MMFF 2013: There’s cash in trash

MMFF logo

There’s a serious gap between the taste of the movie critics and the general public. Case in point, albeit negative reviews of film entries swamped all media platforms, the Metro Manila Film Festival still ended a massive success.

In utter disbelief, a famous political humorist quipped, “May pera sa basura!” This echoes the reviews written by critics who believed the MMFF has turned into a cash cow, which shouldn’t be the case as film festivals should encourage cultural diversity, stimulate the development of quality cinema, promote filmmakers and their innovative works and likewise discover and encourage new talents.

But MMFF is the exact opposite of what a film festival should be. It capitalizes on passé film material, promotes mediocrity in film production and banks on the names of famous celebrities that take part in the annual film event.

MMFF 2013 winners photo by Teddy Pelaez

According to a report released by the festival organizer, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, as of Jan. 3, the MMFF has already earned P815 million or up by 34.3 percent from last year’s P608 million. Using simple mathematics, that figure translates to more than 4 million moviegoers that trooped to the local cineplexes to watch this year’s eight film entries.

Vic Sotto’s My Little Bossings topped the chart while Vice Ganda’s Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy is a close second. They are followed by Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo’s Pagpag, Siyam Na Buhay and Eugene Domingo’s Kimmy Dora: Ang Kiyemeng Prequel.

My Little Bossings, which reportedly has already raked in more than P400 million in terms of box office receipts, was slammed by critics for its countless product placements calling it a “disjointed movie” and “a very long commercial” or like how musician and TV personality Lourd De Veyra succinctly put it, “Paying P220 for a bad film.”

Hence the question lingers, how this kind of film emerged immensely popular among the moviegoers? Simply explained, the general public went to the movie theaters for recreation and intelligent or art films have no place in this activity.

This is the trend, which unfortunately will stay as the norm. And as long as production outfits generate revenue with their rubbish material, every year, people will still sit through a movie without any objective to think or reflect. Anyways, we have a lot junks in our everyday life, people pay for them as they’re used to them because if not, Boy Golden would have been the top-grosser of this year’s festival.

But as aging movie columnist-turned-movie publicist-turned talent manager would ask if you’d criticize a blockbuster, “Can you argue with success?” This is why the local film industry continues to rot in the mire.

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