The Philippines will not submit a film to the 2022 Oscars for consideration in the Best International Feature Film category

The Film Academy of the Philippines, the government agency which chooses the country’s yearly representative, has cited a lack of funds

The Philippines will not submit a film to the Oscars for consideration this year, a decision that has drawn criticism from filmmakers.

The Film Academy of the Philippines, the government agency which chooses the country’s yearly representative, has cited a lack of funds as the reason why the country will not submit a movie to the 2022 Oscars for consideration in the Best International Feature Film category.

Films that the Philippines has submitted to the Oscars for consideration in recent years include Mindanao by Brillante Mendoza, Verdict by Raymund Ribay Gutierrez, Signal Rock by Chito S. Roño and Birdshot by Mikhail Red.

Advertisement

On December 10, the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines issued a statement on Facebook expressing its “disappointment” that no Filipino film would be submitted to the 2022 Oscars, saying that to its knowledge, this was only the second time in history the Philippines had not made a submission.

The Guild even named some films that it says could have been potential submissions, including MacArthur Alejandre’s Tagpuan, Erik Matti’s The Missing 8, Antoinette Jadaone’s FanGirl and Avid Liongoren’s Hayop Ka!.

The Film Academy of the Philippines responded to the Guild in a statement shared on Facebook on December 13, in which it claimed that “unlike other government agencies, the FAP never had guaranteed funding but solely relied on contributions from MMDA through the Metro Manila Film Festival. Because of the pandemic, the only funding stream dried up quickly in early 2020.”

“Organizing and vetting an entry to the Oscars is not an inexpensive and simple process,” the agency said, adding that it is “equally disappointed but had to deal with the realities of today”.

The Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) would like to address the disappoinment of DGPI regarding the missed…

Posted by Film Academy of the Philippines on Monday, December 13, 2021

Several filmmakers have aired their frustration at the agency’s decision. Director Mark Meily, whose movie Crying Ladies was the Philippines’ submission to the Oscars in 2004 , told Inquirer he thinks the agency is “irresponsible” for using the current situation as an excuse for the matter.

Advertisement

Meanwhile, director Adolfo Alix Jr., whose movie Donsol was submitted in 2007, wanted to know if, apart from the pandemic, other technicalities were not met. “We want to be informed to make sure that this will not happen again in the coming years,” he told Inquirer.

In its statement, the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines called the Film Academy’s decision a “missed opportunity” that “offers a good chance to review our country’s processes on submission of Philippine entries to the Oscar Awards”.

“In the spirit of self-regulation, the DGPI invites film workers to discuss and create a private sector, industry-led initiative in resolving procedures for our future Oscar entries,” it continued.

In response, the Film Academy acknowledged that it was “perhaps” following an “antiquated set of rules that must be updated” and said that it was “open to change”.

The statement continued: “If DGPI feels disenfranchised by FAP’s failure, then, FAP is open for a dialogue with anyone about this? Please contact FAP anytime. Thank you.”

Southeast Asian countries that have recently confirmed their Oscar submissions include Singapore, who will put forward the murder mystery Precious Is The Night; Malaysia, who will send the black-and-white drama Prebet Sapu; and Indonesia, who has picked Kamila Andini’s coming-of-age film Yuni.

Advertisement
Advertisement