Mike de Leon snubs 2017 MMFF
director Mike de Leon chose not to submit his film "Citizen Jake" for consideration for this year's Metro Manila Film Festival.
In an official statement released by De Leon on the movie's official Facebook page, he said he opted not to submit the project after the "anomalous selection process that occurred months ago".
"I can categorically state that 'Citizen Jake' is not joining, better still, not even considering joining the Metro Manila Film Festival in 2017. Ever since the anomalous selection process occurred months ago that resulted in four films being selected based on scripts, I realized that any reforms well-intentioned filmmakers may clamor for are only doomed to failure," the statement read.
To recall, the MMFF announced in June the first four films in competition for the 2017 MMFF.
The four films are "Ang Panday" directed and toppled by Coco Martin, "Almost Is Not Enough" starring Jennylyn Mercado and Jericho Rosales, Joyce Bernal's "The Revengers" featuring Vice Ganda, Daniel Padilla and Pia Wurtzbach, and "Love Traps #Family Goals" starring Dawn Zulueta and Vic Sotto.
After the four films were announced, some members of the MMFF executive committee resigned from their posts as a sign of protest to the selection process.
De Leon said he cannot join the competition as corruption had crept in again in the annual film festival.
"Corruption has returned in full force to this festival that purports to make children happy during the holiday season, a euphemism for profit and greed," he said.
He asks for support from moviegoers and said that his film is not perfect but it is a "good, honest film".
"My film may be fiction but it is based on truths we ignore at our own risk. It should be seen by its original version, without cuts and without compromise," he added.
"Citizen Jake" is De Leon's comeback film after 17 years.
It is headlined by broadcast journalist Atom Araullo opposite Gabby Eigenmann, Max Collins, Luis Alandy, Nonie Buencamino, Dina Bonnevie and Cherie Gil.
The 2017 MMFF will kick-off on December 25, Christmas Day.