Filed under: festivals, philippine cinema | Tags: metro manila film festival
Related to the previous post:
The following year I wrote something about the Metro Manila Film Festival again, adding on the notes of the previous year, and submitted it to the Philippine Daily Inquirer (a newspaper I had previously contributed to while in college). The article was duly ignored, so I sent it instead to several mailing lists and posted it on my personal blog (link to blog post).
Raya Martin, then a film student at the University of the Philippines, joined the discussion with a short essay that I also posted on my blog (link to blog post)
We received a fair share of support for our views, though there were also a number of detractors. More than just an airing of opinion, these texts were written as provocations, as a way of getting people to think about and discuss the problems of the festival, and to see who believed them worth trying to rectify, and who didn’t (the discussions that ensued can be read in the comments section of both posts). One young writer who mocked our stance that year while writing in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, is now singing a different tune, writing for The Philippine Star.
Later that year the Metro Manila Development Authority, the festival’s organizing body, convened a group of people over a single day to discuss ways in which to improve the “Festival”. Attended mostly by the likes of people directly involved with the fest, Wilson Tieng (major local distributor and member of the Executive Committee of the Metro Manila Film Festival), Leo Martinez (Director-General of the Film Academy of the Philippines), members of the movie theaters association, as well as film directors Quark Henares and Gil Portes among others, the day appeared to be positive and progressive, with many in agreement on fundamental changes in the festival’s rules and policies. At the end of the day a number of points were raised were unanimously agreed upon (strictly one film per producer, films to be judged based on the finished product and not the script, and the possibility of allotting/allowing smaller theaters to screening independent work). Not one single one was implemented. Proving the day only to be an exercise; a show, in order to temporarily appease the disgruntled by insinuating that the organizers, too, wanted to change things for the better.
The following year things only got worse…
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