Director Erik Matti slams MMFF 2017 selection committee: "Medyo garapal lang."

IMAGE Noel Orsal

Director Erik Matti questions the selection process of MMFF 2017 entries. "To hide behind the vision, which is artistic excellence, to push for cultural chuchu, global appeal, I think it's just… hindi hypocrisy, e. Maliit yung hypocrisy, e. Medyo garapal lang."


Umalma ang direktor na si Erik Matti kung paano napili ng selection committee ang first four official entries sa 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

Paglilinaw niya, "I'm not judging the four films, and I hope you put it out there, kasi marami akong makakaaway na producer.

"I'm not judging the four films that were chosen, but I'm judging how they were selected.

"It's the MMFF that I have a problem with and not the producers."

Nagpahiwatig lamang daw siya ng nalalaman niya tungkol sa selection process.

Sabi ni Direk Erik, "Of course, hindi ko na masabi yung mga insider kong alam.

"Kasi pag nasabi ko yun, malilintikan.

"Pero I know what happened in the selection, diyan nanggagaling yung galit ko."

Ang apat na pelikula, na isinumite ng big- at medium-scale film companies, ay napili sa pamamagitan ng script selection process.

Noong June 30 inanunsiyo ang unang apat na nakapasok sa MMFF 2017 Magic 8: Ang Panday (CCM Creative Productions, Inc.), Almost Is Not Enough (Quantum & MJM Productions), The Revengers (Star Cinema & Viva Films), at Love Traps #FamilyGoals (Octo Arts Films).

Ang criteria sa pagpili ng Magic 8 sa MMFF 2017 ay:

1. Forty percent for artistic excellence (Mainly, quality films)

2. Forty percent for commercial appeal (Mainly, commercial viability plus marketing plan)

3. Ten percent for Filipino cultural and/or historical value (How it reflects Filipino social realities, legends, folklore)

4. Ten percent for global appeal (Can be shown in international film fest)

Saad pa ng direktor, "Wala naman akong problema, like, for example, the four entries, who knows?

"They may be the best scripts they've ever read of all that were submitted, wala lang nakakaalam, di ba?

"Ang problema kasi, it's the same type of films, it's the same kind of movies.

"I have no problem with having a film festival that's for commercial purposes, but change your criteria, change it.

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"Okay, we only want movies that are commercial, that we feel is commercial. Wala na tayong pag-uusapan.

"But to hide behind the vision, which is artistic excellence, to push for cultural chuchu, global appeal, I think it's just….

"Hindi hypocrisy, e. Maliit yung hypocrisy, e. Medyo garapal lang."

Nakausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at iba pang reporters si Direk Erik pagkatapos ng HOOQ Filmmakers' Guild press conference nitong Lunes, July 3, sa B Hotel, Quezon City.

ARTISTA-BASED FILMS? Isa ang pelikula ni Erik Matti sa hindi nakapasok sa first four entries ng MMFF 2017 Magic 8.

Ito ay ang action film na Buy Bust, na pinagbibidahan ni Anne Curtis. Ito ay co-produced ng Viva Films at Reality Entertainment.

Ayon kay Erik, ayaw sana niyang isumite ang pelikula para sa MMFF, subalit na-encourage siya ng producers niya para isali ito.

Paliwanag niya, "We submitted it. I didn't want to submit it.

"But we're working with producers, so they decided.

"After I saw what happened to MMFF 2016, naiba na ang composition.

"This 2017, when I saw that the new composition is different, I thought my movie will have no chance.

"It’s obvious, if you look at the entries that were brought in, it's 30 percent artista, 30 percent producer, 30 percent theme song, 10 percent brightness."

Alam naman daw niyang malaki ang percentage ng commercial appeal para makapasok sa MMFF.

"Sumasali naman ako, dati pa. Ang dami ko nang pelikulang pumasok diyan, walo.

"Pero alam naman namin dati pa na yun lang ang point: sino ang artista, sino producer, anong story.

"Wala nga istorya, e, may istorya pero hindi pinag-uusapan yung kung anong kuwento.

"Tinitingnan lang, Kris Aquino, okay, pasok. Si Bossing, pasok; Vice, pasok.

"Now, say it out right. Straight out. 'Ito lang gusto namin, may pelikula si ganito, ganito.

"'Huwag na kayo mag-submit kung hindi niyo makuha yung mga artistang 'yan.'

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"Then, di ba, hindi nasisira yung industriya?

"Everyone's saying, okay, stop the quibbles kasi nahahati yung industriya.

"Pero hindi naman puwedeng pabayaan mo lang yung nangyayari sa industriya, kasi part naman tayong lahat."

Hindi na rin daw isusumite ni Direk Erik ang Buy Bust bilang finished film.

"Siyempre, may pride naman kang konti!" natatawa niyang sabi.

RESIGNATION. Si Erik din ang unang nagsiwalat ng resignation ng tatlong MMFF Executive Committee members: academe representative Roland Tolentino, renowned film writer Ricky Lee, at broadcast journalist Kara Alikpala.

