Erik Matti wins big in Macau for Mamasapano film
Macau—In the middle of the world premiere of his latest film, “Seklusyon,” at the Galaxy Cinemas last Sunday, filmmaker Erik Matti had to take a French leave and rushed to another event at the Science Center of Macau.
Accompanied by producer Dondon Monteverde, Matti attended the closing ceremony of the first Crouching Tigers Project Lab, where they presented their coming film, “Pintakasi.”
It turned out Matti and Monteverde were big winners at the pitching forum, organized by producer Todd Brown of XYZ Films and the website Screen Anarchy (formerly Twitch).
“Pintakasi” won the Crouching Tigers Award for best pitch in the Macau forum. Matti and Monteverde have been developing “Pintakasi” for over a year and a half now.
The Crouching Tigers Project Lab was held in conjunction with the inaugural International Film Festival and Awards Macau, where “Seklusyon” was featured in the Hidden Dragons section.
The horror drama “Seklusyon” is one of eight entries in this month’s Metro Manila Film Festival, which opens Christmas Day.
“The organizers insisted that we should be present at the closing ceremony of the Project Lab. We had no idea that we had won the top prize then,” Matti told the Inquirer.
The Crouching Tigers award comes with a cash prize of $10,000, a major boost in producing “Pintakasi,” which is based on the Mamasapano tragedy.
In January 2015, 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force were killed in a clash with rebels while pursuing Malaysian terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
“We based it on real stories,” Matti related. “Like in our previous film, ‘On the Job,’ we gathered different true stories on the incident, as told from the points of view of one to three characters: There’s the Filipino angle, the FBI angle and the Malaysian angle.”
That is why Matti plans to link up with foreign actors and producers in making this film. There is even talk that the project may require a Hollywood actor, because “Pintakasi” tackles the possibility of American involvement in local affairs.
“That was the whole point of the pitching forum,” he noted. “Parang East meets West.”
At the forum, Matti and Monteverde met with several producers, financiers and other potential investors who can help bring the proposed project to the big screen.
Matti is eyeing mainstream stars Piolo Pascual and Dingdong Dantes to headline the project he is developing for his outfit, Reality Entertainment.
“There is a lot of interest in ‘Pintakasi’ among the participants in the pitching forum,” he reported.
The most common question among the foreign delegates concerned the multilayered narrative. “They said that the story seemed complicated. They wanted to know how we were planning to bring everything together.”
Matti explained that he was aware of the enormity of the task at hand. “We are conscious of this… the movies we make are often complicated, in terms of plot. We hope we can pull it off.”