Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairperson Liza Diño called the attention of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Executive Committee to seriously look into the process of selecting the entries for this year's Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked the FDCP chair for her reaction to the current MMFF 2017 controversy during the first day of the Venice Film Festival in Manila held at the Venice Grand Canal Mall in Taguig.
One of the MMFF’s most vocal critics, director Erik Matti, criticized the MMFF Executive Committee for the P660,000 he claims the group pocketed.
The amount is the estimated total of entry fees culled from the twenty-six scripts submitted to the group, twenty-two of which were subsequently rejected.
The entry fee for each script was thirty thousand pesos.
In a series of tweets made on July 4, the director claimed that the MMFF’s system of selecting movies was rigged.
He also declared that there was fraud involved in the selection process.
If the #MMFF2017 selection process was rigged. Then the Execom members, even if they claim ignorance of it, are as guilty as the plotters.— Erik Matti (@ErikMatti) July 4, 2017
ENTREE FEES JUSTIFIED? On July 25, Diño defended the MMFF committee by explaining the value of collecting fees from all the submitted scripts.
She said, “I would have to be fair.
“The Metro Manila Film Festival doesn’t get a single centavo from the amusement taxes that are earned from the festival.
“Zero ang resources nila in terms of funding the marketing, the ongoing meetings.
“Much of the funds were used para mapondohan ang mga nangyayari sa committee level. [The funds] are coming from the submitted scripts.”
SOLVING THE PROBLEM. However, the FDCP chairperson acknowledged the confusion and questions brought about by the MMFF’s standards in selecting movies for exhibition.
She admits, “I think marami talaga na-pose na questions because of the process in which the Metro Manila Film Festival selects its films.
“I think, pinaka-core is that we have to look into the Executive Committee’s vision and see how their vision aligns with the result.”
Diño believes the key to solving the problem is to fix the selection process.
She reiterated that she also understands the sentiments expressed by director Erik Matti.
“Kung maayos talaga yun, siguro di magkakaroon ng ganitong klaseng mga doubts and assumptions.
“I understand Direk Erik. He’s proud of his work.
“I’m sure ganun nararamdaman ng lahat ng nag-submit.
“We’re all for fairness,” she asserts.
Diño publicly called out the committee to focus on the problem.
She urged, “I call the MMFF Execom to really look into this seriously.
“Kasi kelangan ayusin yung proseso.”