Amid MMFF ‘scandal,’ Erik Matti tells filmgoers: You deserve better

Chuck Smith (Associated Press) - December 27, 2015 - 8:44pm

MANILA, Philippines – Thank you for the free publicity.

Thus said Erik Matti of “Honor Thy Father” after he won the Best Director award at the 41st Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Gabi ng Parangal at the Kia Theater in Quezon City on Sunday.

It can be remembered that “Honor Thy Father” was disqualified from the Best Picture category of the MMFF on Saturday due to its inclusion in the 2015 Cinema One Originals as the film festival’s opening film.

The issue has made a buzz on social media. Netizens tagged the issue as the (hashtag) "MMFF2015scandal" on Twitter and other social networking sites.

READ: ‘Walang Forever’ wins big at 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival awards night

Matti did not attend the MMFF awards night; Shiel Calde of “Honor Thy Father” producer Reality Entertainment accepted the award and gave the acceptance speech in behalf of the director.

Read Matti’s acceptance speech for the Best Director award below:

Kahit kalian po, hindi ako gumawa ng pelikula para magka-award. At kung may mga reklamo man ako sa MMFF, hindi ‘yun tungkol sa pagdisqualify n’yo sa ‘Honor Thy Father’ from the Best Picture category… Mas malalim kaysa d’yan ang disappointment ko sa MMFF—mula sa pagpili n’yo ng sineng isasali hanggang sa pagkunsinti n’yo sa masahol na trato ng mga sinehan sa ibang pelikula, lalo na sa mga maliliit na producers. Para sa isang die-hard movie fan na gaya ko, hindi ko na halos makilala ang film festival na lagi kong hinangaan at nirespeto.

Maraming salamat po sa libreng publicity at, higit lahat, para buksan ang pinto para pagusapan na sa wakas ng filmmakers, lalo na ng filmgoers, ang mga hinangad nilang pagbabago para sa MMFF.

Para naman sa mga Pilipinong hindi pa rin nagsasawang manood ng mga pelikulang ginagawa namin dito, salamat po sa inyo. You deserve better. Kaya tulungan n’yo naman po kami. Demand for better films. Demand for more choices in the cinemas. Kaya pa nating baguhin ito. Hindi ako titigil hangga’t di kayo tumitigil.

His speech also references the yearly problem in the MMFF of cinemas pulling out entries a few days into the festival due to poor performance in the box office.

READDid Father ‘dishonor’ MMFF rules?

Other filmmakers who are part of the 2015 MMFF also expressed their disappointment over the disqualification of “Honor Thy Father” and the decision of cinemas to pull out entries that are not performing well in the box office.

“Panoorin po natin lahat ng pelikulang Pilipino na kasal sa MMFF, especially ang ‘Honor Thy Father.’ Napanood ko po siya, I highly recommend it,” “Walang Forever” director Dan Villegas said during his acceptance speech for his Best Story award (which he won with Antoinette Jadaone).

Joji Alonso of Quantum Films, the producer of “Walang Forever,” said when her movie own Best Picture: “This should be a very joyous moment, but I’m not that happy. I only wish that ‘Honor Thy Father’ was also part of this category, and I mean that with all sincerity.”
 

ACIRC ANTOINETTE JADAONE BEST DIRECTOR BEST PICTURE BEST STORY CINEMA ONE ORIGINALS FATHER HONOR THY FATHER METRO MANILA FILM FESTIVAL MMFF WALANG FOREVER
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