A controversy surrounding the disqualification of the movie “Honor Thy Father” from the Best Picture category of the recently concluded Metro Manila Film Festival has reached Congress.
And no less than one of the actors appearing in the film sought a congressional inquiry into the government-sponsored event.
Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez on Monday filed a resolution enjoining the House Committee
on Metro Manila Development to investigate why festival organizers yanked out his movie from the competition despite positive reviews by film critics and being screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
In a statement, the MMFF Executive Committee scratched off “Honor Thy Father” in the competition on December 26 or a day before the Festival’s Awards Night by citing that the movie starring award-winning John Lloyd Cruz was already screened for the Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2015 last November 8—a fact that the movie’s producer failed to disclose to the MMFF organizers.
The film’s producer, Ronald Stephen Monteverde, however, countered that they had informed the MMFF Executive Committee about its Cinema One Originals Film Festival screening through phone and emails, on top of Cinema One head Ronald Arguelles submitting a sworn statement attesting that the screening did not generate revenues and was a By Invitation event only.
With “Honor Thy Father” out of the way, the MMFF eventually feted romantic comedy “Walang Forever” by Antoinette Jadaone and Dan Villegas.
But like Monteverde’s movie, “Walang Forever” is not among the Top 3 grossers of the MMFF.
“Honor Thy Father” was initially not included in the line-up of film festival entries released by the MMFF Executive Committee in June 2015, but one of the originally selected movies backed out.
The vacant slot was then offered to “Honor Thy Father” in October or before it was screened for the Cinema One Originals Film Festival.