Directors speak up about picture-lock submissions to MMFF 2016

Text: Jocelyn Dimaculangan Interview: Doods L. Maglaqui
Nov 17, 2016
The movies Super Parental Guardians and Seklusyon were submitted as picture lock versions to MMFF 2016. Super Parental Guardians is topbilled by Vice Ganda, Coco Martin and Simon Pineda (left frame) while Seklusyon stars Ronnie Alonte (right frame), among others.

At least two movies have been submitted as picture-lock versions for the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival.

The two movies are Star Cinema's Super Parental Guardians and Reality Entertainment's Seklusyon. (Philippine Entertainment Portal) interviewed the directors of the two films.

Super Parental Guardians director Joyce Bernal spoke to PEP at the Cinema One Originals opening last November 13 while Seklusyon director Erik Matti revealed this during the November 8 launch of his new show, OTJ: The Series. 

Both directors said that 2016 is a transition year for MMFF because of big changes in the rules for submission possible entries for the annual film festival.

Direk Joyce asked that the MMFF Execom be more lenient ("mas maluwag"), while Direk Erik asked for "a bit more leeway." 

They were alluding to the Execom's new rule requiring finished films to be submitted to the 42nd MMFF, instead of film scripts, which were required in previous years.

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The MMFF Execom publicly announced last October 26 that it would be accepting submissions in the picture-lock stage.

Here is the announcement of the MMFF Execom made via its Facebook account:

"Please be informed that the MMFF will accept entries for full-length films that are finished up to Picture Lock stage until November 2, 2016 (next working day after October 31)."

WHAT IS A PICTURE-LOCK VERSION? To better understand this issue, let us first define what a picture-lock version is.

According to the official statement of the MMFF Execom, the definition of picture lock is:

"For the information of the public, 'picture lock' is defined as a stage in film editing prior to online editing when all changes to the film cut have been done and approved. It is then sent to subsequent stages in the process, such as online editing and audio mixing." 

(Read: MMFF Execom addresses concerns about picture lock versions of submissions)

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Meanwhile, a website of the American Society of Media Photographers indicates that a picture lock version means there will be "no more changes to the shot selection or the duration of the shots will be made. This version is done, but may lack some polish."

The MMFF Execom indicated that the 8 official entries will still be given the chance to improve their movies before they are screened from December 25 to January 8, 2017.

Here is the official announcement of regarding this matter:

"The producers of the chosen eight (8) finalists will be allowed to make enhancements, i.e sound design, score, grading, and VFX, to their films. However, any revision to a film's edit after it has been selected will result in the disqualification from the festival."

PICTURE LOCK FOR SUPER PARENTAL GUARDIANS. Direk Joyce helmed Super Parental Guardians, which is topbilled by Vice Ganda and Coco Martin.

The director told PEP, "Natapos namin ang pelikula, picture lock.

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"Hindi pa ayos. Wala pang music masyado. Hindi pa makinis. Picture lock lang siya."

What is her reaction to those questioning the MMFF Execom's belated decision to allow the submission of films in their picture-lock versions?

"Medyo pag creative kasi, sa akin lang, [dapat] medyo maluwag siya," said Direk Joyce. 

"Siyempre, given na nabago ang criteria, ang sistema, sana mas maluwag lang siya.

"Later on, after this, baka pwede nang maging mahigpit.

"Ngayon, dahil in transition, sana yun lang."

Direk Joyce added, "Even sa lahat ng festivals abroad, pag may mga ganyan, hindi sila ganun kahigpit."

Currently, there are industry players saying that finished films should have an advantage over films in the picture-lock stage.

One of them is director GB Sampedro. He helmed Mang Kepweng Returns, which is vying to get included as an official entry this year.

Direk GB revealed in an interview on GMA-7's 24 Oras, "I'm happy and proud kasi kami natapos kami bago mag November 2. Sana naman may edge yung mga nag-submit na sumunod sa rules."

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When Direk Joyce was asked if she agreed, she answered:

"Hindi naman sila mawawala dun kasi may criteria naman.

"There's a percentage for content. There's a percentage for technical aspects ng pelikula, so malamang sa technical, malamang hindi kami ma-ano dun.

"Baka naman sa ibang parts, okay kami.

"Kung may criteria silang sinusundan, hindi sila mawawala."

PICTURE LOCK FOR SEKLUSYON. Direk Erik Matti helmed Seklusyon, which stars Hashtag member Ronnie Alonte, Dominic Roque, Neil Ryan Sese, and Lou Veloso. This film is produced by Reality Entertainment.  

Direk Erik told PEP contributor Doods Maglaqui, “Yes, we submitted it in the Metro Manila Film Fest. We don’t know yet if they're gonna like it. But given the new Metro Manila Film Fest and the new rules that came out of it, we’re hoping that we have a good chance.”

The director added that their picture-lock version already had sound and music, but there were still enhancements to be made.

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“Almost complete na, konting changes na lang.”

Asked for his reaction to the MMFF decision to accept picture-lock versions, Direk Erik said:

“Malaking bagay na natanggal yung finished script, at finished film na yung deadline. But we should be open also... to a bit more leeway kasi gulat din ang ilang producer.”

By tomorrow, November 18, MMFF 2016 will announce the eight official entries to the annual film festival held in December.

(Read: PEP SCOOP: One movie disqualified from MMFF 2016)

(Read: Film-industry insiders surprised by "compromises" of MMFF 2016 Execom)

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The movies Super Parental Guardians and Seklusyon were submitted as picture lock versions to MMFF 2016. Super Parental Guardians is topbilled by Vice Ganda, Coco Martin and Simon Pineda (left frame) while Seklusyon stars Ronnie Alonte (right frame), among others.
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