House probe to cover P1-B MMFF proceeds

Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - January 7, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The investigation by the House of Representatives into the recent Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) will cover the disposition of the proceeds from the film exhibition.

“Our inquiry will include the use of the film fest receipts that have amounted to P1 billion, based on news reports. We want to know if the money is going to the intended beneficiaries – the movie industry workers,” Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo told a news forum in Quezon City yesterday.

Castelo heads the committee on Metro Manila development, which will begin its investigation into the controversies that hounded the film exhibition.

A resolution filed by Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez, a former movie actor, prompted the inquiry.

Castelo said many local government units in Metro Manila are waiving the amusement tax for motion pictures being shown in their areas during the festival so that MMFF organizers could earn as much money as they could for industry workers.

“We will demand a detailed accounting of all receipts last December and in previous years,” he said.

He said the inquiry would delve into irregularities in the conduct of the film fest.

Castelo revealed that he received information that there is favoritism in the selection of movie productions that are shown in theaters during the film exhibition.

“We want to know who compose the board of judges, the vetting process for them, their qualifications, and what standards they apply in choosing the film productions that qualify for the MMFF,” he said.

He said the act of qualifying entries and the eventual winning films is critical, since this brings in big box office profits for the producers.

He said he also wants to know why the production Honor Thy Father was disqualified for the best picture category and why a film starring Cesar Montano was shown for only a day and then taken out and replaced by another production.

“Why was the Cesar Montano starrer withdrawn? What it because it was a quality production that did not attract patrons? If that were the case, then the purpose of the film festival of promoting quality films is defeated,” he stressed.

He added that he thought that the Montano film was better than one movie that continued to be exhibited during the MMFF because the latter was drawing crowds.

“If the number of patrons is our standard, then the MMFF is focusing on the commercial value and not on the quality of movie productions,” Castelo stressed.

 

ACIRC CASTELO CESAR MONTANO DAN FERNANDEZ FILM HONOR THY FATHER HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LAGUNA REP METRO MANILA METRO MANILA FILM FESTIVAL QUEZON CITY
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