Metro Manila Film Festival Executive Committee chair Thomas “Tim” Orbos named three new members of the MMFF Executive Committee to replace Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, Rolando Tolentino and Ricky Lee who recently quit their posts.
In a statement furnished to InterAksyon by MMFF spokesperson Noel Ferrer, the three new Execom members are award-winning filmmaker Maryo J. delos Reyes, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte-Alimurong and actor-comedian Arnell Ignacio.
Delos Reyes is also concurrently the executive director of the ongoing ToFarm Film Festival. Belmonte is also the head of the Quezon City Development Council (QCFDC) in charge of the QCinema International Film Festival, while Ignacio was appointed last year as Assistant Vice President Community Relations and Services for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
Belmonte’s appointment came on the heels of the resignation of a fourth Execom member, Ed Lejano, who is also the executive director of theQCFDC and festival director of QCinema.
Belmonte and Lejano have been working in tandem for QCinema, which has emerged as one of the country’s most prestigious film festivals in recent years.
Lejano, whose replacement is yet to be announced, issued his own statement to explain his resignation where he pointed out an inherent inequality in this year’s two-tier selection process that raised issues “with potentially chilling effects to the industry.”
“Quezon City is where almost 40 percent of the theaters are located. As the head of our film commission, we’d like to have a say where our sizable amusement taxes go in the manner that is above board and transparent,” Lejano also noted in his statement.
Belmonte, however, issued her own separate statement where she acknowledged “the reported issues and controversies involved” as a reason why it took her awhile to accept her appointment.
But being a member of last year’s selection committee, Belmonte also noted that she was already familiar with many of the debates surrounding the festival and the arguments presented by all sides and remains optimistic that “seemingly opposing views are not irreconcilable if we all focus towards a well-defined common vision.”
In accepting the resignations of Lejano and Tolentino in particular, Orbos is hopeful that “both would continuously respect the rules, processes and timelines they themselves crafted and agreed to adhere to.”
The MMFF statement further noted that “remaining slot/s in the EXECOM are kept open for other representatives of the independent cinema after a meeting with them and MMDA officials.”
“May this clear the air for constructive and productive work for the members of the MMFF ExeCom and assure the public that we are reaching out to all the sectors and serving to the best interest of our film industry,” the statement concluded.
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