Last November 6, film director J.E. Tiglao took to Twitter to announce that his coming-of-age film Metamorphosis, an entry in the 2019 Cinema One Originals film festival, was not approved by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) for public viewing.
Metamorphosis follows 14-year-old Adam (Gold Aceron), a boy born with both male and female genitals, and how he explores his sexuality.
Tiglao said that the MTRCB did not opt to give the movie an R-16 or R-18 entry and explaining that it was "not suitable for public exhibition" because of some daring scenes.
In a Twitter thread, he explained that the scenes aim to humanize intersex people and are not only inclined to lustfulness.
"The daring scenes aim to humanize the character who is an intersex," the director wrote on Twitter. "Intersex people are victims of stigma and misconceptions due to their unconventional anatomy. They were called "freaks", and "abnormal."
"Ang mga eksenang ito ay hindi lamang purong kalibugan," he added. "Ito ay pagpapakita ng kanilang pagkatao, ng kanilang sexual desires, ng kanilang pagkalito at pagkabigo-- mga bagay na pinagdadaanan nating LAHAT, intersex man o hindi."
Tiglao went on, saying that scenes from the film represent how the intersex are people too who are normal, that they are "beautiful as they are."
He then said he and his film crew will try to re-edit the film to lessen the daring scenes but will not promise that he will remove everything just to follow the MTRCB's standards.
"Bukas pupunta akong MTRCB and try to defend the latest cut. Bahala na," he went on.
Tiglao concluded his Twitter thread by voicing out his sadness for moviegoers who will not be able to watch the cut scenes he and his crew wanted to showcase, a movie that will finally represent intersex people in the realm of film.
'Ang lungkot lang isipin na mukhang hindi niyo mapapanood ang putol ng pelikula na gusto namin para rito," he concluded. "Pelikula na sana, sa unang pagkakataon, ay magrerepresent sa mga kapatid nating intersex sa larangan ng pelikula. #LabanMeta #MetaFilm"
Check out the whole thread below:
Metamorphosis also stars Iana Bernardez, Ivan Padilla, Ricky Davao, and Yayo Aguila, and was originally scheduled to have its premiere night on November 10, 5PM in TriNoMa.
The Cinema One Originals Film Festival, which will showcase seven other film entries, will be held in the cinemas of TriNoMa, Glorietta, Gateway, Ayala Manila Bay, and Power Plant Makati from November 7 to November 17.
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