3 top Metro Manila Film Festival members resign

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Three members of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Executive Committee (ExeCom) have resigned over the announcement of the first four official entries to the festival.

According to directors Erik Matti (who won eight awards for “Seklusyon,” MMFF 2016) and Babyruth Villarama (who won four awards for “Sunday Beauty Queen,” MMFF 2016), Rolando Tolentino, Ricky Lee and Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala have resigned from the ExeCom.

Villarama posted on Facebook: “Bravo to Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, Rolando Tolentino and Ricky Lee for having the balls to stand against a self-destructing system.”

“Ang Panday” (Director, Rodel Nacianceno; Lead Actor, Coco Martin), “Almost Is Not Enough” (Director, Dan Villegas; Lead Actors, Jennylyn Mercado and Jericho Rosales), “The Revengers” (Director, Joyce A. Bernal; Lead Actors, Vice Ganda, Daniel Padilla and Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach) and “Love Traps #Family Goals” (Director, Antonio Y. Reyes; Lead Actors, Vic Sotto and Dawn Zulueta) are the first four official entries announced last Friday.


Tolentino, Lee and Magsanoc-Alikpala have not yet explained why they left.

Tolentino tweeted: “Paano umibig? Paano makatulog? ‘Wag antayin dahil kusang darating pag hinog ang oras at katawan. ‘Pag ‘di makatulog, tulad sa pag-ibig, mag-antay pero ‘wag antayin ang pagsikat ng araw. ‘May pag-ibig na parang 2017 MMFF script choices: some old habits are hard to break.”

He said the MMFF script selections showed the real conflict between commerce and quality.

According to Tolentino, the selections proved that there is no interest in erasing the distinction between mainstream and indie or independent films.

In 2016, MMFF surprised the festival audience announcing the official entries–no big films, no big stars.

MMFF Executive Committee Chairman Tim Orbos said, “Basically we respect their decision to resign despite the fact that the selection process is not yet over.”

“Our selection committee had a difficult time choosing given the quality of films. We have to thank them for their exhaustive and thorough deliberations,” Orbos added.

Four more slots as official entries will be selected from all the submitted finished films to complete the eight official entries to the 2017 MMFF.

The choices will be announced on November 17.

According to the MMFF, the film entries this year were evaluated based on the following criteria: 40 percent artistic excellence; 40 percent commercial appeal; 10 percent promotion of Filipino cultural and historical values; and 10 percent global appeal.

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