Atom Araullo-starrer Citizen Jake not submitted to MMFF; director describes selection process as "anomalous"

by Kaye Guerrero
Oct 31, 2017
Citizen Jake director Mike De Leon (left) accuses MMFF of "corruption." Atom Araullo (right) top-bills this drama film about a journalist.

Esteemed film director Mike De Leon chose not to submit his film Citizen Jake for consideration to the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival.

De Leon described the MMFF as having an "anomalous selection process," which is why he said he did not consider joining the lucrative annual film festival.

The film Citizen Jake marks the acting debut of ABS-CBN-turned-GMA-7 broadcast journalist Atom Araullo.

The reclusive filmmaker issued a statement regarding his decision earlier today, October 31, through the official Facebook page of his movie.

De Leon wrote (published as is): "I can categorically state that CITIZEN JAKE is not joining, better still, not even considering joining the Metro Manila Film Festival in 2017.

"Ever since the anomalous selection process that occurred months ago that resulted in 4 films being selected based on scripts, I realized that any reforms well-intentioned filmmakers may clamor for are only doomed to failure."

He said outright that "corruption" has tainted the annual Christmas season film festival.

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De Leon continued, “It was recently intimated to me from a reliable source that should I wish to join, ‘sigurado na ako’ or words to that effect.

"Corruption has returned in full force to this festival that purports to make children happy during the holiday season, a euphemism for profit and greed."

In the end, the director best known for classic Filipino films such as Kisapmata and Batch '81, asked the public to support his upcoming movie.

"My film may be fiction but it is based on truths we ignore at our own risk.

"It should be seen by its audience in its original version, without cuts and without compromise.

"The film is not perfect, far from it, but it is a good, honest film that is seeking an audience that I am convinced is out there."

The drama Citizen Jake also stars Cherie Gil, Dina Bonnevie, Gabby Eigenmann, Luis Alandy, Max Collins, Teroy Guzman, and Nonie Buencamino.

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This project is the comeback film of De Leon after 17 years. The last film he directed was the critically acclaimed Bayaning Third World in 1999.

Today, Direk Mike asks the public, "May you allow me to ask for your support?"

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Citizen Jake director Mike De Leon (left) accuses MMFF of "corruption." Atom Araullo (right) top-bills this drama film about a journalist.
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