MMFF ExeCom withdraws Fernando Poe Jr Memorial Award from ‘Oro’

Rappler.com
MMFF ExeCom withdraws Fernando Poe Jr Memorial Award from ‘Oro’
The ExeCom says they decided to withdraw the award after consultation with the late FPJ's family

MANILA, Philippines – On Tuesday, January 3, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Executive Committee (ExeCom) withdrew the Fernando Poe Jr Memorial Award that was granted to the movie Oro. 

This, following the issue of a scene in the movie wherein a dog was slaughtered. 

The festival’s Public Relations Head Noel Ferrer posted a statement on Instagram, explaining that the decision was made after speaking to the family of the late FPJ. 

Noel’s statement was accompanied by a photo with senator Grace Poe, who is the daughter of FPJ. The full statement reads:

“Upon consultation with the family of the late Fernando Poe, Jr, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Executive Committee announces the withdrawal of the FPJ Memorial Award recently granted to the film Oro. Without making any judgment on the artistic merit of the film or cinematic depiction, the MMFF finds the present controversy on the alleged killing of a dog in the course of the filming of the movie effectively casts a doubt on the movie’s ability to exemplify the human and cultural values espoused by the late Fernando Poe, Jr.”


 

PAWS vs ‘Oro’

A day before the withdrawal, a meeting was held with Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), the ExeCom, and the Oro production team to look into the issue of the alleged slaughter.

According to a Facebook post by Film Development Council of the Philippines chairperson Liza Diño, a representative from Oro admitted that a dog had been killed when they were filming the movie.

Liza said, in a series of points enumerated in her post: 

5. Oro production reiterated that no animal was harmed ‘for the purpose of the film.’ They said it was within the bounds of culture in that area where dogs are eaten as food.

“6. A real dog was killed during the filming of the movie.

“7. No one from the production did the actual killing of the dog.

“8. The dog killed and gutted in the film was the same dog seen alive during the establishing shot.”

PAWS had asked the ExeCom to have the film pulled out of theaters and be stripped of its festival awards, but Liza said that the committee is set to reconvene and discuss before taking action. 

 

Oro was awarded the FPJ Memorial Award last December 29 during the Gabi ng Parangal. Aside from the FPJ Memorial Award, the movie also won Best Ensemble cast and Best Actress for Irma Adlawan.

In a previous statement posted on the movie’s Facebook page, director Alvin Yapan and producer Feliz Guerrero said that the production team would not kill an animal for the sake of the movie. (READ: ‘Oro’ director, producer address controversial dog slaughter scene– Rappler.com 

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