Resigned MMFF 3: ‘All excellent films deserve all forms of support’
The three executive committee members who resigned from the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) on Wednesday said in a statement that their decision to leave was due to the festival’s “different direction” this year.
Documentarian Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala quit on June 12; film critic and academician Rolando Tolentino left on June 30 and scriptwriter Ricky Lee followed July 1.
On June 30, the MMFF’s selection committee unveiled half of the lineup, four entries that were chosen based on screenplays.
They explained that their resignation “had little to do with the first four selected…entries”—which topbill stars like Vic Sotto, Vice Ganda, Jennyln Mercado and Coco Martin who have headlined previous festival hits.
As was previously reported, the trio emphasized that “they had expressed their intention to resign long before the announcement on the first four entries was made.”
They pointed out, however, that they had decided to leave the execom because “the MMFF…took a different direction, by putting too much emphasis on commerce over art.”
They hailed last year’s reforms for “[celebrating] the spirit of a film culture that produced many…classics in the early years of the MMFF.”
Last year’s MMFF, they insisted, “showcased a wide variety of quality [films] that went beyond the formulaic. There was a shift from commercial viability to artistic excellence.”
They put some colleagues to task: “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 a quality film is not exclusive to big film studios nor to independent film outfits.”
They asserted: “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 theaters in and outside of Metro Manila.”
They explained that they had precisely joined the execom because they were “excited to maximize the gains of MMFFF 2016.”
The three reiterated their support of last year’s reforms, which allowed independently produced movies into the December festival.
“We stand committed to seek reforms in the Filipino film industry,” they said. “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.”
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