Film Festival Disqualifies Movie Critical of President Duterte

Walang Kasarian Ang Digmaang Bayan (The Revolution Knows No Gender), a film included in the lineup of this year’s Sinag Maynila Film Festival, has been pulled out.

The film tells the story of a young filmmaker who becomes an activist.

Its trailer also features Rita Avila as a woman who says, “Kung sana naging mas matapang ako, ako mismo ang papatay kay Duterte.” [“If I were braver, I would kill Duterte myself.”]

Its director, Jay Altarejos, posted a Facebook status on the film’s disqualification. He accused festival co-founder and director Brillante Mendoza of getting rid of him and the film.

He says, “Brillante Mendoza, sa meeting na naganap noong Feb. 20 sa Solar office, isa lang ang hiniling ko sa inyo- SABIHIN NYO LANG ANG TOTOO sa statement niyo at susuportahan ko kayo o hindi ako magsasalita. Nagsasalita ako ngayon at patuloy pa na magsasalita sa mga susunod na araw dahil nagsinungaling kayo.”

[“Brillante Mendzoa, in our meeting last Feb. 20 at the Solar office, I only asked one thing: tell the truth in your statement. I will support you or I will not say anything. I am speaking now and will continue to speak in the next few days because you are lying.”]

He then invited Brillante to a face-off in front of the media to discuss what happened in the press conference and what happened during their meeting.

He ended his post with, “Tayo ba ay Martial Law na at ikaw ang tagapagpaganap sa sektor ng pelikula, Brillante? Patuloy kaming makikipaglaban para sa tunay na kalayaan. Kalayaan sa pagpapahayag at kalayaan sa pamamahayag. Makakaasa kayo na sa bawat kasinungaling ilalabas nyo, babalikan ko kayo ng tatlong katotohanan.”

[“Is this Martial Law and are you enforcing it in the film industry, Brillante? We will continue to fight for true freedom. Freedom in expressing ourselves. You can trust that with every lie that you utter, I will get back at you with three truths.”]

Yesterday, the Sinag Maynila Facebook page released a statement disqualifying the film. According to the festival, “The executive committee, after thorough review, found that there is substantial deviation from the submitted and approved script and that the film is no longer a faithful representation of the approved screenplay.”

It added, “Furthermore Sinag Maynila reserves the right to disqualify as an entry for failure to comply with its rules and regulations as well as the terms and conditions of its agreement with the filmmakers.”

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