Nagsalita na ang Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2017 Executive Committee member at spokesman na si Noel Ferrer sa pag-alma ng kapwa niya opisyal na si Rolando Tolentino, sa diumano’y kawalan ng oportunidad para sa independent films sa taunang festival.
Kaugnay ito ng pag-alis sa puwesto ni Tolentino bilang MMFF 2017 Execom member at Rules and Regulations Committee Chairman kahapon, Hulyo 1.
Sa exclusive interview ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), Sabado ng gabi, July 1, sinabi ni Ferrer na naiintindihan niya ang desisyon ni Tolentino.
“Personally, I respect Roland's opinion and reasons for resigning.
“I know that he knew the group's dynamics from the start as he was the Chairman of the Rules Committee that drafted the rules for the separate script and finished film submission.
“We feel for everyone who were not part of the first 4 official entries.”
Gayunman, iginiit ni Ferrer na hindi madaling trabaho ang balanseng pagpili ng film entries na parehong dekalidad at tatangkilikin ng mas maraming manonood.
“But as Ed Lejano and I pointed out, hindi natin dapat isuko ang laban.
“If we feel that excellent films ought to be part of this year's MMFF line up and that indie films were marginalized, then we should fight for them.”
Si Lejano ay kapwa miyembro niya sa MMFF 2017 Execom.
Dugtong ni Ferrer, “It is a tedious, tricky and difficult balancing act as we also have beneficiaries to subsidize.
“But we cannot give up on the MMFF just yet, as it still has the most viable playdate compared to all the other local festivals, thus, it'll always be an arena for struggle.”
Naniniwala raw si Ferrer na hindi solusyon ang pagtalikod sa MMFF.
Aniya, “Even if we quit, the MMFF will still go on anyway.
“If we see its potential in doing something good for the industry as we still do—proof of it is that most of the producers, even indie or mainstream, still have the intention of joining and to put it bluntly, earning from it—then we should continue guarding our gains from the past and change it from within.”
COMPROMISE WITH BIG-FRANCHISE FILMS? Noong nakaraang MMFF 2016, si Ferrer ay tumayong spokesman at representative ni MMFF 2016 Execom member/Quezon City Fifth District Representative Alfred Vargas.
Isa sa matinding isyung kinaharap ng MMFF 2016 Execom ay ang pag-alma ng big-franchise film companies na hindi nakapasok sa eight official film entries o Magic 8.
Ito ay sa kadahilanang karamihan sa Magic 8 ay maituturing na independent films.
Kabilang sa mga pelikulang hindi nakapasok noon ay ang Super Parental Guardians (Star Cinema), Enteng Kabisote 10 and The Abangers (M-Zet Productions, Octo Arts Films, and APT Entertainment), at Mano Po 7: Chinoy (Regal Films).
Sa ginanap na MMFF 2017 press launch noong May 9, pinabulaanan ni Ferrer ang naiulat na “four mainstream-four indie films formula” sa pagpili ng film entries sa 43rd edition ng festival.
Sabi ni Ferrer, “Wala yung four-four. Hindi totoo yung four commercial films at four indie films.
“Kasi binuwag na natin yung dichotomy ng independent at saka mainstream films.”
Sa darating na festival sa Disyembre pasok sa MMFF 2017 Magic 8 ang Ang Panday (CCM Creative Productions, Inc.), Almost Is Not Enough (Quantum and MJM Productions), The Revengers (Star Cinema and Viva Films), at Love Traps #FamilyGoals (Octo Arts Films).
ON RICKY LEE, KARA ALIKPALA'S RESIGNATION. Samantala, nagbigay ng pahayag si Ferrer sa dalawa pang MMFF 2017 Execom members na umalis sa puwesto—ang batikang film writer na si Ricky Lee at broadcast journalist na si Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala.
Paglilinaw ni Ferrer, "Kara resigned earlier on, even before any script deliberation was done.
"They may have their own reason/s for leaving and we respect those.
"Besides, some of Ricky's films too, we were earlier informed, are to submitted as finished films. We have always admired his integrity."
Ang tinutukoy ni Ferrer ay ang pagsunod ni Lee sa festival rule na nagbabawal sa sinumang MMFF Execom member na sumali o magkaroon ng partisipasyon sa mapipiling Magic 8.
Sa huli, umapela ang MMFF 2017 official at spokesman sa lahat ng industry insiders and stakeholders na suportahan ang festival ngayong taon.
"Let us stop the bashing and the harsh words, the name calling and the hate. Can we focus on being more productive and positive and push for more gains for all the stakeholders of the MMFF?