So much has been said about box-office success vs award-winning films in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). Is it rare for entries to have the best of both worlds?
The audience is drawn to movies that it thinks it deserves. Or does it know any better?
I asked some of the MMFF power players their sentiments about the annual Pinoy Christmas film extravaganza. Amid all the controversy, may they all learn to coexist.
Après tout, the MMFF serves as a yearend adrenaline shot to resuscitate the movie industry. Hopefully, it won’t eventually turn into a “filmPEST.”
Nora Aunor (Actress, “Thy Womb”): Kahit limang tao na lang ang manonood ng pelikula ko, ’di pa rin ako titigil gumawa ng makabuluhang pelikula.
Brillante Mendoza (Director, “Thy Womb”): I would like to share an analogy between the MMFF and a feast. You invite the guests to partake of food at the table. There are certain foods that the guests would want to taste first, and there are those that they want to save for last. You do not take away the food until the guests have left.
This year’s MMFF showed who are the stakeholders involved in the film industry. It also showed us who are responsible for the rotten system plaguing the industry. Let the festival be an opportunity for the movie-going public to feast on the best. Let them choose and enjoy the best of the feast.
Wenn Deramas (Director, “Sisterakas”): Well, ayoko na sanang humalo pa sa gulo ng mga panggulo, hahaha, pero basically, ang MMFF ay festival na ginagawa kapag Pasko, ergo, nasa festive mood ang mga tao para magsaya at tumawa, hindi para turuan o makisimpatya, kung yun ang objective ng iba sa paggawa ng pelikula. Meron din ako (objective) at nagkataong alam ko kung papaano ko patatawanin ang tao.
Sa eight entries ng MMFF, na halos lahat ay pang-pamilya, hindi ba dapat alam na ng mga sumasali kung ano ang kanilang dapat na sinasalihan? Ang “Sisterakas” ba ang wala sa tono o sila? Kung makatawag ng “basura” sa pelikula namin, para namang hindi pinaghihirapan yung trabaho namin. Ang alam ko sa “basura” ay mabaho, iniiwasan, hindi pinupuntahan at nilalalangaw! Ganun ba ang ginawa ng tao sa pelikulang “Sisterakas”?
Ang pelikula ay form of entertainment. P180 na ang ticket sa sine, kakain ka pa sa labas, ibig sabihin, ibalik natin sa tao na mapasaya natin sila kahit isang oras at kalahati lamang.
Roselle Monteverde (Producer, “Shake Rattle and Roll XIV”): For the next film festival, I suggest lesser entries, like six entries, one entry per genre, to give the producers equal sharing in cinemas including the provinces. Let’s put back one entry per film outfit to give chances for other producers to join. We self-impose this in Regal to give way to other producers. Actors are only allowed to be cast in one entry, be it lead or supporting roles.
The MMFF should not penalize film outfits for the shortcomings of actors in attending its promotional activities. Certain things are beyond the producer’s control, especially if the promotional activity was not scheduled at least two months in advance.
The MMFF should work harmoniously with producers because we invest so much time, money and effort in movies shown during the festival.