'Honor Thy Father' producers to MMFF committee: Tell the truth
MANILA, Philippines – The heated exchange continues between the producers of Honor Thy Father and the Metro Manila Film Festival committee.
On December 29, producer Dondon Montiverde and his co-producer, actor John Lloyd Cruz, posted an open letter to the committee on the allegation that they did not disclose their participation at the Hawaii International Film Festival last November.
"Honor Thy Father (HTF) was not an MMFF entry when we accepted invitations to screen at international film festivals. You rejected our film in June and invited us to join MMFF in October," the letter starts. Honor Thy Father was included in the MMFF 2015 lineup in October instead of June, after another movie pulled out.
"You did not bring up HTF’s international screenings in the letter of disqualification you sent to us one day before the awarding ceremony," the letter continues.
"You disqualified us because, according to you, we did not disclose to you HTF's screening as the opening film of [the] CinemaOne Originals [festival].
"You are muddling the issue.
"It must be hard being in your shoes right now. May we suggest that you do the right thing? Tell the truth. It’s not easy getting your story straight otherwise."
On December 26, Honor Thy Father was disqualified from the Best Picture category of the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival, because the producers did not disclose to the committee that they would screen their movie at the C1 Originals festival prior to the MMFF.
In a Facebook post released the same day that the film was disqualified, Dondon showed that they sent letters to the committee a few days before the C1 Originals screening, informing the MMFF that they would participate in the other festival.
On December 28, Laguna Representative Dan Fernandez, who plays a role in the film, filed a resolution seeking a congressional probe into the disqualification. That night, Dondon said on Tonight with Boy Abunda, that the MMFF did not give them due process. (READ: Dan Fernandez seeks House probe into 'Honor Thy Father' controversy)
Director Erik Matti, who won Best Director for the movie at the December 27 awards night, did not show up, but a representative read out his message criticizing the committee for disqualifying the filma day before the event.
People from the industry, including directors and producers, also expressed their support for the film during the awards night. (READ: 'Honor Thy Father' receives thunderous applause as it wins 5 awards at 2015 MMFF awards
The MMFF committee, meanwhile, has stood by its decision. – Rappler.com