National Artists’ work not good enough for MMFF?

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RICKY CALDERON

We heard from a source that the producer of “Ang Larawan, The Musical” was allegedly told to submit the script of the film as an entry to the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival because it would surely be accepted.

Imagine their disappointment when the project lost to “commercially viable” ones. The producers have yet to decide if they will submit the movie as finished product in the second round, which requires completed films for turnover.

Our source added that a number of film entries accepted by the MMFF had their own representatives or backers in the screening committee but declined to name them.

Twenty-six scripts were submitted to the committee but only those starring Vice Ganda, Vic Sotto, Coco Martin and Jennylyn Mercado and Jericho Rosales were chosen as finalists.


The question begs to be asked: Was the script of Ang Larawan, the work of National Artists Nick Joaquin and Rolando Tinio not at par with those of the four movies chosen?

A puzzlement indeed.

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Metro Manila Film Festival 2016 (MMFF) Best Director Erik Matti (for “Seklusyon”) is no longer interested to enter “Buy Bust” in the second selection of finalists for this year’s festival.

The first four were announced in June 30 based on scripts, while the last half will be based on completed movies. Buy Bust did not make the cut the first time.

“No, we’re not sending it anymore. Siyempre, may konting pride naman kami,” he said.

Matti said he was reluctant to participate in the festival this year in the first place but it was his producers who fielded the script as an entry. The movie casts Anne Curtis in the lead role.

The award-winning filmmaker expressed his frustration over the selection process on social media and echoed his sentiments in an interview at the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild press conference this week.

“It is obvious [that]if you look at the movies brought in, it is 30-percent artista, 30-percent producer, 30-percent theme song, 10-percent brightness,” he said.

He clarified he has nothing against commercial films per se.

“I have no problem having a festival that’s for commercial purposes. But change your criteria. Change it into ‘OK, we only want movies that are commercial—that what we feel is commercial. Wala na tayong dapat pag-usapan. But to hide behind the vision which is artistic excellence, to push for cultural, global appeal, I think it’s just hypocrisy. Hindi maliit ‘yun, eh. Medyo garapal lang,” he lamented.

He also said that he has nothing against the four films selected and it is actually the MMFF screening selection process that enrages him.

“I know what happened in the selection. That is where my anger is coming from. I am not judging the four films that were chosen, but I am judging how those were selected,” he ranted.

Matti represents the Philippines as one of the members of the panel of judges for HOOQ Filmmakers Guild, a project that seeks to fund and develop TV series concepts from Southeast Asian filmmakers into actual TV shows that can be shown through the on-demand viewing platform.

He is very enthusiastic about the project and sees it as an opportunity to discover new ideas and cutting-edge entertainment.

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