Current Events

Resigned MMFF Execom Members: 'All Excellent Filipino Films Deserve Support'

"The Filipino audience deserves no less."

Several days after announcing their first four official entries, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) is still under fire. Three Executive Committee (Execom) members, namely film academic Rolando Tolentino, journalist Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, and acclaimed screenwriter Ricky Lee, have resigned.

And although they've somewhat kept mum on the issue, the three have finally released a joint statement. They said that they only accepted the invitation to be Execom members because they were "excited to maximize the gains of the MMFF 2016."


They resigned, however, upon realizing that the committee was "putting too much emphasis on commerce over art." They also made it clear that their resignation had nothing to do with the four announced entries, and that they had wanted to resign long before then. (This was previously hinted at by Erik Matti in an interview with the press.)

They also stressed that producing a box-office hit and creating quality films can be done by both major studios and independent film outfits. More than that, they said all excellent films "deserve all forms of support," including being screened for the entire duration of the festival both inside and outside of Manila.


The MMFF is notorious for pulling out low-performing films without prior notice, sometimes even within the first few days of the festival. In 2016, for instance, films like Oro and Saving Sally, had to rally audiences via social media in order to stay in cinemas.

Lee, Tolentino, and Alikpala ended their statement, saying, "We stand committed to seek reforms in the Filipino film industry. We remain steadfast believing in a Metro Manila Film Festival that can once more be a celebration of the finest of Filipino artistry. The Filipino audience deserves no less."

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chair Liza Dino-Seguerra said that although she "wasn't happy" with the turn of events, the majority within the Execom had to be followed and added that last year's earnings "were not enough to sustain a theater industry."


This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors. 

View More Articles About:
About The Author
Aimee Dacanay for
View Other Articles From Aimee Dacanay for
Latest Stories
The production is actress Cris Villonco’s directorial debut, putting her in the ranks of the country’s sorely small population of female directors.
It's surprisingly difficult to verify whether your pet is a purebreed.
Here's what to buy, eat, and shop at this year's fair.
This faraway island has a lot to offer a curious and hungry traveler.
The Prince had the sweetest reactions to Meghan's speech at the Together cookbook launch.
He does everything from memorizing colorways to learning the exact measurements of shoeboxes.
Once upon a time when couture was standard, these fashion masters were the ones trusted by Manila's elite.
Seven notorious con men (and women) who were caught in the act.
An elite group of artists are growing in influence and reach. Here's the key to cracking their codes.
Load More Articles