MANILA -- (UPDATED) Acclaimed screenwriter Ricky Lee took to social media to explain why he resigned from the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Executive Committee on the same day that the first four entries for this year were announced.
On Facebook on Sunday, Lee said: “Noong una pa man nang pumayag akong sumali, nag-decide na ako na mag-i-stay lang ako kung ipagpapatuloy nito ang nasimulan nang reforms ng 2016.”
Lee, however, admitted he doesn’t see this happening.
“Sa nagiging takbo ng mga pangyayari ngayon ay mukhang malabo na iyong mangyari. Kaya wala na ring dahilan para mag-stay pa ako,” he said.
Aside from Lee, MMFF Executive Committee members Rolando Tolentino and Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala have also resigned, according to directors Erik Matti and Babyruth Villarama.
While Magsanoc-Alikpala has yet to speak up about the matter, Tolentino posted a series of tweets in relation to why he resigned as chairman of the Rules Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee.
Meanwhile, MMFF spokesperson Noel Ferrer said he understands Tolentino’s “opinion and reasons for resigning.”
“I know that he knew the group's dynamics from the start as he was the chairman of the Rules Committee that drafted the rules for the separate script and finished film submission. We feel for everyone who were not part of the first 4 official entries,” Ferrer told entertainment site PEP.
For Ferrer, picking entries that will make the cut is actually a “tedious, tricky and difficulty balancing act.”
“But we cannot give up on the MMFF just yet, as it still has the most viable playdate compared to all the other local festivals, thus, it'll always be an arena for struggle,” he said.
“Even if we quit, the MMFF will still go on anyway. If we see its potential in doing something good for the industry as we still do --proof of it is that most of the producers, even indie or mainstream, still have the intention of joining and to put it bluntly, earning from it -- then we should continue guarding our gains from the past and change it from within,” he added.
Based on script submissions, the MMFF Executive Committee announced last Friday the first half of the so-called "Magic 8."
It includes Coco Martin's adaptation of "Ang Panday," and Star Cinema's superhero flick "The Revengers," which stars Vice Ganda, Daniel Padilla, and Pia Wurtzbach.
Also part of the "Magic 8" are "Almost is Not Enough" directed by Dan Villegas and starring Jennylyn Mercado and Jericho Rosales; and Antonio Reyes' "Love Traps #FamilyGoals" top-billed by Vic Sotto and Dawn Zulueta.
The other four, which will be picked from finished film submissions, will be announced at a later date.
The executive committee said that the new rule in choosing entries is in pursuit of "both artistic excellence and audience appeal that can equate to more benefits to its target industry beneficiaries."