THE Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Executive Committee (execom) has been replaced, following the "underwhelming" box-office turnout of last year's festival.
Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Tim Orbos recently named the new execom members during the official launching of the 43rd MMFF competition.
According to Orbos, the new members were thoroughly screened and are representing different sectors of the industry -- from the academe, government, media, to private sector professionals.
Among the newly appointed members of the MMFF Execom include Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Batangas Representative Vilma Santos-Rector, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, Police Director Oscar Albayalde, Movie and Television Review and Classification Board's (MTRCB) Rachel Arenas, and Film Development Council of the Philippines chairperson Liza Dino.
Poe used to head the MTRCB, which is current led by Arenas, while Santos, prior to her work in government, started to make a name for herself in the entertainment business.
Completing the list are Wilson Tieng, president of the Movie Producers and Distributors Association of the Philippines; Jun Romana of the Bureau of Broadcast Services; Jesse Ejercito of the Philippine Motion Picture Producers Association; Marichu Maceda, chairperson of the Mowelfund; actress Boots Anson-Rodrigo; film distributor Victor Villegas; movie directors Jose Romero IV and Mel Chionglo; UP professor Rolando Tolentino; Ed Lejano, executive director of the Quezon City Film Development Commission; scriptwriter Ricky Lee; journalist and documentary producer Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala; professor and multimedia practitioner Noel Ferrer; and Chairman of the Optical Media Board, Atty. Anselmo Adriano.
Representatives from the commercial movie houses were also part of the new Execom committee. Among those are Edgar Tejerero, president of the SM Lifestyle Incorporated; lawyer Rolando Duenas, assistant general manager of the Ayala Cinemas; Christina Caparas, general manager of Vista Mall Cinemas; and Evylene Advincula, operations manager of Robinsons Movieworld.
Orbos said there's a "good mix" of people who will head this year's festival.
"We need to bring now our quality films to a bigger market. This is good for the industry, for our movie goers, and to the MMFF beneficiaries. To assure this objective will be attained, this year's Execom reflects respected personalities from the film industry,” he said.
The MMDA chief also assures past members that the substantial changes introduced in the MMFF last year would still continue to be the standard this 2017.
He said they will still strive to present the viewing public quality and commercially-viable movies.
"After the success of the 2016 MMFF where artistic quality became the main focus, this year’s MMFF would want to move forward with a crop of entries that would combine quality and box office potential. We will never abandon the artistic gains we had last year but we need to push forward in this direction,” Orbos said.
He added: "We owe it to the movie-going public who untiringly supports the MMFF throughout the years."
The 2016 MMFF had the lowest box office sales since 2009. It only earned a little over P400 million compared to P1 billion gross sales in 2013 to 2015.
Last year's MMFF also irked several giant movie producers as the execom veered away from the usual movies shown every Christmas season and made way to more independently produced films. It also rejected mainstream movies headlined by big showbiz personalities such as Richard Yap, Coco Martin, Vice Ganda and Vic Sotto. (SunStar Philippines)