After producing his second film, ‘Maestra’ (‘An Educator’, 2017) which starred Gloria Sevilla, Angeli Bayani and Anna Luna (and gave the latter her first Best Actress and its screenwriter Archie Del Mundo with a Special Mention citation for Best Screenplay at the Five Continents International Film Festival in Venezuela this October lasy year), Dr. Carl Balita, is championing his other advocacy apart from teaching; he is addressing one of the crucial issue facing the film industry is facing today—that of distribution.
In an article titled ‘Philippine Cinema in focus: Insights on the Industry at Present’ published on adobo magazine, March 14 of last year, it mentioned pressing concern on how to ensure that local releases are given a fair share at the cineplexes as dominated by the major mall operators and indie films without being pulled-out unceremoniously especially on its first two days of poor performance at the box-office.
With his film ‘Maestra’ it dawned on him and identified one of the major problems of film producers especially the independent ones—‘It’s the access to theaters, mainstream cinemas.
“I saw an opportunity. Kasi after five o’clock wala na kaming tao sa opisina namin (referring to his review centers). Normally we have big venues. In España, 250-seater yun, after five wala na yun. In all branches may ganun. Eh yung microcinemas20-seater, 30-seater and that’s not what I want.
“There are seasons na wala na kaming estudyante. What I did, during or lean seasons like mid-September, October and November wala na kaming estudyante. Babalik uli yan Decem,ber. Mahalaga sa akin ang afternoon and evening like where I am at, in España, maraming condo dun, maraming estudyante. Gaano karami ang naghahanap ng gagawin doon after five. Ang mga bata naggi-games lang. Gaano kasikip ang dorm life?”
“I want to help and make use of my facilities,” he started engaging the selected members of the press with his vision.
Thus, the birth of CBRC Dream Theater came about, which formally opened on June 22 in order to provide a solution to a problem.
“I don’t think I will be showing Hollywood movies in my cinemas.”
His A 250-seater independent, medium-scale cinema (the biggest so far in Manila), boasts of a 5000-lumens projector and a 5.1 Digital Surround Sound. It impressed ‘ANG LARAWAN’ star and producer Ms. Celeste Legaspi. What is distinct about the venue is its eco-friendly chairs as manufactured in Valenzuela City, those are made of jeep loads of pet bottles.
Since its opening, the CBRC Dream Theater has hosted screenings of ANG LARAWAN and MAESTRA and also a special Pride Month Screening of Joselito Altarejos’s KASAL, Alvin Yapan’s ANG SAYAW NG DALAWANG KALIWANG PAA and Charliebebs Gohetia’s I LOVE YOU THANK YOU in June. Future screenings include 100 titles from Cinema One Originals as well.
Dr. Balita, a true art connoisseur has also embarked in creating cinemas in 100 branches of CBRC, and is even interested in building an ‘outdoor theater’ in far flung areas of Surigao, Vigan, Calapan and Kabankalan. He is also keen in building a cinema at CBRC-Cebu, recognizing the strength of Cebuano films that are rarely screened in Manila. These cinemas will also work as stageplay venues especially for future theater caravans around the CBRC branches.
With more than 100 branches under his belt, a market of 40,000 CBRC students and reviewees stand as initial potential audiences.
The CBRC Dream Theater alone caters to the U-Belt students since it is the nearest cinema to UST, FEU, PUP, etc. But among CBRC students alone, Dr. Balita emphasizes that the potential market are teachers as influencers who often require films and plays to the bigger market of millennial and Gen Z students.
Dr. Balita is a registered nurse, registered midwife, registered professional teacher, with Master of Arts in Nursing and Doctor in Humanities. He has academically completed his second doctorate degree, and as well as his doctorate in Education in 2015. He became one of the most sought-after national reviewers since 1993, giving birth to his Dr. Carl E. Balita Review Center, now a much-respected brand in the nursing review industry, trusted by top universities and has consistently produced scores of top-notched examinees and tens of thousands of passers through the years.
Today, the CBRC Dream Theater has lined-up two films—‘Ari My Life with a King’ and ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’ on Friday and Saturday, July 13 and 14, 6pm, respectively.
Also, he is calling for an Independent Producers Summit on July 25 at CBRC Dream Theater and to eventually form an Independent Film Producers Associations of the Philippines.