Naglabas na ng pahayag ang Reality Entertainment, co-producer ng pelikulang Honor Thy Father, kaugnay ng desisyong idiskwalipika ito sa Best Picture category, isang araw bago ang Gabi ng Parangal ng 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
Nitong Sabado, December 26, ay nakatanggap ng sulat ang Reality Entertainment mula sa Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), ang ahensiya ng gobyerno na nangangasiwa ng MMFF, na nagsasaad na hindi kasali ang Honor Thy Father sa pinakamataas na parangal.
Ang rason, base sa pirmadong sulat ni MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos, hindi raw ipinaalam ng mga taga-produksiyon ng Honor Thy Father na naging opening film ito sa Cinema One Originals Film Festival nitong nakaraang Nobyembre.
Ikinagalit ng maraming netizens ang naturang desisyon ng MMFF ExCom sa pagbalewala sa Honor Thy Father, na itinuturing nilang isa sa dekalidad na entry sa MMFF ngayong taon.
Naging trending topic din sa Twitter ang hashtag na #DemandForHonorThyFather.
REFUTING NON-DISCLOSURE CLAIM. Sa statement ni Dondon Monteverde ng Reality Entertainment, mariin nitong pinalagan ang akusasyon ng MMFF ExCom na hindi nila ipinaalam sa pamunuan ng MMDA ang mga naging aktibidades ng Honor Thy Father.
Unang punto niya, nitong Oktubre lang daw naging opisyal ang pagkasali nila sa MMFF nang umatras ang Hermano Puli ni Direk Gil Portes.
Pahayag ni Dondon, “When Reality Entertainment partnered with John Lloyd Cruz in producing Honor Thy Father, we agreed to make a movie that would capture a small portion of the struggle of the Filipino as he tried to transcend the back-breaking realities and limitations of his life.
“We wanted to tell the story of Edgar, a Filipino who finally fights back. After putting up with so much oppression, he confronts the people that have made his life hell, people motivated by greed for money and lust for power.
“Little did I know then that this same narrative would find its way to the movie’s own history.
“Today I received a letter from the Metro Manila Film Festival informing me that their Executive Committee had disqualified our movie from the Best Picture Category of the 2015 MMFF Awards. The reason for this, the letter said, was our 'non-disclosure' of our participation in the Cinema One Originals Film Festival as the Opening Film.
“Let me refute this allegation of non-disclosure. If you will recall, Honor Thy Father was a late addition to the MMFF 2015 lineup. It had been rejected by their selection committee when the lineup was announced in June.
“On October 23 our film was officially offered a slot after an entry pulled out. By then we had already accepted Cinema One’s invitation to screen as Opening Film. We informed the MMFF Secretariat, both by email and by phone, about this.
"We complied with their request for a letter from Cinema One head Ronald Arguelles attesting that the screening was non-revenue generating and by invitation only. We have all of this on record.”
Kalakip ng statement na ito na inihayag ni Monteverde sa Honor Thy Father official Facebook fanpage ang mga sulat nila sa MMFF ExCom, na may mga petsang November 4, 5, at 6.
WRONG TIMING? Paliwanag pa ng Reality Entertainment, bakit hindi man lang daw sila binigyan ng ‘due process’ bago ilabas ang naturang desisyon.
Kinuwestiyon din nila ang timing ng diskwalipikasyon gayong bukas na ang awards night.
Litanya niya, “Secondly, each MMFF entry is allowed a maximum of two premieres. Our Cinema One screening would be our premiere.
“Let me repeat: we complied with all the MMFF’s requirements; we did not commit any non-disclosure of any kind; no MMFF rule was ever violated by Honor Thy Father."
Pagpapatuloy niya, “I am questioning the reasons, the timing, and the means employed in enforcing this decision by the MMFF Executive Committee. Where is due process in all of this?
"We were merely informed of their decision, not given any opportunity to air our side. They sent the letter today.
“The awarding ceremony is tomorrow. Are they merely being good scouts and sticklers for the rules, even when no rule was broken? Or is there some other reason?
"Why disqualify the movie only from the Best Picture category and not all categories? Whose interests are being protected by this last-minute decision?”
“WE DEMAND AN INVESTIGATION.” Sa huli, nais ni Monteverde, kasama ang direktor ng pelikula na si Erik Matti at co-producer at bida rin ng pelikula na si John Lloyd Cruz, ng kasagutan sa tila pang-aaping sinapit nila.
Nais din nilang magkaroon ng imbestigasyon tungkol sa dinanas nilang pagkapahiya.
“Together with my director Erik Matti, co-executive producer and actor John Lloyd Cruz, and everyone behind Honor Thy Father, I demand answers. We demand an investigation.
“But if no one would care or bother to investigate, then we simply wish that the moviegoers, the Filipino people would start to question and be more critical of what, year in and year out, is passed off to them as good and true.
“They can have their Best Picture and all the other awards. We just want to keep making movies that people will care about, MMFF or no MMFF.
“Today is a sad day for the industry I was born into and love dearly. But it doesn’t have to stay this way. “Let’s do something about it. Let’s end the silence.”