MANILA, Philippines – What was supposed to be a festive event turned into a tension-filled awards night of the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival on Sunday, December 27, at the Kia Theatre in Cubao.
Following the disqualification of Erik Matti's Honor Thy Father from the Best Picture category of the MMFF awards over the weekend, many from the industry took the opportunity to express their support for the film and the people behind it. (READ: 'Honor Thy Father' disqualified from MMFF 2015 Awards Best Picture category)
Those who attended the event applauded and cheered for recipients of 5 awards for the film, including Best Supporting Actor for Tirso Cruz III, Best Original Theme Song, and Best Child Performer for Krystal Brimner.
Directors Dan Villegas and Antoinette Jadaone, who went onstage to pick up the award for Best Original Story for Walang Forever, called on everyone to watch Honor Thy Father, describing it as one of the best movies in the film festival.
Shiel Calde, a representative from Reality Entertainment, read the speech of Matti, who won the Best Director plum for Honor Thy Father. He was unable to attend the ceremony. (READ: 'Honor Thy Father' director Erik Matti no-show at MMFF 2015 Awards Night)
Lawyer Joji Alonso, whose films Buy Now, Die Later and Walang Forever won second and overall Best Picture, respectively, appealed to everyone to support all films and not just watch two films.
"This should be an enjoyous moment. But I am not that happy. I only wished that Honor Thy Father was also part of this category. And I mean that with all sincerity. Dondon Monteverde, John Lloyd Cruz, and direk (director) Erik Matti have created an outstanding film. And I would like to congratulate them for not stopping to dream and for continuing their advocacy in making meaningful films that hopefully would reach or touch the lives of people," Joji said.
"After all, us filmmakers have nothing in mind except one thing: to entertain all of you, wanting to enlighten people perhaps in some way or another. And hoping that we can move and touch the lives of people. And we can only keep trying and keep hoping. Sana po, sa public, huwag naman po sana na dalawang pelikula lang ang panoorin ninyo. Sana lahat po ng 8 pelikula. Maraming salamat po," she added. (To the public, I hope you would watch all 8 films and not just two films. Thank you very much.)
Actor Tirso Cruz III, who won the Best Supporting Actor for Honor Thy Father, said: "Sa lahat po, mabuhay ang pelikulang Pilipino. Suportahan po ninyo po kami, panoorin n'yo po, napakagandang pelikulang Honor Thy Father." (To everyone, long live the Filipino movie industry. Please support us, watch the beautiful film, Honor Thy Father.)
Richard Gutierrez and KC Concepcion, who hosted the awards night, also shared their sentiments. KC said that everyone – from the artists to the people behind the movie – should be recognized, while Richard said that the competition should be fair to all.
On December 26, Honor Thy Father was disqualified from the Best Picture category in this year's film festival. According to the letter sent to producer Dondon Monteverde, the film's team did not let the MMFF officials know that it was screened at an earlier festival.
Dondon said, however, that they informed the people behind the MMFF that they showed the movie in another festival, and even provided copies of the letters. (READ: MMFF 2015 clarifies 'Honor Thy Father' Disqualification). – Rappler.com