“Walang first day-last day na mangyayari this year.”
This refers to the practice of pulling out movies from their theaters on the very day they open, because they perform weakly at the box-office.
This was the major announcement made by Moira Lang, a member of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2016 Executive Committee and Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee.
Lang added that the eight festival entries are guaranteed a showing of two days in Metro Manila theaters.
“Ita-try pa namin na habaan yun,” said Lang at a press forum held at Kamuning Bakery in Quezon City today, December 8.
“Kasi, kapag kumalat na yung good word of mouth, pagpunta ng mga tao na hindi pa nakakapanood, dapat nandun pa rin yung palabas nila [sa sinehan].
“So, yun yung talagang tina-try namin na i-explain din sa mga cinemas—and they’re listening.”
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked why there could be no guarantee of the competing entries being shown during the entire run of the 10-day December festival.
The festival, after all, is mandated by Presidential Proclamation No. 1533-A.
Lang replied, “Mahirap kasi ipilit yun, kasi baka meron ka namang malabag na batas kapag pinilit mo naman yung sinehan na ipalabas maski ayaw nila.
“Pero hinahanapan pa rin natin ng ibang paraan na hindi illegal na ma-convince sila [theater owners] that we have a festival that plays all titles, imbes na meron kang festival na siguro 80 percent of the cinemas play only two or three titles.”
That theater owners agreed to a guaranteed two-day screening was considered a small victory, according to Lang.
She even vowed to give exhibitors, who would pull out a festival entry, “a hard time” doing so.
“Kasi ang nangyayari in the past years, maybe even over the decade, ang talagang naglo-lord over lang sa festival, usually two movies na nagba-blockbuster.
“Siguro may isa pa na hit, tapos yung iba, halos talagang either mahina or nawawalan agad ng sinehan.
“Yun ang talagang tina-try natin gawin—na lahat nung walo nandiyan pa rin sila hanggang sa last day ng festival.”
PEP asked if there is, indeed, no guaranteed 10-day screening for festival entries.
Lang answered, "Walang guaranteed.
"Kaya nga kailangan ng lahat ng tulong ng lahat ng sectors para sana suportahan yung lahat ng walong yun…
“Now, we only have one entry from a big studio, the rest are new and small film companies.
“So, sana hindi mangyari na, after the second day, biglang tatlo na lang yung palabas.”
Moira Lang, member of the MMFF 2016 Execom and Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee
PARTICIPATING THEATERS IN METRO MANILA. Last Tuesday, December 6, the Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP.ph) reported that around 35 theaters per official entry were raffled for this year’s festival.
That’s about 280 theaters in Metro Manila, which has a total of 415 theaters, according to a PEP source.
This year’s number is fewer than last year’s 45 theaters per official entry.
Lang confirmed during the presscon today that about 35 to 37 theaters have been allotted for each competing entry.
“Meron silang finollow na clustering, na halos pare-pareho lang yung cluster, tapos one to eight.
“Bawat producer bubunot, tapos kapag nabunot yung cluster one, yun yung lahat ng sinehan niya sa day one. So, meron siyang 36 theaters.
“Film number two naman ang bubunot, siya naman 37 [theaters ang nakuha]. So, naglalaro lang sa 35 to 37.”
In its December 6 report, PEP also asked how far provincial theaters were willing to go to participate in the Filipino-films-only festival.
PROVINCIAL CIRCUIT. According to Lang, the MMFF 2016 Execom has set the date on Saturday, December 10, for the meeting where provincial theaters will be raffled off.
He elaborated, “Outside Metro Manila, hindi lahat nagpa-participate sa raffle. Ira-raffle namin yun sa Sabado.
“Pero hindi lahat ng provincial cinemas kasama dun, kasi nga yung iba konti lang yung butas.
“So, kung sino lang yung cinemas na maraming butas, sila yung kasali sa pairing ng movie tsaka cinema. But they will be showing MMFF movies.”
Lang confirmed that in the provincial circuit, theaters in Cebu, Davao, and San Fernando in Pampanga agreed to carry MMFF 2016 entries.
Lang, a member of the MMFF Execom and Sales and Playdate Monitoring Committee, told PEP:
“We’re still trying Ilo-ilo kasi malaki din yun, e. Kaya lang, yung pinakamalaki sa Ilo-ilo, walo yung butas.
“So, parang may issue pa dun, kasi gusto pa nila ituloy ipalabas yung ibang titles.
“So, nahirapan sila i-commit yung sa raffle.
“Kasi kapag sumali ka sa raffle, kailangan ipapalabas mo lahat nung walo.”
Lang, however, did not say the number of theaters per official entry that provincial theater owners were willing to commit.
The provincial circuit, according to an industry source, is composed of more than 780 theaters nationwide. And there are said to be more being built, to reach 900 theaters, by 2017.
OTHER LOCAL FILMS TO COINCIDE WITH MMFF 2016 ENTRIES. Meantime, Lang said that there is a possibility that other local titles, like Vice Ganda and Coco Martin’s The Super Parental Guardians, can be exhibited in provincial theaters that are not showing festival entries.
The Super Parental Guardians as well as Vic Sotto’s Enteng Kabisote 10 and The Abangers were two of the aspiring MMFF 2016 entries that did not make it to the Magic 8.
“Yes. Ganun po yung mangyayari nga daw this year, na baka ma-carry over yung ibang local titles.
“Pero dun sa mga sinehan na... ang tawag kasi dun sa industry, butas yung screen, yung maraming butas sa mall, maa-accommodate pa rin yung walo.
“Dun sa halimbawa, apat lang screens nila or less, sa outside Metro Manila, makakapili po yung mga theater manager kung ano yung gusto nilang ipalabas dun…
“Pero sinabi nila, local lang, never daw sila magpapalabas ng foreign.”
At the press forum held at Kamuning Bakery today, MMFF 2016 Execom member and spokesperson Boots Anson-Rodrigo was flanked by Selection Committee Chairman Nicanor Tiongson (left) and Selection Committee member Krip Yuson.