This letter was posted by Joel Trinidad of Upstart Productions as a note in his Facebook account. We are re-posting it verbatim in the interest of dissemination and discussion.
Independent filmmaker Rafa Santos needs to be taught a lesson. Not a lesson in filmmaking, as he is obviously competent enough to have been included in this year’s Cinemalaya. Not a lesson in thrift, as he is apparently frugal enough to have produced his film without major backing. Not a lesson in public speaking, as he can definitely hold his own in interviews about the film in question. No, what this man needs is a lesson in gratitude. (He would also do well to acquire some class.)
In a televised interview on ANC this morning, Mr. Santos said he preferred using theater actors in his films, because “you can feed them Sky Flakes three meals a day and pay them in cat food.”
Congratulations, Mr. Santos. You have succeeded in alienating the very actors that have helped you to make your film so cheaply. No theater performer who has heard your egregious statements will ever work with you now. (Apparently, you lack not just gratitude, but also intelligence.)
Mr. Santos doubtless meant his remarks as a joke, but that does not excuse him from having made them. He is insensitive, mean-spirited, and divisive—qualities that do not become the artistic institution that Cinemalaya has become. We would appreciate it if you removed his film from your festival.
Thank you very much.
Aiza Seguerra, Irma Adlawan, Angelina Kanapi, Gabe Mercado, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Noel Trinidad, Pinky Marquez, Nor Domingo, Bea Garcia, Emerita Alcid, Michael Williams, Elmar Ingles, Kalila Aguilos, Ayen Laurel, Milay Guinid, Allan Alojipan, Yanah Laurel, Felix Rivera, G.A. Fallarme, Topper Fabregas, Johann de la Fuente, Gregorio de Guzman, Raul Victor Montesa, Bobby Nazareno, Leah Reyes, Marie Bismonte, Joli Cabangon, Ems Bolanos, Carla Guevara, Gian Magdangal, Sheree Bautista, Guji Lorenzana, Christine Sambelli Marquez, Jojo Malferrari, Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, Lorenz Martinez, Bernice Aspillaga, Karla Reyes, Floyd Tena, Jeremy Aguado, Myrene Santos, Rico del Rosario, J Young, Diana Alferez, Ana Abad Santos, Jenny Villegas, Andoy Ranays, Liza Infante, Rem Zamora, Issa Litton-Garrido, Lani Tapia, Mark Tayag, Kyla Rivera, Jenny Jamora, Dani Ochoa, Mara Paulina Marasigan, Filomar Tario, Ricci Chan, Franco Laurel, Pamela Imperial, Madeleine Nicolas, Peachy Atilano, Robbie Guevara, Cheska Iñigo Winebrenner, Alex Dagalea, Chevy Mercado, Franz Imperial, Joms Ortega, Sweet Plantado, Carelle Mangaliag, Frances Makil Ignacio, Ralion Alonso, Meynard Peñalosa, Jeremy Domingo, Aj de la Fuente, Ariel Reonal, Arnel Carrion, with more names added to the list every minute