‘Ma’ Rosa’ not joining MMFF, set for nationwide commercial

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  • Brillante Mendoza will not submit his acclaimed Cannes entry “Ma’ Rosa” to the Metro Manila Film Festival, after all.

    Instead, the award-winning filmmaker made a surprise announcement on Saturday by that his latest film, which recently won the Cannes Best Actress award for lead star Jaclyn Jose, will have its nationwide theatrical run starting July 6.

    Mendoza also ended speculations about his earlier intention of joining MMFF by simply saying “No” when asked by InterAksyon.

    Carlo Camilo Valenzona, line producer for “Ma’ Rosa”, added that they will announce further developments on the film’s Philippine premiere, particularly which cinemas will screen it. As co-founder and festival director of the Sinag Maynila, Mendoza has worked closely with SM Cinemas so there’s a strong likelihood that it will be screened by the country’s largest cinema chain.

    Ma-RosaMendoza did not give a reason why he decided not to enter “Ma’ Rosa” to the MMFF. But had he pushed through with his earlier plan, the world premiere of “Ma’ Rosa” at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival may go against the MMFF’s existing rule that “entries must not be shown publicly or in any film festival prior to their submission to the festival.”

    This was the controversial rule that resulted in the disqualification of Erik Matti’s “Honor Thy Father” from the Best Picture category in last year’s festival as it was the opening film of the Cinema One Originals film festival held one month before the MMFF.

    The “Honor Thy Father” case which led to a congessional inquiry ultimately resulted in the revamp of the MMFF’s executive committee which has introduced changes in the rules and selection criteria.

    Another existing rule, on the running time limit of two and a half hours, may also hinder the entry of another arthouse quality film, Lav Diaz’s “Ang Babaeng Humayo,” the comeback film of actress and former ABS-CBN president and CEO, Charo Santos-Concio.

    A source told InterAksyon that “Ang Babaeng Humayo” will have a running time of about four hours, similar to the length of Diaz’s most accessible film, “Norte, Sa Hangganan ng Kasaysayan”.

    MMFF executive committee member Edward Cabagnot, however, told InterAksyon that nothing is definite yet as “the rules are still being tweaked, especially regarding deadlines.”

    (E. Sallan, Interaksyon)

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