then after that things got political. if FPJ and Dolphy had films the committee had to accept them. they were, after all the kings. because of that the Noah's Ark thing dissipated, and the festival became one where anything went. but still, things were fine. and then suddenly the umbilical cord was cut and the MMFF became a foundation unto itself, separated from its former umbrella Mowelfund. this is the time the theater owners took over the MMFF, headed by Espiridion Laxa (a good name for a band), who, by the way, just gave himself a lifetime achievement award.
everything went downhill from there. suddenly no one could see where the government funding was going, and then the head at the time Rey Malonzo comes out with a film he produced and starred in (Operation:Balikatan). Laxa himself produced a few films including the ridiculous Lapu-Lapu. Malonzo's kid appeared in three of the movies that were released while he was head (and it's reported that Malonzo invested in a few of them).
in true Filipino fashion, blatant fucking corruption was now everywhere. the rules were totally disregarded. people stopped judging based on the final products, eventually settling on scripts. two producers complaining about not being included? let's include their films anyway and put them on the second week! the one producer-one film rule? fuck that, let's give Mother Lily four films! i was going to do Captain Barbell for a March release, then Viva decided to move everything to December because it looked like they had a good shot at the festival (because the MMFF head had money invested in the film, perhaps?). that was September. i pulled out, leaving behind a beautiful script by Lyndon Santos and Ramon de Veyra. they were rushed to finish the script on time for the festival deadline. later on i find out that three other films who got accepted didn't even give in scripts, just synopses. and they get accepted over something like Magnifico, just because they have big-name stars or producers? eventually Mac Alejandre scrapped Lyndon and Ramon's script and came out with his masterpiece. but isn't that against the rules, to change a story that's already been accepted? not in the MMFF, it seems.
the meeting with Chito was an almost final blow in a long-planned stand against the MMFF. last week a core group composed of Lav Diaz, Tikoy Aguiluz, Erik Matti, Jeffrey Jetturian, Alexis Tioseco, Erwin Romulo and myself met to talk about the ground rules for the position paper. since then other people from the industry have joined the cause, including Joey Javier Reyes, Rico Ilarde, Peque Gallaga, Lyle Sacris, Gil Portes and Robbie Tan. feel free to join in :) maybe there will be change, but if there isn't then at least a lot of people got over their personal differences to take a stand for something.
all this, I promise you, would never have happened had it not been for one guy... our very own _fiction_. and lookee lookee strangely enough it may have started through his livejournal post. i know a lot of you had issues with it and i did too. the final product is a bit different from what alexis proposed, but that's what sparked everything. alexis was the one who called everyone, getting told off by a lot of people named Laurice in the process. he persevered, though, and did his best despite the hurdles and insults thrown his way. Star Cinema sat me down lecturing me about my friend Alexis Tioseco the other day. the guy's a superstar! and he started out as a simple movie lover who had issues with local cinema.
i always scoff at Tioseco. earlier today i said, "ano ka ba, Alexis? don't you know there's no hope for the film industry? wag na tayong maglokohan." and he answered in his Canadian accent, "hay naku Quark. i will dedicate myself to changing your view on that." naive fool, but you gotta get behind something that crazy.
Alexis Tioseco, intrigero toasts you. you are one hell of a guy, even if you're gay. and like CD said, "i'm not judging you ha."
edit: a lot of thanks and love goes out to erwin and yvonne romulo for providing me with the picture of our lone warrior standing against the evils that be. this picture was taken by Jino Caguicla for Metro Style, i believe
p.s. belated happy birthday Lia!