By MELL T. NAVARRO
ILANG araw nang pinagpipiyestahan sa social media at apat na sulok ng showbiz ang kontrobersiyal na pagre-resign ng tatlong members ng Executive Committee (Execom) ng Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 na sina Ricky Lee, Rolando Tolentino, at Kara Magsanoc Alikpala.
Si Lee ay ay isang batikang novelist at sinasabing “most awarded screenwriter of Philippine Cinema,” si Tolentino ay isang respetadong film critic at academician, at si Alikpala ay isang documentarist.
Sa kanilang “joint statement” na ipinost sa social media dated July 4, ibinahagi ng tatlo ang kanilang pagsali bilang MMFF 2017 Execom sa hangaring kung ano ang magandang nasimulan last year (2016) na “reelvolution” ay ituloy ngayong taon, base sa criteria for judging, selection of finalists, etc.
Ayon sa kanilang tatlo, bago pa man din nai-anunsiyo ang first four films (based sa script submissions) ay nagpahayag na sila ng kanilang pagre-resign, kung kaya’t wala umanong direktang kinalaman ang apat na pelikulang napili sa kanilang desisyon.
Anila, hindi sila sang-ayon sa ilang MMFF 2017 Execom members na nagsabing ang malalaking film outfits lamang ang makakapag-produce ng blockbuster movies.
Bandang huli ng statement, patuloy na umaasa at nangangarap raw silang tatlo na balang araw ay mangyayari rin ang “reforms” o pagbabago sa Philippine movie industry, at naniniwala silang “MMFF can once more be a celebration of the finest of Filipino artistry” dahil aniya, ang Pinoy audience ay deserving na makamit ito.
Narito ang kanilang joint statement, in full:
“We accepted the invitation to be members of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2017 Executive Committee (ExeCom) because we were excited to maximize the gains of the MMFF 2016.
“Last year’s festival showcased a wide variety of quality cinema that went beyond the formulaic. There was a shift of emphasis from commercial viability to artistic excellence.
“It also celebrated the spirit of a film culture that produced many cult classics in the early years of the MMFF.
“After several meetings and deliberations, we resigned because the MMFF 2017 ExeCom took a different direction, by putting too much emphasis on commerce over art.
“Our resignation had little to do with the first four selected MMFF 2017 entries. We had expressed our intention to resign long before the announcement of the first four entries was made.
“Some quarters in the ExeCom insist that only big film studios can produce a blockbuster. We believe that producing a box office hit and creating quality film is not exclusive to big film studios nor to independent film outfits. All excellent Filipino films deserve all forms of support. This support includes movies being screened for the entire duration of the festival with maximum exposure in as many theatres in and outside Metro Manila.
“We stand committed to seek reforms in the Filipino film industry. We remain steadfast believing in a Metro Manila Film Festival that can once more be a celebration of the finest of Filipino artistry.
“The Filipino audience deserves no less.”
Ang apat na unang napili ng MMFF 2017 bilang official finalists ay ang “Ang Panday”, bida si Coco Martin (na siya rin ang direktor), “Love Traps #Family Goals”, nina Vic Sotto at Dawn Zulueta, directed by Tony Y. Reyes.
Pasok rin ang “The Revengers”, nina Vice Ganda, Daniel Padilla, at Pia Wurtzbach, directed by Joyce Bernal; at ang “Almost Is Not Enough” nina Jericho Rosales and Jennylyn Mercado, directed by Dan Villegas.
Ayon sa MMFF ExeCom Chairman na si Tim Orbos, ang selection ay base on apat na criteria: 40% artistic excellence, 40% commercial appeal, 10% promotion of Filipino cultural and historical values, and 10% global appeal.
Sinabi naman ni Direk Erik Matti na wala siyang problema sa apat na pelikulang napili, ngunit ang kanyang hayagang “binira” at kinuwestiyon sa kanyang social media accounts ay ang proseso ng pagpili ng MMFF.
Ang last four films na pipiliin sa 2017 MMFF (based na sa natapos na gawing pelikula) ay iaanunsiyo sa November.
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