Nineteen film producers have so far signified their intention to field entries in the Metro Manila Film Festival Philippines 2005 even as the executive committee extended deadlines for the submission of letters of intent and completed screenplays. There will be 10 entries for the two-week filmfest December 25, 2005 to January 7, 2006, seven of which will be selected on the basis of screenplays and the other three on the basis of finished products.
Seven of the eight producers which participated last year are also vying for selection as entries this year, including Regal Entertainment, MAQ Productions, Good Harvest, Megavision Films, Canary Films, Octoarts Films, Viva Films and CM Films.
The execom expects to receive more letters of intent on or before the new deadline of June 15, 2005. Initially, a May 30 deadline was imposed, prodding 17 to submit their letters of intent to beat the cut-off date. Two producers submitted theirs on May 31.
Those who will submit screnplays have up to June 30 to send in their entries. The selection committee will come up with the winning list of seven entries on July 15, 2005.
The films based on the selected scripts must be submitted on December 1, 2005.Those who will submit finished prints of their films have to present a copy on or before December 5, 2005. All these entries will be screened by the selection committee from December 5 to 10 and the final three entries will be announced on the last day of screening.
The board of jurors will then take over and screen the 10 entries from December 17 to 20.
The execom, in a meeting last June 2, deliberated on the suggestions sent in by producers and film practitioners who were asked to recommend changes in the festival rules and regulations.
In a point by point discussion of the changes, the execom approved the holding of movie premiers for the entries provided that the producers secure permission from MMDA and hold such events to a minimum.
On the one director-one film policy, the execom moved to set the limitation of films for a director to two each. But final decision on the matter was held back when FAP Director General Leo G. Martinez explained that the original policy intended to farm out assignments to a larger number of movie workers. He said that a director usually utilized the same production staff for every film he shoots.
The committee also did not adopt a suggestion by a film producer to get the eighth or ninth best screenplays when one or more of the seven selected entries are disqualified or defaulted from ever making the film. It is decided that the execom will instead get the replacement from the finished products submitted.
Another contentious issue left hanging is the composition of the selection committee. Instead of retaining the same selection committee last year, it is proposed that the execom must adhere to the decision of the consultative assembly to include various film craftsmen in the committee, together with representatives from media, the advertising sector and the academe, as well as MMDA officials.
The execom has also deferred its decision on when to hold the awards night—December 29, 2005 or January 3, 2006. The reason for holding it on January 3 is based on the fact that the three films in the second batch—which will begin showing on New Year’s Day— will not yet have been exhibited as of December 29.
The film companies (and corresponding producers) who have already submitted their letters of intents included the following:
GMA Films (Atty. Ana Theresa G. Abrogar); Teamwork Productions (Gil M. Portes); Megavision Productions, Inc. (William Lao); MAQ Productions, Inc. (Roselle Monteverde-Teo); Good Harvest Productions Inc. (Goldwin Monteverde);
Regal Entertainment Inc. (Lily Y. Monteverde); Canary Films (Paul Michael K. Ilacad); Octoarts Films (Orlando R. Ilacad); Cine Suerte Films Inc. (Lea Calmerin); Water Plus Productions (Marynette-Romero-Gamboa);
Apache Films (Frederick T. Dee); JMCN Productions (Antonio S. Veloria); Hinabing Pangarap, Inc. (Antonio S. Veloria); Echofaze Entertainment Intl. (Charlie B. Ugalde); Viva Productions (Teresita R. Cruz); Viollett Films (Violeta C. Sevilla); CM Films (Sunshine Cruz Montano); and Unitel (Antonio Gloria).