To help revitalize the Filipino film industry, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) partnered with Ayala Malls and the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) to launch the “Balik Sinehan” initiative on Christmas Day at Trinoma Malls Cinema in Quezon City. Njel De Mesa, Vice Chairman of MTRCB and a film producer himself, shed light on the ongoing challenges faced by the industry, including declining revenue and foot traffic in cinemas due to the increasing popularity of streaming platforms. De Mesa emphasized that technology is not inherently bad, but the accessibility and affordability of streaming services have made it difficult for the local film industry and theaters to recover post-pandemic, hence the need for support.
In addition to the launch event, MTRCB also promoted the film lineup for the 49th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). Mallgoers and members of the press received a guide detailing the age ratings of this year’s entries, ranging from G (General Audience) to PG (Parental Guidance) and R-13 (Rated 13). Audiences were also encouraged to practice Responsible Viewership, understanding the importance of responsible movie-watching.
MTRCB Chairperson Lala Sotto expressed that watching movies with family and friends in cinemas remains a unique and cherished experience. She highlighted that beyond entertainment, supporting the film industry helps safeguard the livelihoods of those working in it. Present at the event were Raymond Diamzon, FAP Special Projects Officer, Emilio “Toby” Dollete, FAP Admin Secretary, Atty. Aundre Dollete, NDM Studios artists Shaneley Santos, Cheska Ortega, and Ivan Padilla, all showing their support for MTRCB.
As the event concluded, Sotto, De Mesa, and MTRCB Board Members Atty. Cesar Pareja, Mark Andaya, and Neal Del Rosario urged the public to warmly support all 10 films participating in the festival.