Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Repost From Glenda Villena of Yahoo! Southeast Asia

'Rosario' producers disappointed; MMFF stands by results

By Glenda Villena, For Yahoo! Southeast Asia Monday December 27, 2010 02:47 am PST

Controversy won't seem to let go of its tight grip on the Metro Manila Film Festival.

A sudden change in the rules for the 36th MMFF “Gabi ng Parangal” or awards night on Sunday, December 26, was met with criticism and protest.The MMFF organizing committee had decided to just name the top three jury-selected nominees in each category, which led to the apparent snub of even the early award favorites.

Case in point is the highly budgeted historical drama “Rosario” from Cinemabuhay and Studio 5. Two people involved in the movie, director Albert Martinez and actress Jennylyn Mercado, were not even named as nominees for their respective categories despite the film winning Second Best Picture and the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award. It had also been graded “A” by the Cinema Evaluation Board.

Because of this, producers of the film did not hide their disappointment.

In an e-mail to Yahoo! Southeast Asia, “Rosario” producer JoAnn C. Banaga put the nomination process into question.

“CINEMABUHAY and STUDIO 5 are not happy with the nomination process,” Banaga said. “The big question here is -- How could the director of a RATED A movie not even get a nomination? Rosario got highly rated by the Cinema Evaluation Board composed of movie experts... who were the judges of the filmfest? And how could the MMFF change their rulings and just announce the top 3 nominees when in the past years all entries had nominations in each category? When did they change that ruling, overnight lang? We are not saying Ai Ai is not deserving of the award but how can Jennylyn not be nominated at all? Hindi ba siya as deserving as Ai Ai? Disappointing!”

'Rosario' cast: Dennis Trillo, Jennylyn Mercado, and Sid Lucero (Jerome Ascano/NPPA Images)

Meanwhile, Dolphy’s historic double victory in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories also raised questions if the comedy king really deserved the recognitions for his roles in “Rosario” and “Fr. Jejemon.” Critics say the merits were only given out of mercy to pay respect to Dolphy, who indicated that this would be his last festival appearance.

Committee defends selection process

Butch Francisco, a member of the MMFF board of jurors was quick to defend the board's final decision, starting with the nominees for best actress.

“It’s difficult e unang-una kasi, si Marian Rivera…she was so natural. Carla Abellana was a revelation,” Francisco told entertainment reporters.

Francisco also gave his comments on why Jennylyn was not included in the top three nominees for best actress.

“There is a certain character to carry the movie di ba? Yun, I don’t know I still have to stress out everything in my head but we were kind of expecting that this was going to happen, when we were submitting it,” added Francisco.

The showbiz host and writer also stood by the decision to award Dolphy the Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor recognitions.

“Dolphy really deserved two awards. Even if he only had very, very few scenes with Rosario, such as the scene where he was talking to MVP (business tycoon Manny Pangilinan, grandson of the lead character in the film), that’s a winner in itself. (In that scene when) he was in the office of MVP, that was the best performance by Dolphy ever. I mean surpassing even practically “Ang Tatay kong Nanay,” which was his best,” Francisco told Yahoo! Southeast Asia. "In ‘Father Jejemon,’ he was natural. He carried the movie. He was effective in every scene so it’s not because we think this is going to be his last. I wish he’d have some more, so if he gives a performance similar to this, again he’ll probably win again. Except for the communion scene that was my only quarrel in the film, they took it out. But it didn’t affect the movie, the acting,” he added.

Meanwhile, President Benigno C. Aquino III’s spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, who acted as chairman of the MMFF Board of Jurors, said he was happy and satisfied with the selection of winners.

“Yes. The members of the board of judges came from different sectors part of them mostly from the film industry. It was chosen based from the appreciation of each member. I think the process was very democratic, so it seems like the public also is in agreement with the choices of the winners,” Lacierda told Yahoo! Southeast Asia.

When asked if he is ready to face criticisms from the public who were not happy with the outcome of the MMFF, this is what he had to say.

“I have no problem with that. We can always defend the process by which we adhere when the winners were chosen. Walang problema yun. We can face whoever the critics are and tell them this is how we did it and it was based on the assessment of the judges,” said Lacierda.

Board of Jurors

Aside from Lacierda and Francisco, other members of the board of jurors include Ricardo Tropeo, Deedee Sytangco, Robert Arevalo, Emmanuel Borlaza, May Paner, Maria Baby Villegas, Arnold Cabaluna, who is a public school teacher from Mandaluyong City, Justin Binos, a student from Makati City, and Newton Medina, a bus driver from Muntinlupa City.

The pool was originally kept secret to maintain objectivity and credibility. Earlier this month, the inclusion of the members from the public sector replaced earlier rules on determining best picture winners that allot 50% of the jury vote to gross share. The newly added members of the board from the public sector went through film appreciation sessions courtesy of MMFF committee chairman Francis Tolentino, who is also the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman.

Trimming down nominees from the original 8 down to 3-5 contenders was earlier decided to secure a more solid decision process.

Next year, more changes will be applied to the MMFF awarding process, including the introduction of text or SMS votes to determine the festival winners.

Reposted From Glenda Villena of Yahoo! Southeast Asia

No comments:

Post a Comment