The executive committee of the Metropolitan Manila Film Festival-Philippines had decided to convoke a symposium to be attended by producers, theater owners, directors and other workers in the film industry to come up with revised rules for the 2008 film festival this December.
The committee has tentatively set February 22, a Friday, for the planned symposium or meeting which will culminate at day’s end with the launching of the 2008 Filmfest and the appreciation dinner for the last 2007 Filmfest.
The 2008 MMFF-P will be the 34th consecutive year that this annual film festival will be held.
In a meeting last Tuesday, January 15, the execom discussed the apparent decrease in the total gross of the last filmfest compared with the gross of the 2006 version of the event.
Based on unofficial FAXed reports from theaters submitted to the booking committee of the Metropolitan Manila Film Festival Philippines 2007, the total gross for last year’s filmfest was P380,241,286 with Metro Manila theaters accounting for P266 million and provincial cinemas for P114 million.
In 2006, the gross totalled P414,506,353 with Metro Manila theaters accounting for P302 million while provincial gross totaled P111 million.
But the 2007 gross is still the second highest in the history of the 33-year-old MMFF-P. The 2005 filmfest grosssed P351 million. In 2003, it was P326 million; 2002, P315 million; and 2004, P300 million.
It was a replay of last year as Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo of Star Cinema again overtook OctoArts Films’ Enteng Kabisote 4. Sakal grossed P122 million while Enteng Kabisote 4 grossed P104 million.
During the execom meeting, the possibility of fielding a maximum of 10 films to be shown simultaneously was discussed and will probably be presented to the participants of the planned symposium.
This early, producers are advised to be ready with their scripts as early as May or June this year for submission to the screening committee which will again select the competing film entries unless this rule is revised and the MMDA reverts to the earlier selection system where finished films are judged and selected.
Details of the planned symposium are still to be drawn up and participants will be selected and informed accordingly.
It will be recalled, however, that in 2005 a similar gathering of film industry people held a symposium to draw up some rules about the filmfest. The general consensus drawn up was to select entries by viewing finished films instead of screenplays and to impose a one-film-one-producer policy. Both decisions were later overruled and the filmfest officials selected entries through submitted screenplays and allowed one producer to enter two or three films simultaneously.