May ongoing war pala sa pagitan ngayon ng award-winning film director Mike de Leon at ng Regal Film matriarch na si Mother Lily Monteverde.
Ang kanilang feud ay may kinalaman sa proposed restoration ng 1984 acclaimed film ni De Leon na “Sister Stella L” na produced ng Regal Films.
Sa isang Facebook post ni Monchito Nocon, isang film archive advocate, nagpadala raw ng isang e-mail si De Leon sa kanya tungkol nga sa restoration ng dalawa niyang pelikula na “Sister Stella L” at “Batch ’81.”
Heto ang e-mail ni De Leon:
“Several months ago, the Asian Film Archive offered to restore two of my films that are preserved at the National Film Archive in Singapore. These are ‘Batch ‘81’ and ‘Sister Stella L.’ Free-of-charge.
“They only request acknowledgment as a co-restoration venture but the copyrights remain with the producer.”
Wala raw naging problema sa producer ng “Batch ’81” na sina Marichu Vera Perez-Maceda. Ayon kay De Leon, “they readily agreed with minor revisions to the contract that the AFA submitted.”
Nagkaroon lang daw ng problema kay Mother Lily na siyang producer ng “Sister Stella L.”
Ayon sa direktor: “My secretary Amy talked with Lily (Monteverde) where she blabbered enthusiastically that as long as I would exercise total supervision of the restoration of the film, she would consent, to which I agreed.”
Nagtanong din si De Leon “if there were still any parts of the original picture and sound negatives existing at the Regal archive.”
Sinabihan siya na ang kausapin daw ay ang anak ni Mother Lily na si Roselle Monteverde.
Nalaman ni De Leon na nai-commit na raw ni Roselle ang restoration ng “Sister Stella L” sa ABS-CBN.
“Roselle had already committed the Regal films to a local restoration lab (ABS-CBN) even if Lily promised me that she would never give her films to that outfit.”
Gumawa ng sulat si De Leon kay Mother Lily para sa exemption ng “Sister Stella L.”
Heto ang bahagi na nilalaman ng sulat ni De Leon:
“The film may be dated but it is very much a part of our history, our national psyche, not just the movie industry.
It stands for the many values we stood for at one time and fought for. I would like to think that we could make it part of both our legacies in Philippine culture.”
Wala raw naging reply sina Mother Lily or si Roselle sa sulat na ito ni De Leon.
Dito raw nagalit si De Leon dahil napahiya raw siya sa head ng Asian Film Archive na si Karen Chan.
“Needless to say, this has deeply embarrassed me with the Asian Film Archive represented by its head, Karen Chan.
“I, of course, gave Lily a piece of my mind.’
Sa bandang huli, ang Batch ’81 lang ang mare-restore ng AFA. Hindi na raw makukuha ang “Sister Stella L” dahil committed na ito sa ABS-CBN Film Restoration na nag-restore ng tatlong pelikula ni Mike de Leon na “Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising,” “Kakabakaba Ka Ba” at “Hindi Nahahati ang Langit.”
At kahit na nanalo ng maraming awards noon ang “Sister Stella L,” tinawag pa rin ito ni De Leon na “my worst film”.
“Honestly, I have mixed feelings about ‘Sister Stella L.’
“I consider it my worst film, a mere piece of anti-Marcos propaganda demagoguery with the most extreme wooden acting,” pag-amin pa niya sa kanyang e-mail.
Dalawang pelikula pa ni De Leon ang gusto niyang ipa-restore. Ito ay ang “Bayaning Third World” at “Kisapmata.”
“I have asked Karen Chan to consider ‘Bayaning 3rd World’ but so far has received no reply.
“As for ‘Kisapmata,’ it looks like it is not likely to be restored anytime soon as there are still copyright issues but they cannot be touched by anyone, including ABS-CBN because I legally own the prints.
“I have donated the prints to the National Film Archive of Singapore [which has] a battery of IP lawyers.
“I am still hoping to buy the rights of the film from whoever the owner is, Union Bank?” pagtapos pa ni Mike de Leon.
(RUEL J. MENDOZA)