MMDA chief defends judging process in MMFF Awards

By on January 3, 2015


MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino during the MMFF 2014 Selection and Announcement of Official Entries at Seda Hotel, Bonifacio Global City (Facebook photo)
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino during the MMFF 2014 Selection and Announcement of Official Entries at Seda Hotel, Bonifacio Global City (Facebook photo)

MANILA — Chairman Francis Tolentino of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) has said the judging process in film festival awards has been fair.

Tolentino, who is also the chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), said “all the judges’ scores were properly recorded and computed by our independent auditing firm.”

He issued the clarification after Rina Navarro, producer of “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo,” said she was wondering why their film failed to bag other major awards such as Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress.

The biopic movie brought home nine trophies, including for Best Picture, during the 40th MMFF Awards night.

Navarro, however, clarified she did not intend to discredit anyone, especially the winners, adding that she just wanted to be educated on the judging process, particularly in the Best Picture category.

In justifying the result of the awarding, Tolentino explained that the criteria for Best Picture include 25 percent creativity and artistry; 25 percent technical excellence and innovation; 25 percent content; and 25 percent Filipino, cultural or historical value.

At the same time, the MMDA chief said he did not know how the judges evaluated the entries since he was not a member of the board of jurors.

“We don’t know; maybe there was a close fight or our judges have their basis in choosing the winners,” he added.

The contested major awards were bagged by “English Only, Please,” which won Best Director (for Dan Villegas), Best Actor (Derek Ramsay) and Best Actress (Jennylyn Mercado).

Despite the controversy, Tolentino thanked Navarro for entering this year’s film festival.

He acknowledged how “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo” contributed greatly to the festival’s success.