The Metro Manila Film Festival's (MMFF) reputation again took a hit after another member of its executive committee resigned.
Ed Lejano, head of the Quezon City Film Development Commission, parted with the committee Friday, a week after three key members left their post in protest.
Roland Tolentino, Ricky Lee and Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala all handed in their resignation on July 1, lambasting the other members' decision to prioritize "commerce over art" for this year.
Lejano's decision to quit, which he has yet to explain, is another blow for the committee looking to save face with those who have long been cynical over the quality of entries in recent years.
Reaction to the committee's initial announcement to include entries starring the likes of Vice Ganda and Vic Sotto for the 2017 edition was mixed at best, dividing opinion on whether the festival should prioritize indie films over traditionally huge box-office draws.
Film Development Council chair Liza Diño, also a member of the executive committee, said that the 2016 film festival, which accepted mostly independent features, made considerably less than previous iterations.
"Filmmaking is a business as much as it is an art. The hardest part is to find the balance so we can serve both of its purpose," she wrote on Facebook.
A majority of the festival's revenue is funneled through several organizations, which provide support for those working in the local film industry.
Changes were made to this year's selection process in pursuit of "both artistic excellence and audience appeal that can equate to more benefits to its target industry beneficiaries."
The first four films that were picked based on scripts were Coco Martin's adaptation of "Ang Panday," Star Cinema's superhero flick "The Revengers," Dan Villegas' "Almost is Not Enough," and Vic Sotto's "Love Traps #FamilyGoals".
Four other entries will be chosen from the finished films lot, set to be announced on a later date.