The tendering process for the operation of Cinematheque Passion was fair and transparent, Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) Department Chief for Promoting Cultural and Creative Industries Ho Hong Pan said on Friday.
Ho made the comments during a press conference about the tendering evaluation process for the operation of the cinema, after some commentators and film buffs last week cast doubts on the company that won the bureau’s recent tender.
The bureau opened a tender for the commercial operation of the cinema in 2016 and CUT Limited, a company set up by the Macau Association of Audiovisual CUT for the bidding, won the three-year contract then, and the cinema officially opened its doors in 2017. CUT is headed by well-known local filmmaker Albert Chu Iao Ian – nicknamed by some commenters as the godfather of Macao’s film industry.
As the contract expires this year, the bureau opened a new tender to run the cinema from August 2020 to July 2023.
Four companies that met all the criteria for the bidding process offered an operation service cost ranging from 15.2 million patacas to MOP 34.8 million, according to documents from the bureau, and Companhia de Produção de Entretenimento e Cultura won with the lowest bid. CUT Limited had the highest bid, at MOP 34.6 million. The winner offered to run the cinema for MOP 15.2 million for the three-year period.
According to media reports, CUT won the tender four years ago with MOP 24.95 million.
Ho said that the tender was fair and transparent, pointing out that for the evaluation of the tender, the price accounted for 40 per cent of the total score, the operational plan for the three years and the completeness of its operational plan in the first 12 months accounted for another 40 per cent, the experience of the company and the director of operations accounted for 14 per cent, while the experience of the company’s consultant accounted for the remaining 6 per cent.
Ho said that based on this breakdown, the bureau put more importance on the expected quality of the operation than the price.
According to Ho, Cinematheque Passion will create, in its houses in Travessa da Paixao, additional venues for film showings, exhibitions, entertainment and reading as well as an atelier for visual projects in order to promote local film culture through different aspects.
Ho said that the bureau would continue to supervise and inspect the future operator to ensure that it carries out its duties in accordance with the bureau’s mission, such as by communicating with the bureau about its film choices before their screenings. Ho warned that if the company’s operation service does not meet the bureau’s requirements, there would be penalties.
Meanwhile, local film producer Fish Ho Man U submitted a letter signed by 300 people to the bureau on Friday, saying the local film sector hopes to know more about the winning bidder’s future plans, the direction of development and quality of its service, adding they hope the bureau and the company will make the operation plan public as soon as possible and take the initiative to directly communicate with the sector.