By: JOSE ALEJANDRO EDUARTE, independent filmmaker/musician
MMFF: Fascist Festival
The sudden disqualification of Honor Thy Father by the Metro Manila Film Festival should make any self-respecting filmmaker or artist realize that the MMFF is an enemy of Philippine Cinema. The only description that fits this move is that it is a blatant middle finger to the craft and to a form of cinema that is there to move audiences and reveal harsh truths. The MMFF is a major player in the murder of Philippine Cinema and a proponent in turning the great Filipino audience into nothing more than a myth.
The MMFF is an adversary. By spitting in the face of a film that pays respect to the art of cinema and is of high artistic merit, they have made their position non-negotiable. It is thus our duty as supporters, protectors and artists of Philippine cinema to rebuild what is continuously being stepped on by the powers that be who have no respect for the art and who will happily earn their bucks at the expense of turning the masses into unthinking peasants. It is our duty to defend our cinema from the enemy, by continuously making films of high quality and powerful, biting messages – the kind that will piss off the likes of them. And what must be done to enemies? They must be fought. They must be warred against. It has now become our duty to spit back at this festival, to air our grievances, to let them know of our anger.
Death to the Metro Manila Fascist Festival!
Selective Indie spirit?
Just had to let this out because I really find it disturbing.
I was one of those angered by the reduction of screening venues for Honor Thy Father, and more so by its sudden, unreasonable disqualification from the MMFF Best Picture race. I was one of those who were irate that theaters are giving independents the cold shoulder and would rather give the mainstream box office hits multiple cinemas in their malls, sidelining the independents in the MMFF.
Here’s the thing though: Honor Thy Father loses screening venues and the indie film community strongly campaigns for it to be reinstated in cinemas. Meanwhile, the same happens to another independently produced entry, Nilalang, and only a few from the same indie film community call for its reinstatement in the theaters.
Now why is that? Is the film not up to their standards of what an indie film should be? Are they scared because it’s so radically different in terms of aesthetic and audaciousness? Is it because the filmmakers behind it are not as well known within the indie circle as those involved in the production of Honor Thy Father?
So much for supporting the “independents”. I guess being independent here means making films that won’t cater to big studios’ audience, but at the same time must satisfy the elitist, purist tastes of the indie circle. Seems like a badass, balls-to-the-wall action/thriller film is too much for them to handle.
It’s too different and therefore it’s not an indie film. Think about the irony in that.
I guess Nilalang’s lack of support from the indie film community stems from one of two things, or both:
1. Tropahan talaga sa indies, at kung di ka masyadong kilala, kahit na may laban ang pelikula mo, igigilid ka lang, or (Indie community is clique-dependent. If you are not well-known, your cause will be ignored)
2. Masyado silang takutin sa mga maaangas, maaksyon at brutal na pelikula. (They are wary of badass, action-filled, and brutally fierce films)