Former members of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) executive committee Ricky Lee, Rolando Tolentino, and Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala on Wednesday released a joint statement regarding their resignation.
The letter, dated July 4, clarified that their decision to leave "had little to do with the first four selected MMFF 2017 entries."
"We had expressed our intention to resign long before the announcement of the first four entries was made," they declared, explaining that they did not agree with the emphasis on "commerce over art" in the selection process.
They continued, "Some quarters in the ExeCom insist that only big film studios can produce a blockbuster. We believe that producing a box office hit and creating a quality film is not exclusive to big film studios nor to independent film outfits."
"All excellent Filipino films deserve all forms of support," the letter asserted.
Lee, Tolentino, and Magsanoc-Alikpala collectively stated that they remain hopeful that the MMFF will once again be a celebration of the finest of Filipino artistry, but agree that reforms are needed in the local film industry.
Film Development Council of the Philippines chair Liza Diño and director Erik Matti in separate statements have also expressed their dismay about the direction MMFF took this year.
"Walang masamang gumawa ng blockbster films. We ALL watch Hollywood money making films. Kaso ang tanong, yun ba ang direksyon ng MMFF? Maybe it's about time to take a closer look into aligning the supposed vision with the real intention of the festival," Diño said. —Aya Tantiangco/KG/KVD, GMA News