‘Laging etsa-puwera ang writer’: Reactions to MMFF 2023 entries announcement

July 11, 2023 - 5:15 PM
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This file photo shows MMFF stage. (MMFF/Facebook)

Kapamilya writer Jerry Gracio highlighted the importance of scriptwriters following a social media post of an entertainment website announcing the initial entries for the Metro Manila Film Festival 2023.

The Palanca award-winning writer on Monday, July 10 reacted to a Facebook post of CinemaBravo announcing the first four movies picked to enter the long-running local film fest to be held during the Holiday season.

The entertainment site shared the titles of the selected films, as well as its respective directors, production companies and leads, in a publication material (pubmat).

Gracio, however, noticed that it lacked a significant detail — the scriptwriters or the ones who wrote the screenplays of the films.

“Script ang basis ng selection. Pakisama ang pangalan ng scriptwriter. Lagi na lang etsa-puwera ang writer,” he said in a Facebook reshare of Cinema Bravo’s post.

“Bakit nga kaya? Ang lungkot,” a Facebook friend of Gracio commented. He responded with a “sad” emoji.

Other Facebook users had similar sentiments in the original post of Cinema Bravo.

“Dapat acknowledged ang writers. Submitted script ang basehan ng pagpili eh. Baguhin ang sistema. #HonorThyWriters,” a Facebook user commented.

As of writing, Cinema Bravo has already updated its pubmat to include the names of the films’ scriptwriters.

Based on its Facebook Edit History, it was only edited on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, the organizers of the MMFF included the scriptwriters in its Facebook post announcing the first four entries in this year’s edition.

The movies that were initially selected for the MMFF 2023 are “A Mother and Son’s Story,” “K(ampon),” “Penduko,” and “Rewind.

“A Mother and Son’s Story” features Alden Richards and “Megastar” Sharon Cuneta in a script written by Mel Mendoza-Del Rosario.

“K(ampon)” stars Beauty Gonzalez and Derek Ramsay in a script written by Dodo Dayao.

“Penduko,” meanwhile, is top-billed by Matteo Guidicelli and Cristine Reyes in a script penned by Jason Paul Laxamana, who also acts as its director.

“Rewind” stars real-life celebrity couple Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes in a script written by Enrico Santos.

The selection committee of MMFF decides which initial movies will make it into the film fest by reviewing their scripts.

The scripts are then judged by the following criteria:

  • Artistic Excellence (40%)
  • Commercial Appeal (40%)
  • Filipino Cultural Sensibility (10%)
  • Global Appeal (10%)

Meanwhile, the next four MMFF-selected films will be chosen based on the finished film submission with a deadline set on September 26.

According to festival organizers, it received 26 scripts from 32 production companies for the first batch of film selections.

Scriptwriters, who are most often overlooked in the industry, are individuals who produce the blueprint used to create movies, television shows, and other media content based on concepts and ideas.

They are the ones developing story elements to translate the creative vision into stories for production.

Scriptwriters are expected to create characters, write believable dialogue, and produce engaging plots that would merit enough attention for their scripts to be picked by producers.