MANILA, Philippines — Aside from TV series, Filipinos have a penchant for movies. They find joy in watching a title in just one sitting and experiencing the feels the movie narrative presents to them. The GMA-powered new channel, I Heart Movies, provides that all day, every day for free.
“Ever since, we wanted to have a certain channel that is one-stop shop, a movie channel,” said GMA first VP for program management Jose Mari “Joey” Abacan of how the “freemium,” digital channel came to being in a recent media call. I Heart Movies is a welcome addition to the existing local and international movie channels viewers have access to. “When we were young, we liked to make selections of music (such as my) favorite music, mom’s favorite (set of songs) and dad’s. (From there, the) thought of (creating) movie selections (came).”
That led, as you and I know, to the conceptualization of I Heart Movies, whose selections reflect audience preferences. The channel gives “movie enthusiasts a new way to celebrate their relationship with cinema from the comfort of their home,” based on the statement given to the media.
“People have different interests,” said the TV executive. “There are those who like English movies, Tagalog movies and Asian movies. (It’s a movie) channel for everybody to enjoy.”
Genre-wise, I Heart Movies offers action, comedy, drama, horror and romance. Title-wise, it also airs all-time favorite Filipino and foreign ones. What viewers will also enjoy is the selection of Tagalized movies.
“As much as possible, we try to maintain a very, very good balance of good movies,” said Joey. “Of course, we’ve just started, we will get feedback from people. We want to listen to viewers (and what they say). We balance it (the mix of movies), we work on it. It’s a work in progress.” Part of the work is to further clarify what time of day, let’s say, the young-at-heart and mothers prefer to watch their classic and drama movies, respectively.
“We do have a lot of materials (that) we have gotten from different studios in the United States,” shared Joey. “We have some materials coming from Warner Brothers, we have Disney, we have Columbia, Paramount and the likes. Some other movies are coming from Hallmark. Aside from that, we also have materials coming from Asian studios like CJ. The mix of the programming also includes materials from Viva, Regal and GMA Films.”
Viewers can explore Timeless Telesine, Takilya Throwback, Block Screening and Pinoy Movie Date as movie blocks. They can sample all this and plan their movie-watching activity.
Timeless Telesine features engaging GMA Telesine stories told in the movie-made-for- television format. Takilya Throwback has local classics from the ‘70s to early 2000s. Block Screening presents hit foreign movies. Pinoy Movie Date showcases widely-followed contemporary Pinoy movies.
According to Joey, there’s a vast array of movies that the world offers he and his team can check on. Viewers can also expect more titles to come their way. Joey would love to add more Asian movies aside from the Korean and Thai films Pinoys have become accustomed to. The I Heart Movies library has enough materials for everyone to enjoy.
“It’s for free,” reiterated Joey about the channel and its content. “We very seldom see foreign movies being dubbed in Filipino. It is more focused on the Filipino audiences.” With that, I Heart Movies provides a “personalized” programming.
(Catch I Heart Movies on Channel 5 in GMA Affordabox and GMA Now. The new channel will also be available on other digital TV boxes. For details, visit www.gmanetwork.com or I Heart Movie’s official social media accounts.)