Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando hosted last Saturday (April 23) a consultative assembly attended by the leaders and technical craftsmen of the film industry to come up with new plans and program to improve the forthcoming 2005 Metro Manila Film Festival Philippines.
Among the issues taken up and discussed by three groups of participants tackled ways and means to improve the film festival selection process, to encourage more producers to participate in the festival and to increase the festival’s revenues.
Chairman Fernando said that there was indeed a dip in the total gross of the last festival compared with the figures in 2003. This was caused primarily by some legal problems that delayed the promotion schedules of the festival entries, He exhorted the assembly participants to pool resources to come up with effective measures to make this year’s festival more vibrant and a box office success.
The meeting was held at the ballroom of the Plaza, at the penthouse of Tektite Tower , Philippine Stock Exchange Centre, Exchange Road , Ortigas Center , Pasig City .
MMFFP Executive Committee members, including FAP Chairman Atty. Espiridion Laxa, FAP Director General Leo Martinez, Manny Nuqui of the Motion Pictures Anti-Film Piracy Council and Dominic Du, led the discussion in the three groups in the presence of facilitators from the Asian Institute of Management—Prof. Jacinto ‘Tito’ Gavino, Prof, Ricky Santiago and Consultant Cora Jimenez.
The recommendations drawn up by the three groups were forwarded to the Execom of the MMFFP which will finally decide on the possible changes within two weeks..
According to Atty. Laxa, their group tackled the issue of the selection process and the consensus seemed to favor to screen finished products instead of screenplays as the basis for selection of the festival entries.
He added that they also recommended that a director will be limited to one entry only. The group also pegged the possible number of entries to a minimum of seven and a maximum of ten films.
Many Nuqui, president of the Philippine Motion Picture Producers’ Association, said his group concentrated on ways to increase festival revenues. He cited the need to have an early promotion schedule for the festival entries, which was a problem last year because a court case kept the final selection in limbo until it was too late for an effective promotional campaign.
He added that his group advocated for a two-tier schedule of the festival entries wherein two or three of the films will start showing on January 1 to provide a second wind for the festival and avert a sudden dip in gross, as what happened last year when all eight entries were shown simultaneously starting on December 25, 2004.
Director General Martinez said they also recommended an 11-man screening committee to include, among others, a director, a scriptwriter, a theater owner, a producer, a booker, a cinematographer, and representatives from the MMDA, the academe and the advertising-marketing sector.
Among those who attended the assembly were MMDA Executive Director Robert Nacianceno, Ric Camaligan of the SM theater group, Wilson Tieng of MPDAP, Robert Rivera of the office of the President, Boots Anson-Roa of MOWELFUND, and Marcos Ng of MMTA.
DGPI directors Tony Reyes, Gil Portes, Quark Henares, Joey Gosiengfiao and Joey Romero, and KDPP directors William Mayo, Jose ‘Kaka’ Balagtas and Nards de Belen attended the assembly.
Representing the FAP guilds were Tony Ramos and Joel Apuyan of ADPM, Johnny Delgado of the Actors’ Workshop, Isagani Sioson, Roger Baruelo, Jun Rasca and Arnold Alvaro of FSC, Joe Solo of the editors’ guild and Larry Matic and Judy Lou Pio of the PDGP.