Embattled presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe is not running out of disqualification cases to confront even outside politics.
Poe, a member of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Executive Committee, is one of the people expected to shed light on the group’s decision to disqualify “Honor Thy Father” from the MMFF Best Picture award–the festival’s top prize–at the last minute.
The House Committee on Metro Manila Development will probe the movie’s disqualification on January 11, in a move that stemmed from Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez’s resolution on the issue.
Fernandez starred in “Honor Thy Father,” playing the eldest brother of John Lloyd Cruz, who was also invited to the inquiry in his capacity as the film’s co-executive producer and lead actor.
The MMFF Executive Committee scratched off “Honor Thy Father” from the competition on December 26 or a day before the festival’s Awards Night.
It cited that the movie was already screened for the Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2015 last November 8–a fact that the film’s producers failed to disclose to MMFF organizers.
The movie’s producer, Ronald Stephen Monteverde, however, countered that they have informed the MMFF Executive Committee about its Cinema One Originals Film Festival screening through phone and emails, on top of submitting a sworn statement by Cinema One head Ronald Arguelles attesting that the screening did not generate revenues and was a By Invitation event only.
Aside from Poe, other MMFF Executive Committee members summoned to the probe include: Chairman Emerson Carlos, Christina Caparas, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Marcus Ng, Tito Cruz, Mio Lejano Chiongson, Jesse Ejercito, Dominic Du, Boots Anson-Rodrigo, Wilson Tieng, Rowena Capulong Reyes, Eugenio Villareal, Marichu Maceda, Jag Garcia and Mark Meily.
Representing “Honor Thy Fathe” in the probe are executive producer Dondon Monteverde and director/executive producer Matti.
The MMFF eventually feted romantic comedy ”Walang Forever” by Antoinette Jadaone and Dan Villegas as Best Picture.
“Honor Thy Father” was initially not included in the line-up of MMFF entries released by the MMFF Executive Committee in June 2015 but one of the originally selected movies backed out.
It was offered the vacant slot in October or before it was screened for the Cinema One Originals Film Festival.