Direk Laurice sees MMFF post chance to serve mainstream & indie cinema
Laurice Guillen, a film industry veteran: ‘This is the very first time that I would be participating in the executive committee of the Metro Manila Film Festival. I look forward to (it) and the mutual cooperation between Metro Manila Film Festival and Cinemalaya.’
Direk Laurice sees MMFF post chance to serve mainstream & indie cinema
Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - August 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Laurice Guillen has made a career feat of serving Cinemalaya, an independent film festival, and Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), a mainstream filmfest, with her latest appointment as a member of the latter’s Executive Committee (Execom). The actor’s director is the president of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival that champions the country’s independent filmmaking movement.

“I’m very proud and happy to be part of (it),” said the director, in a recent media call, who also acknowledged the confidence and trust given to her by Danilo Lim, chairman of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and over-all chairman of MMFF.
“I’m looking forward to learning more about the responsibilities of the Execom as well as the projects that they have,” she added.

Also joining her in the committee is National Commission on Culture and the Arts chair and Cultural Center of the Philippines president Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso. The oath-taking ceremony was done virtually. According to MMFF spokesperson Noel Ferrer, the Execom is a collegial body with 25 members that represent different sectors.
“This is the very first time that I would be participating in the executive committee of Metro Manila Film Festival,” shared Laurice. “I look forward to this and I also look forward to what the chairman mentioned, his interest in a mutual cooperation of the Metro Manila Film Festival with the Cinemalaya Film Festival.”

This sounds interesting to film enthusiasts on how the mainstream and alternative film festivals, as complementary fields, will exchange best practices for the public’s entertainment and education on realities represented in the narratives. As Laurice put it: “I think it will be an exciting future for both of us (MMFF and Cinemalaya).” In this collaboration, audiences win. MMFF is open to the idea of making alliances with other film festivals like Cinemalaya and QCinema International Film Festival.

“First of all, I’m a veteran member of this industry,” replied the auteur when further asked about her appointment. “I owe so much to this industry. Therefore, this invitation is welcome to me. It gives me a chance to be of service to the mainstream (aspect) of the film industry. Cinemalaya is an independent film festival... I will be able to serve the industry in a larger capacity now that I’m a member here as far as it will allow me to participate. I’m really excited to explore partnership with the Metro Manila Film Festival, which will be mutually beneficial to us. Because over the past three years, MMFF has made efforts to bridge the gap between mainstream and independent films and filmmakers. So, that’s a very positive sign… You know alternative films are there to complement (other films out there) and to complete, in fact, the whole view of what the Filipino films are.”

With the pandemic that has changed the ways people used to do things such as movie making and watching films, Laurice said the MMFF must figure out “the methods” it will use in screening its films. “One of those is going online and exploring that. It’s not just online or in the theater. It could be both.” MMFF should also reflect on its identity as a film festival. “From there, we will work out a program,” said she. It can be done through dialogues.

As for having more local film festivals and their contributions (like maintaining the creative energy among stakeholders), Laurice said: “I would encourage it because I see it as an initiative and interest of our young people, the new filmmakers. Let’s say, if you’re a parent and your children are taking initiative, that makes you proud, that makes you happy. They are able to pursue their goals by themselves without your pushing... The more, the merrier, it gives more venues for filmmakers to show their films.”

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