After the critically acclaimed film “On the Job” lost to “The Transit” as the Philippines’ Oscar bid for Best Foreign Language Film, Director Erik Matti admitted politics and the pork barrel scam could be behind this loss.
“Several senators and congressmen wrote them (the Film Academy) not to choose “On the Job”, Matti told Balitang America Hollywood Correspondent Yong Chavez. “‘Transit’ was the safe choice for everyone in the midst of the Napoles issue.”
Matti said “On the Job” and Director Brillante Mendoza’ s”Thy Womb” were the early contenders to the competitive race. Having earned strong reception at international festivals, Matti said the two films could have given the Philippines a better chance for an official nomination.
“I have nothing against “Transit” and “Transit is a really good film,” Matti clarified. “But we were just looking forward to [be selected], and it’s not necessarily “On the Job”, it could be “Thy Womb”.We felt for the first time we could compete [in the Oscars].
Despite losing his Oscar bid, Matti said he is happy the good reviews and public reception to his film. He is in the United States recently to promote his movie, which will start playing in the U.S. starting September 27.
Matti also disclosed that Hollywood executives are also interested in doing a Hollywood version of “On the Job”.
“On the Job” is a gritty crime thriller that delves deep into the inner-workings of the ingenious hitmen, honest cops, ambitious federal agents, and shady government officials.
The film is top billed by Piolo Pascual, Gerard Anderson, Joey Marquez, Angel Aquino, Joel Torre, Shaina Magdayao, Empress, Leo Martinez, Michael de Mesa, Vivian Velez, and Rayver Cruz. It is produced by Reality Entertainment and Star Cinema, and presented by Well Go USA Entertainment.