Filipino directorJeffrey Jeturian's The Bet Collector (Kubrador), which isset for a North American premiere in Toronto, has become the first film to begiven an A rating this year by the Philippines' Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB).

According to the CEB,the low-budget digital film that revolves around the daily life of an aging betcollector was "beautifully and skillfully directed - perfect mixture of allelements". The CEB has reviewed 15 films this year, of which 12 were given a B.

An A film is entitled to100% rebates on entertainment tax as part of the Film Development Council's (FDC) effort inproviding incentives to local film-makers to make high quality productions. A65% tax rebates is given for a B rating.

Last year, five filmsreceived the A rating, three of which were digital films including Auraeus Solito's acclaimedcoming-of-age gay film The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros.

Kubrador will open on Aug 16 in10 Manila theatres. Also a first for a digital film, the FDC through theInternational Film Festival Committee will foot the bills for the director andlead actress Gina Pareno to attend the Pusan International Film Festival in October.

The film began to drawinternational attention when it won two FIPRESCI prizes last month - in Moscowand Cinefan in New Delhi where it also bagged thebest director and best actress award. In addition to Toronto and Pusan, it has been invited toa dozen festivals such as Vancouver, Hawaii and SaoPaolo.