Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (YTT) has been disqualified from competing in four categories of the 37th Metro Manila Film Festival.
Produced by Regal Films, YTT is a family drama starring a strong cast led by Maricel Soriano and Gabby Concepcion.
Others in the film are respected actors Dennis Trillo, Jericho Rosales, Ronaldo Valdez, and Agot Isidro, increasingly laudable actresses Carla Abellana and Lovi Poe, and attractive newcomers Solenn Heussaff and Paulo Avelino.
YTT no longer has a chance at winning the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and the Gatpuno Antonio Villegas awards when the Gabi ng Parangal takes place tonight, December 28, at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila.
However, the stars and crew of the movie can still compete in the MMFF’s acting and technical categories.
Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Metro Manila Film Fest executive committee, explained why the MMFF execom decided to disqualify Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow from competing in the major awards.
"Ang violation po ay they deviated [from the script].
"Under the rule, kung ano ang approved, hindi na po dapat palitan," he was quoted as saying in an interview with ABS-CBN.
Earlier today, Mother Lily Monteverde of Regal Films was accompanied by the film’s director, Jun Lana, when she appealed to the MMFF Execom to reconsider its decision.
PEP’s Scoopbox reported earlier that Mother Lily’s reaction to this was: "Baka sign na ’yon na hindi na ako mag-join sa film fest!"
In a phone interview with MMFF execom member Ric Camaligan, he said that Regal presented them with a letter saying sorry for the "oversight."
"Regal said it was an ’oversight’ that the changes in the script and storyline were not communicated properly.
"They feel bad, but we, at the Execom, had to fulfill our responsibility and exercise our authority for non-compliance with policies.
"The policy naman is very clear: the script [can be modified] as long as they inform us.
"They formally informed us that the casting was to be changed or revised, but that was all.
"There was no mention about the change of the storyline."
Aside from Yesterday Today Tomorrow, the other entries of the 37th MMFF include Ang Panday 2; Enteng ng Ina Mo; Manila Kingpin: The Untold Story of Asiong Salonga; My Househusband: Ikaw Na!; Segunda Mano; and Shake Rattle & Roll 13.
The annual film festival will run until January 7, 2012.
According to Camaligan, there has been an increase of 9 to 10 percent in box-office figures in this year’s MMFF, compared to ticket sales registered during the first three days of last year’s MMFF.
Here are the official box-office figures earned by the MMFF entries from December 25, 26, 27, 2011:
1) Enteng ng Ina Mo: P91, 892,997.10
2) Panday 2: P51,527,616.00
3) Segunda Mano: P46,931,780.05
4) Shake Rattle & Roll 13: P22,756,512.30
5) My Househusband, Ikaw Na!: P20,839,817.10
6) Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story: P7,957,716.50
7) Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: 4,089,922.50
REGAL ISSUES STATEMENT. This afternoon, Roselle Monteverde-Teo of Regal Films sent PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) their side regarding this issue.
Here is Regal’s official statement (published in full):
"REGAL is shocked, dismayed, and deeply hurt by MMFF’s decision to disqualify its entry: ’Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’ from receiving awards in certain categories. The reason cited by MMFF is an alleged major deviation in the storyline.
"It is quite disturbing that the decision was handed out on the very same day as the awards night. REGAL was not even informed, not until yesterday (27 Dec. 2011), on any complaint by MMFF with regard to the script and the cast despite the fact that MMFF Execom previewed the entry last 18 Dec. 2011. MMFF’s letter dated 26 Dec. 2011 merely alluded to ’certain’ deviation without any indication that this was considered ’major’ under MMFF Rules.
"REGAL wants to make it clear that it committed no violation of the MMFF Rules and Regulations. There was no major deviation in the storyline. While the script was slightly modified, this was done primarily to suit changes in the cast of which MMFF had prior notice as per REGAL’s letter dated 23 November 2011. The genre and essence of the film were never changed. All the necessary elements required by MMFF that will make the final script identifiable with the one originally submitted are intact.
"The Film Festival is supposed to be an opportunity to unify the film industry. This unfortunate event, however, mars such a beautiful endeavour and unduly limits artistic freedom which was exercised to increase the film’s box office appeal, not for REGAL alone but MMFF as well.
"REGAL thanks the public for continuing to support its movies and the others shown in the Festival as well. This statement is being issued not in the expectation to win but simply to correct an unfair decision which serves no purpose but to divide an already vulnerable industry."