Frank Rittman, Senior Vice President, Deputy Managing Director and Regional Policy Officer Asia Pacific, MPA, presents Joji Alonso with the MPA A.C.E. Award at CineAsia 2013

Joji Alonso awarded by MPA for anti-camcording work

Attorney and filmmaker Joji Alonso was presented with the Motion Picture Association (MPA) Asia-Pacific Copyright Educator (A.C.E.) Award today at CineAsia in recognition of her long term commitment to championing the value of screen content and the need to protect the work and livelihoods of her fellow filmmakers in the screen community in the Philippines.

“Joji has been an incredible force for good for the screen community in the Philippines. Not only is she an acclaimed filmmaker and the Managing Partner at Alonso and Associates Law Offices, but she finds time to speak out in support of the rights of filmmakers and her local screen industry. She advocates passionately for appropriate legal measures to be put in place to allow creativity to flourish and ensure that audiences are able to view films and television shows exclusively through legitimate channels.

“In particular, Joji took a leadership role in advocating for legislation to prevent illegal camcording in cinemas across the Philippines. I’m pleased to say that Joji’s endeavors, along with the hard work of many others working alongside her in the screen community, resulted in the Anti-Camcording Act being passed into law in May 2010, this landmark legislation helps prevent movie theft at the source, protecting not only the work of local filmmakers, but all filmmakers who hope that their films are played safely and securely to cinema audiences across the globe.

We applaud Joji for her conviction and her enthusiastic contribution to a healthy and growing screen industry in the Philippines. She is motivated by her love of cinema, and the capacity for quality films to entertain and educate audiences and communicate the unique culture of the Philippines around the world.”

- Frank Rittman, Senior Vice President, Deputy Managing Director and Regional Policy Officer Asia Pacific, MPA

As a producer, Joji Alonso has made critically acclaimed and award-winning feature films such as Kubrador (The Bet Collector), Here Comes the Bride, Bisperas (Eve) and Ang BabaeSa Septic Tank (The Woman in a Septic Tank).

Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank (The Woman in a Septic Tank) was the Philippines’ official entry for the 2013 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film.Kubrador (The Bet Collector), directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, was screened in over 100 festivals and has earned 38 awards both local and foreign. Here Comes the Bride grossed more than 130 million pesos (US$2.3 million) at the local box office. The wise and witty dramedy, Ekstra (The Bit Player), which enjoyed its premiere in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, proved to be a popular success at local cinemas in recent months.

This year, she will team up with Chris Martinez and Eugene Domingo again, along with Spring Films, for her latest production Kimmy Dora 3, planned for release at the Metro Manila Film Festival.

Speaking after receiving the award, Ms. Alonso said: “I am honored to receive this award, and especially so being the first female recipient of the A.C.E. award. I’d like to thank the MPA for their continued support towards the screen community in the Philippines and their commitment to promoting and protecting the rights of filmmakers across the Asia Pacific region.

“It’s important to remind everyone that camcording is stealing and you do not need a law to tell you so. The passage of the Anti-Camcording Law played a critical role in helping protect the interests of the local movie industry, which is still struggling from huge losses due to piracy. The law is now regarded as a shot in the arm for our industry when it was needed the most.

“However, news headlines this year have recorded too many incidents of illegal camcording occurring in our cinemas. While great efforts are being made to prevent these incidents from taking place, even more diligence is required from our screen community and the authorities if we are to ensure that the Philippines remains clear from camcording.

“It’s vital that we all work together to win over our audiences and help them to understand that they are an important part of the film and television value chain. Audiences, creators, distributors and exhibitors need one another to develop a long term, sustainable entertainment and cultural experience that we can continue to enjoy and enrich us.”

The A.C.E. Award was presented during an awards event at CineAsia, held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and attended by over 350 people representing the exhibition and film community in the Asia Pacific region. CineAsia is the only international convention dedicated to Asian cinema exhibition and distribution and is now in its 19th year.

Past recipients of the A.C.E. Award include Tropfest founder John Polson (2012), Malaysian film producer and recording artist Norman Halim (2011), Australian actor Roy Billing (2010), Hong Kong producer Raymond Wong (2009), Thai producer and director JareukKaljareuk (2008), and New Zealand actor Temuera Morrison (2007).

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