THE makers of the independent film “Oro” on Monday agreed to “shade” a controversial scene following a complaint that a dog was slaughtered in the movie.
This developed shortly after the actors and producers of the movie appeared at the office of Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Thomas Orbos to shed light on allegations that the film violated the law on animal cruelty.
The film, a story of a barangay leader defending a small mining community from bandits, is one of the eight movie entries to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, organized and supervised by the MMDA.
Orbos asked the filmmakers to explain allegations that there was a scene in the movie where a dog was slaughtered in violation of the Animal Welfare Act, or Republic Act 8485, which prohibits the use of animals killed for the purpose of film production.
The MMDA chief, who is also the overall chairman of the MMFF, made the inquiry based on the complaints of members of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
“We agreed that a particular scene in the movie be shaded,” said Alvin Yapan, the film director, following a meeting with Orbos and other MMFF executive committee officials.
He also said the “minor” issue became controversial because of the social media hype.
Irma Adlawan, who is the lead character in the movie and who won in the Best Actress category, also said she was saddened by the issue. She added she is willing to return her trophy if the MMFF executive committee called for it.
But MMFF spokesman Noel Ferrer said there is no need for Adlawan to return her trophy, saying the issue is “no relation to her being a good actress in the movie.”
The meeting was also attended by Film Development Council of the Philippines chairperson Liza Diño-Seguerra and representatives from PAWS.
In a letter sent to Orbos dated Dec. 31, PAWS stated that they received numerous reports about a scene depicting cruelty to animal.
PAWS was referring to the scene of a dog “being slaughtered in the film” and insists that “there is no way that the scenes could have been faked.”
The group also requested that the film be pulled out of the cinemas until the investigation is over.
Orbos said when he was notified of the matter he immediately called for a meeting, “We have called the producer of ‘Oro’ as well as invited PAWS to attend.”