MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Less than 24 hours after it handed out the 2017 film awards, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) withdrew all recognition for the film ‘Ang Larawan,’ including Best Picture and Best Actress for Joanna Ampil.
Ang Larawan” is based on the play “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino” by National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, and features music by Ryan Cayabyab and lyrics from Rolando Tinio. It garnered 7 of the festival awards.
In a statement, MMFF said that it “cannot in conscience recognize a film with all the major awards when it has not even been shown widely in theaters.
Many mall and other theaters pulled the film just a day after the festival opening because it wasn’t attracting crowds just like other top-grossers, mostly slapstick and cast appeal movies like those featuring Vic Sotto and Vice Ganda.
”Come to think of it, how can a movie be considered a film festival entry when it is not even being shown starting with Day 2,” MMFF said.
There are only 8 films selected for the festival.
Maybe, the MMFF should consider bringing back double feature screenings during the festival so that a quality film can be shown in the same theater as another of mass appeal. Two for the price of one. Everybody wins!
Cinema distribution has always been a contentious point during the MMFF, with mall owners quick to shelve low-performing entries for crowd pleasers to take advantage of the holiday rush.
Ryan Cayabyab, whose music is used in “Ang Larawan,” tweeted early Tuesday a list of malls that have removed their entry.