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Extend deadline, please!


EXTEND, PLEASE! – Talked to several filmmakers, including producers and directors, and they have one urgent request as regards this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival. Which is: Please extend the deadline of submission of entries from last week of September to last week of October. Or even first week of November.

They say more time to finish movies intended for the MMFF 2016, which opens Dec. 25, is needed if they are to make really quality films. And the theme – if it can be called that – of this year’s Metro Manila filmfest is quality and not commercial considerations.

Sounds like a reasonable request. May the incoming chairman of Metro Manila Development Authority heed their plea.

As of the writing, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has yet to name the new MMDA chairman.

INDIE VS. MAINSTREAM – In this year’s Metro Manila filmfest there is no distinction between indies and mainstream movies. Both will compete for the eight official entries.

In Metro filmfest past, there’s a separate category for indies, New Wave. A wise move by former MMDA Chairman Atty. Francis Tolentino who realized that indies couldn’t possibly compete with superstar-studded entries.

Giving this year’s indies 50 and 60 theaters isn’t wise. Let’s be realistic and practical, indies have limited audience, very limited.

That is genuine indie and not mainstream masquerading as indie.

Chances are indie and not mainstream will suffer the “first day, last lady” fate.

LUCRATIVE SEASON — The holiday season (Christmas and New Year) is the lucrative season, especially when Filipino films corner the market, not only in Metro Manila, but actually nationwide.

Don’t believe the reports that many producers aren’t joining because of the new ruling that finished films, instead of scripts, will be submitted for MMFF screening committee to consider.

Watch them fall in line when submission time comes – hopefully extended to late October or early November.

(More on MMFF 2016 in next Highspeed).