Gusto raw itong ipaalam ng beteranong direktor sa publiko dahil walang nag-uusap tungkol dito.

Bago pa man mangyari ang resignation ng tatlo, narinig na raw niya ang balitang may aalis sa MMFF Execom.

Pinipigilan lang daw sila ng Film Development Council of the Philippines chairman na si Liza Diño-Seguerra, na kasali rin sa MMFF Execom.

Sabi ni Direk Erik, "I heard that some of them were thinking already because of how difficult it was to be heard.

"Two of them were already thinking of resigning, there have been talks.

"But I think it was Liza lang who keep on saying, 'Let's stay on, let's stay on.'

"And then, nagulat lang ako na siyempre nasa Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, magka-match yung announcement more or less.

"So, we were deliberating ahead of MMFF, and that's where I heard yung hints pa lang naman na baka may issue na mangyayari. And then it happened nga.

"But then, no one was talking about it, so I just posted. I just wanted it to be talked about.

"Ako talaga, kung tatanungin niyo ako ano main problema ko, wala akong problema sa MMFF as a festival, it's how it's ran.

"It's just hard."

SELECTION PROCESS. Dito ay kinuwestiyon ni Direk Erik ang naging selection process ng Magic 8, kung bakit daw kinakailangan pang hatiin sa apat na scripts at apat na finished films ang pagpili.

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Dagdag niya, "Wala ba ni isa sa inyo nagtanong paano ie-explain bakit hinati pa sa apat na script, apat na movies na finished films?

"Kahit sino itanong mo sa loob, hindi nila maeksplika 'yan.

"Kasi it's a way to be able to decide diretso sa gusto nila.

"Yung apat na mapipili sa dulo, kawawa 'yan. Wala na, talong-talo ito ng apat na ito.

"And we all know Metro Manila Film Festival is only ruled by two front-runners each time.

"Anyone else under that, hindi na kikita 'yan.

"The four others, kahit Mike de Leon pa 'yan, Ang Larawan pa 'yan, wala na 'yan.

"Bukas-makalawa, wala na 'yan sa Tuguegarao."

Sa press launch ng MMFF 2017, ipinaliwanag ng MMFF spokesperson at Execom member na si Noel Ferrer ang dahilan kung bakit hinati sa dalawa ang selection process.

Pahayag niya, "For the longest time, naging script submission.

"And we swam to the extreme na hindi nami-meet yung expectation since nagbabago, at iba yung script na binabasa sa napo-produce, tuloy nagsa-suffer sa quality.

"It swam to the other extreme naman na okay naman yung film submission, pero hindi kumabit dun sa target audience.

"Ngayon, ang nangyari, let's see kung paano namin babalansehin.

"Yung script submission pa lang, kasi ang concern ng mga producers, pag nasabi na official entry sa Metro Manila Film Fest, papasok na yung early advertising, tapos yung mga investors.

"Ngayon, bubuhos na yung mga tao na puwedeng sumuporta, mag-advertise ng mga pelikulang pasok na sa script level pa lang.

"Pero by the time ng October, pag na-submit naman yung finished films, pipili ulit ng apat.

"Tapos doon, kung meron sa mga script na hindi pa maka-comply sa requirement...

"Kasi dapat tapos na rin yung mga scripts na yun, na-produce na by October.

"Yung hindi makatapos doon sa apat na scripts na nauna, puwedeng punan, manggagaling yun doon sa finished films na."

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Read: MMFF official denies 4 indies-4 mainstream formula for MMFF 2017 entries

PAST ISSUES. Nagpatutsada rin si Direk Erik sa mga diumano'y anomalya sa pamunuan ng MMFF.

"Imagine this, I think what you guys should be looking into, the same guys who were brought to the congress, who are questionable, who still have commission on audit cases that needs to answer 108 million pesos of unliquidated na kuwan para sa mga beneficiaries nila, are the same ones in here now.

"That's why I'm saying, no one seems to care about questioning them, asking about them.

"Ako lagi, ako yung maliit lang yung pinu-post ko sa Facebook, ako pa yung pinakamaraming naging kaaway, di ba?"

Walang partikular na personalidad na tinukoy ang direktor.

Ngunit matatandaang nasangkot sa MMFF 2015 scandal si Erik at Reality Entertainment co-producer Dondon Monteverde.

Inireklamo nila ang diumano'y maanomalyang diskwalipikasyon ng kanilang MMFF entry na Honor Thy Father sa MMFF Best Picture category.

Read: PEP SPECIAL REPORT. 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival issues in brief

Patuloy ni Erik, "When I decided to go back, I stop doing films way back in 2005, 2004.

"When I came back, I said I promised myself I will do commercial movies, I don't do art-house movies.

"I wanna do commercial movies that's not dumb and that's not stupid.

"Kasi marami naman tayong nae-enjoy na commercial, pero di ka naman parang, 'Ano yun, kinuha lang yung pera ko, tapos wala na?'"


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