On Tonight with Boy Abunda, “Honor Thy Father” producer Dondon Monteverde made no qualms about being angry at the decision of the Metro Manila Film Festival organizers to disqualify his film from the Best Picture category. “(I’m) angry, very angry as well.” Dondon said director Erik Matti feels the same.
He recounted what happened between Reality Entertainment and the MMFF. "Hindi naman talaga kami kasama sa unang official entry ng MMFF. Pang 9th kami talaga. This announcement was made June."
The team accepted MMFF’s decision and decided to pursue other plans. "Siyempre sasama na kami sa ibang festival, mga gano'n. Para naman umusad ang buhay ng pelikulang 'yan," he said.
On October 23, they received an email from MMFF saying they are reconsidering “Honor Thy Father” because another film backed out. At that time, the team had already made commitments with Cinema One.
Nonetheless, the team pursued MMFF because according to Dondon they did not break any rule of the festival despite their commitment to Cinema One. "Actually, in the rules of the MMFF, you're allowed two premieres basta non-revenue siya. Basta ang importante i-inform lang namin sila kasi it's part of the promo.”
Because of this, Reality Entertainment sent two emails to the committee last November 5 explaining their situation. They received a reply saying they should submit a certification from Cinema One as proof that it was indeed non-revenue.
Dondon’s team was able to submit the required certification the day after. Thereafter, they didn’t hear from the MMFF and was shocked when on December 26, a day before the award’s night, they received a letter from organizers saying they were disqualified from the Best Picture category. "Never na silang bumalik sa amin from there. Hangga't nag-premiere kami ng November 8, wala na kaming narinig sa kanila. In fact, nagulat na lang kami nitong December 26," he said. "Ang nangyari sa amin parang nawalan kami ng due process right away."
The movie producer also reacted to MMFF’s statement saying their decision was only a “light sanction.” "Para sa atin na gumagawa ng pelikula, hindi 'yan light eh. Ang Best Picture award, lahat ng tao nagta-trabaho diyan. Nagbibigay sila ng oras, nagbubuhos ng pawis, luha, dugo para matapos ang pelikula na 'yan," he said. "Bawat tao bigyan niyo ng due process. Pinaghihirapan namin 'yong mga pelikulang ginagawa namin."
Dondon said he also feels for John Lloyd Cruz, who is not only the lead actor but also a first time producer in the said film. "Alam mo, first movie ni John Lloyd ngayon na naging executive producer din siya," he revealed. "In fact alam naman natin na sa pelikulang ito, nagpakalbo pa siya. Binigay niya lahat para sa pelikulang ito."