Usap-usapan ngayon at marami ang nagtatanong kung kumita ba sa box office ang 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival. Ilang linggo na rin usapan at debate ang bagong choices ng mga pelikulang napili para maging official entries ng MMFF na nakasanayan ng venue ng commercial movies na kinakagat ng masa every holiday season. Ngayon pawang independent movies at out of the box films ang mga pelikulang ipinasok sa taunang festival.
Sa kanang social media accounts, nagkausap ang magkaibigang filmmakers na sina Manny Castaneda at Joey Reyes ng kanilang mga pananaw.
Si Manny, sa kanyang mahabang status, sinabi na tama nga ang opinion ng Regal Films producer na si Lily Monteverde na hindi venue para sa indie films ang MMFF.
"The ‘not so impressive’ box office performance of the so-called indie films in this year’s MMFF relative to previous Metro Manila Film Festivals should put the ARROGANCE of some indie fanatics in check.
“Lily Monterverde of Regal Films who spoke with authority and experience when she insisted that the Metro Manila Film Festival is not the appropriate venue for indie films was right after all. Clearly, the season itself calls for sheer entertainment much like going to a theme park. Though some of the entries were beautifully crafted, still there is a time and place for avant-garde, socially relevant and art films. The MMFF is definitely not one of them.
“The proponents of indie films should learn to identify the audience at each particular time. They should carefully choose their own battle. It is unwise to just barge into a territory that does not belong to them. A gate crasher always has a very negative repercussion.
“Some even went to the extent of throwing insults to those who disagreed with them only to realize now that they have placed their feet in their mouth.
“Mercedes Cabral, an indie starlet who early on has brazenly called Mother Lily an idiot, should make an effort to look at herself in the mirror and see what a real idiot looks like."
Sumagot naman si direk Joey Reyes na ilan sa entries ng MMFF ngayong taon ay nakapag-deliver ng next level na kalidad sa pelikuoang Tagalog at matuturuan nito ang mga manonood na tangkilikin ang ganitong klase ng mga pelikula.
"Manuel Castaneda I do not think Mocha Uson has got anything to do with the box office results, Teh. The point is that they chose to show films --- instead of movies. Although SUNDAY BEAUTY QUEEN is an excellent piece of DOCUMENTARY filmmaking and SAVING SALLY is a bold move to do mixed media films, the MMFF did not take into consideration that these are untested and unfamiliar genres to the popular audiences. They should have also PROMOTED and FAMILIARIZED (not educated because that is so condescending) the PAYING PUBLIC to patronize such products. You are right in saying that for some sectors of the audience they found it such a turn-off to have high concept films RAMMED down their throat whereas they wanted more of the same and familiar entertainment for Christmas ... but the need to EVOLVE (not revolutionize because that has resulted to such drastic box office outcome) mainstream and indie filmmaking is what is the lesson here. You CANNOT FORCE FEED AN AUDIENCE. You have to MAKE THEM SEE the possibilities. That's all."
Ipapalabas ang mga pelikula ng MMFF hanggang January 3 at magkakaroon ng awards night sa December 29.