That needs skills and talents though. Some may say it is just a film. Well, it is a social document to me that shows Philippine society and culture and Filipino people.
Metro Manila Film Festival can be an event in which the best Filipino films can be showcased and Filipino film talents can be marketed globally. Our mentality is so local, and that is the reason why the film industry is dying. Foreign filmmakers choose other countries like those in East Asia and Eastern Europe to produce their films because the film industries in such countries are known for uncompromising skills, talents, and quality.
It is time for Filipino filmmakers to compete. They must think beyond Metro Manila and Vice Ganda. If they want to resuscitate the film industry in the country, they should market the Philippines to the world as an alternative for affordable but quality filmmaking. Locally producing insipid, childish, and dumb films is not the good way to do it. Aesthetic garbage repulses people who are attracted to advanced visual culture.