Erik Matti not giving up on destroying alleged MMFF 'cartel'


Posted at Jul 12 2017 05:56 PM

Erik Matti poses for a photo during the premiere of his MMFF 2016 entry 'Seklusyon.' The acclaimed director has been critical of this year's entries. Seklusyon Facebook page

MANILA -- Erik Matti has posted an impassioned tirade in which he again decried the decision of the organizers of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) to prioritize "mindless entertainment" and profit in picking entries for this year. 

Last month, the executive committee of the country's largest film festival announced the first four entries for 2017, all of which starred popular actors. 

Matti, who was named best director during the 2015 edition for "Honor Thy Father," is angry that "no one inside MMFF thinks about the audience to give them, not just mindless entertainment, but something more substantial." 

He added that the changes made in the selection process for last year, which led to it featuring mostly independent works, including his movie "Seklusyon," had been reversed. 

"The purpose of the overhaul is to fix the selection process and to level the playing field so that we destroy the cartel and for MMFF to go back to its original intended vision," Matti explained. 

"But it turns out that rules can be revised but not followed. People who were found guilty are back in power. And no one looks into it so no one’s answerable. Isn’t that depressing? The culture of impunity is alive and well, even in the movie business."

Matti did not give names in his post, but his attack interestingly came one day after the replacements for the four key members who left the executive committee in protest were announced. 

Roland Tolentino, Ricky Lee, Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala all handed in their resignation and lambasted the other members for focusing on "commerce over art." Ed Lejano also said that he quit. 

Matti, whose own submission "Buy Bust" was snubbed, earlier revealed allegations that the selection process for this year was "rigged" to favor "the powerful personalities controlling the festival." 

He then blamed the media for not "digging into the issues at hand." 

Below is his full post: