Producer-director Erik Matti has asserted that the changes implemented in Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2016 are for the good of the industry.
He emphasized that these changes “equalize the industry” and “give chances to a lot of people.”
He explained, “Kami, negosyante kami, ayaw namin na hindi kumita, pero aware rin kami na hindi lang kami ang gustong kumita. Marami sa industriya.
“Otherwise, mamamatay ang industriya kung dadalawa lang lagi ang gumagawa ng pelikula.
"Mamamatay talaga ang industriya natin kung yung maliliit na producers hindi mabibigyan ng chance."
On this note, Direk Erik expressed his hope that the people behind the movies that have been excluded from the MMFF 2016 will be good sports.
He said, “Kung hindi ka nakapasok, ang pinaka-generous mong magagawa is to say, 'We didn’t pass, hindi kami nakalusot sa panlasa ng jury.
“'We wish the Metro Manila Film Fest good luck; next year, sasali kami at gagalingan namin.'
"Why can't we say that?"
By way of example, he recalled MMFF 2015 when Reality Entertainment's entry, Honor Thy Father, was initially not chosen as one of the eight official entries.
A few months after the announcement of the Magic 8, the crime drama starring John Lloyd Cruz was tapped to replace Hermano Puli, which was pulled out due to financial problems.
Direk Erik pointed out, “In the same way, hindi rin naman kami natanggap last year, tumahimik lang kami.
“Sinabi lang namin, 'Okay, thank you.'
"We look up to a lot of people in the industry and we expect naman na sana may ganun din.
"Tulungan natin ang mga kasama natin sa industriya… nakakadismaya lang minsan na...
"Di ba, pag hindi ka nakasali, hindi ba ikaw dapat ang nahihiya?
"Pero sa nangyari ngayon, baliktad.
"Ang hindi nakasali, siya pa yung masama ang loob at galit."
He continued, "Mataas ang respeto natin sa isa’t isa and you would want to hear from them na sabihin, ’Okay 'yan… maganda 'yan.
“‘Magpapalabas kami sa ibang araw pero good luck,’ yun yung magandang marinig kasi sama-sama tayo.
"Marami akong gustong mangyari ngayong taon sa MMFF.
“Pero the fact na ganito na karami ang nagbago, okay na muna ako.
"We can't win all the battles, isa-isa na muna.
"Ngayon, maganda yung changes, di ba?"
A CHRISTMAS THRILLER. In the solo presscon of the director yesterday, December 5, at the Reality Entertainment office, he gave his reaction to the notion that the approved films for MMFF 2016 are not suited for family entertainment.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) previously reported the viewpoint of Mother Lily Monteverde of Regal Entertainment.
She had said in a past interview, “I think the Filipino movie industry will fall… Christmas season is for the children, for the family.”
Read: Mother Lily on new MMFF system: "I think the Filipino movie industry will fall."
Direk Erik laughed, "Before, marami rin naman na hindi gusto sa mga choices.
“Pero wala namang sumira talaga, manood na lang tayo this Christmas.
"In the same way na ito, bakit walang pambata?
“Kung nakalagay sa criteria na gumawa ng pambata, gagawa kami ng pambata, pero wala sa criteria na may pambata.
"Iniisip mo naman na sa walo na yun, merong pambata dun.
“Pero yung ginawa namin, hindi pambata.”
But the director also asserted that his independently-produced film Seklusyon is "perfect" for the Christmas season.
The horror film starring Ronnie Alonte and Dominic Roque, among others, is one of the eight official entries of MMFF 2016.
He elaborated, “We joined the Metro Manila Film Festival with the whole idea na gagawa kami ng exciting na pelikula at entertaining.
“The kind of horror that it has is perfect for the Christmas season wherein you're looking for thrills.
“Kung naghahanap ka ng excitement at yung nakakatuwa, yung horror ay kasama na yun sa nakakatuwa."
Is Seklusyon anything like Shake, Rattle and Roll?
"Ito, wala itong monster,” he quickly pointed out.
"Para siyang possession, like Emily Rose, Exorcist,” he said in reference to Hollywood movies about people being possessed by evil entities.
He stressed, “Pero wala kaming na-possess na tao, para siyang Conjuring pero nakakatakot… hindi naman siya gory."