Erik Matti on Emmys nod: Whether we win or not, we had our moment

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2022 10:27 PM | Updated as of Oct 11 2022 10:55 PM

Acclaimed filmmaker Erik Matti. Instagram: @erikmatti

MANLA — Director Erik Matti regards the nomination of his HBO production “On the Job” in the Best TV Movie/Mini-Series at the 50th International Emmy Awards as a tremendous honor for his creative team and the country.

“We didn’t think we can make it! Nakakatuwa lang na meron tayong ganito sa Emmys and we have something to rally behind as Pinoys kasi parang lugmok tayo,” Matti told ABS-CBN News Monday.

He also cited the buzz created by its movie spin-off “On the Job: The Missing 8” as the Philippine entry to as Best International Film in the 2023 Academy Awards.

“Whether we win or not, it’s really this moment na may pride naman tayo once in a while. Salamat talaga!” he said of the Emmys nod.

“On the Job” is facing stiff competition in the category, which also includes the United Kingdom’s “Help”; France’s “Il est elle” [“(S)he”]; and Chile’s “Isabel, La Historia Íntima De La Escritora Isabel Allende” [“Isabel, The Intimate Story Of Isabel Allende”].

Matti and his partner-producer Dondon Monteverde will attend the International Emmys on November 21 in New York.

“We hope this nomination inspires the Philippine film industry to continue pursuing their dreams in spite of huge challenges,” said Monteverde. “We are grateful to HBO Asia for trusting us and giving us the opportunity to tell our story to the world.” He also thanked his film partners Ian Monsod, Joe Caliro and Quark Henares. 

Matti is not perturbed the whopping costs of waging a campaign in Hollywood to penetrate the Emmys and Oscars. “We‘re depending on the clout of HBO for that kind of support at the Emmys. Hopefully that would cross over to the Oscars so we may connect with academy members,” said Matti, who also stressed that the “On the Job” series and movie will resonate and sell itself to any audience with its universal themes and message about upholding the truth.

“We’ll just drum up that this is a timely global story and issue of our times about fake news, manipulation of media, governance, crime and corruption,” he said. 

Still available on HBO GO, the series, also created by Matti’s writer-wife Michiko Yamamoto, exposes crime syndicates that temporarily release contracted prison inmates to carry out assassinations for those in power. 

Following the success of the HBO Asia Original series, Matti also announced that he will work with Warner Bros. Discovery for its second season which will star Dennis Trillo, Joel Torre and Lotlot de Leon. 

At the virtual media conference, Matti pondered on the prospect of using as a story motif the recent hostage incident involving former senator Leila de Lima at the PNP Custodial Center and the killing of journalist Percy Lapid.

“People actually tagged me about it, parang ‘On the Job’ daw ang mga eksena,” Matti related. “But more than being amusing comes the realization na nangyayari talaga ito sa Pilipinas.”