Erik Matti shouts frustration over MMFF criteria and selection process

Image by Instagram, MMFF, Wikipedia

Renowned filmmaker Erik Matti has called on the organizers of the MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival) to change their criteria in choosing which movies will make the cut for the annual festival.

He said on his Facebook post on Monday: “Kung sinabi na lang nila mula sa simula pa na ang criteria sa pagsali sa #MMFF2017 ay 30% artista 30% producer 30% kwela at 10% brightness, e di wala na sanang problema. Nagtago pa kasi sa global appeal at artistic excellence e.”

Kung sinabi na lang nila mula sa simula pa na ang criteria sa pagsali sa #MMFF2017 ay 30% artista 30% producer 30% kwela…

Posted by Erik Matti on Monday, July 3, 2017

He also said in an interview with reporters on Monday: “[Just say], ‘We only want movies that are commercial, that we feel is commercial.’ Wala na tayong pag-uusapan. But to hide behind the vision which is artistic excellence, to push for cultural chu chu, global appeal, medyo garapal lang.”

MMFF executive committee chairman Tim Orbos said last week that the film entries were evaluated based on the following criteria: 40 percent commercial appeal; 40 percent artistic excellence; 10 percent promotion of Filipino cultural and historical values; and 10 percent global appeal.

Matti said it frustrates him that no one from the MMFF actually seems accountable despite the way it selects participating movies.

“Isipin mo, kapag sa ibang industriya ito, ipapatawag na si (Leila) de Lima. Somebody is answerable. But for MMFF, no one is answerable. No one touches them, no one calls them up and say, ‘Hoy ano ang pinaggagagawa niyo diyan?’ Wala. Parang mas powerful pa sila sa pinaka-powerful,” he said.

Despite all of this, Matti made it clear that he is not against the first four entries which were chosen last Friday.

“I’m not judging the four films that were chosen. I’m judging how they selected it. It’s the MMFF that I have a problem with and not the movies,” he pointed out.

From the 26 screenplays submitted to MMFF for consideration, four films were initially selected by the MMFF selection committee to be guaranteed a spot on the “Magic 8,” namely “Ang Panday,” “Almost is Not Enough,” “The Revengers” and “Love Traps #FamilyGoals.”

Three of the four ‘chosen’ films, “The Revengers,” “Ang Panday” and “Love Traps #FamilyGoals” were respectively headlined by stars Vice Ganda, Coco Martin and Vic Sotto, whose entries last year were rejected by a reformist selection committee that valued ‘artistry’ over ‘commercial’ interests.

A second batch of four entries — to be selected from a field of finished films to be submitted on or before October 2 — will be announced on November 17 to complete the ‘Magic 8’.

Immediately after the Friday announcement of the first four films, Rolando Tolentino, Ricky Lee, and Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala resigned as members of the MMFF Execom (Executive Committee.)