Why MMFF snubbed ER Ejercito's 'Boy Golden'

Posted at 07/02/13 11:53 PM

Laguna gov, wife celebrate poll win with 'victory baby'

ER Ejercito - File Photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Actor-politican ER Ejercito said his film submission "Boy Golden" was excluded from the eight competing entries to this year's Metro Manila Film Festival (MMDA) due to the amount of violence to be shown in the movie.

At the sidelines of his oath-taking as Laguna governor on Monday, Ejercito told reporters that he recently spoke with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson Francis Tolentino as to why his submission did not get a slot in the annual film festival.

In the last two editions of the MMFF, films co-produced by and starring Ejercito reaped major awards, including Best Picture for the 2011 entry "Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story," and 2nd Best Picture for the 2012 Emilio Aguinaldo biopic, "El Presidente."

"Ayon sa kanila, parang 'Asiong Salonga' itong 'Boy Golden: The Arturo Fortuna Story' na napaka-bayolente," Ejercito said of the Chito Roño-directed film, which will co-star either KC Concepcion or Angel Locsin.

Nevertheless, the recently re-elected Laguna governor said he is willing to "trim" the violence in "Boy Golden" if a competing entry backs out and opens up a slot for film submissions in line.

"Kung saka-sakaling may umatras sa walong napili, tatlo o dalawa, malamang ay mapipiplitan akong i-trim ang violence ng pelikula. Napakahirap kasi i-compromise 'yung violence ng pelikula dahil ito ay true story, kaya kailangan sundin natin ang istorya.

"Pero para lang makapasok sa festival, sabi ko kay Chairman Tolentino at Manay Ichu Maceda (MMFF executive committee member), willing akong i-trim," he said.

Ejercito said a similar adjustment has been made for the entry of "Asiong Salonga" in the 2011 MMFF. "Gaya ng 'Asiong Salonga,' na-trim ng 15 minutes 'yun, eh. Para lang mapasok sa festival."

Last year, the internationally acclaimed Brillante Mendoza film "Thy Womb," a film submission to the 38th MMFF, earned a last-minute slot after an official entry backed out two months before the competing films premiered on Christmas Day.

Meanwhile, Ejercito happily related that he and his wife, re-elected Pagsanjan mayor Maita Sanchez, are expecting their fifth child. The actor-politican said his wife is now two months pregnant.

"We have four boys. Usually, victory baby. Pag nananalo ako, laging buntis si misis," he said.

Ejercito added: "We lost two babies already. I hope we will have a successful, normal delivery for my wife. Sana malusog at healthy, kasi very stressful, under pressure palagi ang public servant, eh."