Even before the official launching of the 2008 Metropolitan Manila Film Festival (Philippines), MMDA Chairman Bayani F. Fernando has already sent invitation letters to producers to submit their script entries on or before May 16, 2008.
This developed even as a symposium to be attended by producers and representatives from the local film industry will be hosted by the MMDA on Saturday, March 29 to discuss how to maximize income from the annual festival.
The letter, addressed to the producers, reads in part:
As we are about to launch 2008 MMFF-P, we would like to inform that as in last year, the official film entries will be initially selected from screenplays submitted by participating movie production companies. All interested parties are therefore advised to prepare and get ready with the scripts to be read and evaluated by a Selection Committee that will be created by the MMFF-P Executive Committee.
Deadline for the submission of scripts will be on 5 p.m. of Friday, May 16, 2008 at the MMFF-P Secretariat, First floor, MMDA Building, EDSA, corner Orense St., Guadalupe, Makati City.
The number of entries was not specified in the invitation letter inasmuch as this might be taken up among the matters to be discussed during the symposium.
Guild officers and members from the Film Academy of the Philippines who will attend the symposium are listed as follows:
William Mayo, Jose ‘Kaka’ Balagtas and Elwood Perez of the Philippine Motion Picture Directors’ Association; Pablo Vergara, Mar Lopez and Domingo Zafe of the United Film Musical Directors Association of the Philippines;
Manny Morfe, Joel Quilang and Aped Santos of the Production Designers Guild of the Philippines; Jess Navarro, Danny Gloria and Nonoy Santillan of the United Film Editors’ Guild of the Philippines;
Pablo S. Gomez, Manny Rodriguez and Pablo Reyna Libiran of the Screenwriters’ Guild of the Philippines; Isagani Sioson, Romulo Araojo and Roger Baruelo of the Filipino Society of Cinematographers;
Zahn Garduce and Gladys Villanueva of the Organization of Specialized Filipino Filmmakers; and Mayor Jeorge ‘E.R.’ Estregan, Conrad Poe and Cris Daluz of the Kapisanan ng mga Artista ng Pelikulang Pilipino at Telebisyon.
In the 2007 MMFF-P, nine films were entered with six films opening on Christmas Day and the three others opening on January 1, 2008.
The last festival’s total gross failed to approximate the MMFF-P 2006 records by grossing just P380 million in its two-week run.
The total gross for 2007 was P380,241,286 with Metro Manila theaters accounting for P266 million and provincial cinemas for P114 million.
The total gross for 2006 was 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 grossed P351 million. In 2003, it was P326 million; 2002, P315 million; and 2004, P300 million.
MMFF-P officials opined that the possibility of hitting the P500 million mark will be achieved within the next three or four years or earlier if the film piracy problem will be solved as early as possible.
Your FEEDBACK can be posted at www.filmacademyphil.org/forum/