8 Signs That The MMFF Makes Filmmakers Lazy
In fact, there was a time where I had fond memories of the movies that came out during the Christmas season, when Hollywood blockbusters would magically disappear for a week and pave the way for some pretty ambitious Filipino movies with no international competition to worry about.
Yet at some point, I couldn’t help but feel that instead of uplifting the quality of Filipino filmmaking, the Metro Manila Filmfest helped it stagnate at best, and regress at worst. Here are 8 reasons why.
8. When was the last time anyone bothered with a real Christmas movie?
7. Only family fare will rule the roost
How much are you willing to bet me that anything other than “My Little Bossings” will reign supreme on the box office in the near future?
6. Genuine innovation goes unrewarded
In 2011, the best film, “Asyong Salonga,” was actually edited to make it more commercially appealing. The changes were so great that Tikoy Aguiluz, the film’s director, actually disowned the film.
Look at the promising films in this year’s lineup. Not only will they not make it in the box office, there is also a good chance they will have to settle for competing in the “Best Float” category, because…
5. The awards night is a big, fat joke
For a few years, box office total was a part of the criteria for “Best Picture” in the MMFF awards. This means that the incentive to make the best, most nuanced film is secondary to making the biggest cash-grab possible, normally involving any combination of Ai-Ai Delas Alas, Eugene Domingo, Vic Sotto, Kris Aquino, or Vice Ganda.
As for the awards night? Virtually everyone gets nominated, making for a lengthy, boring program of at least 8 (token) nominees per category, rife with entitled actors who claim they were cheated when they don’t win an acting plum. What are they? Politicians? Oh, wait.
4. It has become a political playground
In fact, one of them is so absorbed in being a politician actor, that, when he was late for a meeting with the president, he had the audacity to say: “Hindi naman ako ordinaryong governor. Artista rin ako. At ‘di ako basta-bastang artista. Ako si Asiong Salonga at ako si El Presidente!”
3. Safe, formulaic movies
Hey, look! Another Kimmy Dora film. I’m actually shocked that we don’t have another “Agimat” or “Enteng Kabisote” or “Tanging Ina” or “Mano Po” this year. But for all I know, they could just be gearing up for next year, if Ai-Ai will need a new car or something. Sequels are an easy cash grab, and in a “festival” of cash-grabbing, another “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” is going to be inevitable.
1. It’s a protectioneering racket
For about a week, all Hollywood films will be forced out of cinemas as local films get to strut their stuff with zero competition. That would have been well and good if this was the time to showcase the best that Filipino cinema has to offer for the year, except that clearly isn’t the case. Instead, we allow filmmakers to cobble together the first thing they think could make money, and peddle that as their “proud” official entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival. If you ever wondered why the MMFF films rarely get nominated for the FAMAS or the Gawad Urian awards, there’s your reason.
What do you think about the MMFF? Share your thoughts in the Comments Section below.