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Erik Matti on the relevance of Emmy-nominated 'On The Job'

Don Tagala | TFC News New York

Posted at Nov 24 2022 10:16 AM

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Erik Matti's masterpiece 'On The Job' is now etched in International Emmy Awards history as one of the nominees for Best TV Movie/Mini-Series during its 50th Awards Gala in New York City.

The prestigious award went to 'Help' but movie producer Dondon Monteverde said that the nomination of 'On The Job' alone makes all their hard work to make the film all worth it.  

"Happy naman kami sa narating ng project na ito - from Cannes to Venice, ngayon andito tayo sa Emmys," Monteverde said.

(We are happy with how far this project has come - from Cannes to Venice, and now we are here at the Emmys.)

For Matti, just being nominated also shows that producers can successfully tell stories different from the usual.

"Kahit hindi tayo manalo, even being nominated, makikita naman nila, other producers, na pwede naman pala magkuwento naman ng iba naman, yung hindi naman usual nating kinukwento na melodrama, or romantic comedy. Pwede namang magkuwento ng iba at may pupuntahan din naman pala," he said.

(Even if we didn’t win, even being nominated, other producers will see that we can tell stories that are different and not the usual melodrama or romantic comedy. We can tell a different story and it will go places.)

The director also noted that 'On The Job' is an extraordinary tale based on a true story of an ordinary Filipino.

"Siguro mga 2003, 2002. Galing yan sa isang service driver na galing kulungan. Ang kuwento niya nabuhay lang siya sa loob ng kulungan. Nawala daw ang lungkot niya kasi every now and then binabayaran siya 5 thousand pesos, para lumabas, pumatay, tapos ibabalik siya sa kulungan. Ang pulis hinahanap yung pumatay. Hindi na mahanap kasi yung pumatay bumalik na sa kulungan."

(It was maybe 2003, 2002. It was from a service driver who was jailed. His story was that he had a life inside jail. His sadness was supposedly gone because every now and then, he was paid P5,000 to go out and kill, then he would return to the jail. The police would look for the killer but they wouldn't find him because he had gone back to the jail.)

Matti added this story proved not only to be true but that this is still happening in the Philippines today. He said that his company seeks to create movies that have a strong semblance of reality.

"It underlines na based on research talaga yung mga kuwento namin sa On The Job. Kasi early on nung lumabas yung pelikula kahit based pa siya sa kung ano-ano mang kwento, ang iniisip ng marami parang hindi naman pwedeng mangyari ito. Ngayon lumabas na talaga sa isang malaking news parang mailalagay mo talaga sa konteksto."

('On The Job' was really based on research. Early on, when the film came out, many thought that such story was not possible. Now, it was shown through a huge news. You can really put it in context.)

For Matti and Monteverde, there is value in telling these kinds of stories through movies and miniseries that can be appreciated by a global audience.

"Through the years, we learned na ano ba talaga yung formula na pwedeng lumabas globally na ma-appreciate ng mga tao. Nakita namin ito mga crime thrillers," Monteverde said.

(Through the years, we've learned what the formula is so people globally will appreciate. We've seen that it's crime thrillers.)

Matti also tells young filmmakers that making it to the International Emmys taught him to not only keep dreaming, but to dream big.