"We are on life support and we need resuscitation. No more pointing fingers. I think we’re beyond that at this point. This is a plea for help.”
Facebook/Erik Matti
Erik Matti appeals for help for local film industry
Jan Milo Severo (philstar.com) - February 9, 2019 - 2:13pm

MANILA, Philippines — Award-winning director Erik Matti opened up about the struggles of the local film industry and urged the government to intervene because the business is in a "dire situation." 

"We are on life support and we need resuscitation. No more pointing fingers. I think we’re beyond that at this point. This is a plea for help,” Erik said in a lengthy Facebook post on Thursday.

The filmmaker said the industry was at its busiest the past three years yet only a handful of the movies produced achieved box office success. 

He cited as example the recent movies of Regal and Viva Films which "despite all the marketing and promising stories" weren't well-received at the box office. 

The director also said that the 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival was not a hit despite its committee's announcement that they hit their P1-billion target.

"Even MMFF no matter how much they claim with pride that it was a hit, it wasn’t. It didn’t make as much money as the previous years. And instead of looking at the problem head on of the dwindling audience they just chose to deny it," Erik said. 

He pondered on the industry's decline in viewership, citing online platforms, Hollywood, "bad marketing," "tired or uinteresting stories," traffic, piracy and poverty as possible causes.

"Has our audience outgrown our films? I really don’t know at this point," he said.

Erik went on to say that people in the industry cannot go "blindly working" on movies if their audience won't come out to watch them. 

He said the industry looks after its artists and workers through film festivals here and abroad but questioned if those efforts are enough. 
 
"Are we really getting our films to the audience it was actually made for? Or are we just bringing them to the small audience we embarrassingly deserve?” he said. 

Erik is co-founder of the production company Reality Entertainment. He helmed award-winning movies such as "BuyBust," "On The Job," "Seklusyon" and "Honor Thy Father."

ERIK MATTI
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