'OTJ' director hurt with Oscar bid rejection
Action flick could get Hollywood remake, says Matti
LOS ANGELES, California -- Director Erik Matti is currently in the United States to promote his movie, "On the Job," as well as to attend meetings in Hollywood.
It has been several days since he found out that the Film Academy of the Philippines chose "Transit" as the official entry to the Oscars' Best Foreign Language Film category, but he said the rejection still hurts.
"On the Job" and Brillante Mendoza's "Thy Womb" were the early contenders to the competitive race for the Philippine Oscar entry.
Asked if he managed to recover from the disappointment, Matti said, laughing, “Not yet!”
“It goes back in spurts every now and then. Several senators and even congressmen wrote them not to choose 'On the Job'. 'Transit' was the safe choice for everyone in the midst of the Napoles issue,” he said.
Noting "On the Job's" US release and “Thy Womb's” strong reception at international festivals, Matti said the two films could already be in on the elusive Oscar voters' radar, giving the country a better chance for an official nomination.
“I have nothing against 'Transit' and 'Transit' is a really good film. But we were just looking forward to -- and it's not necessarily 'On the Job,' it could be 'Thy Womb' -- is we felt that for the first time we could compete,” he said.
But despite losing his Oscars bid, the director is happy about the good critical and public reception to his film.
"I'm proud of it. For sure, both companies, Reality Entertainment and Star Cinema, are really proud of this one," Matti said.
In October, Matti will bring honor to the Philippines when Taoyuan Film Festival in Taiwan pays tribute to him as its "Filmmaker in Focus."
Some Hollywood executives are also interested in doing a Hollywood version of "On the Job."
Matti said filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur, director of Mark Walhberg's latest box-office hits, "2 Guns" and "Contraband," are attached to the film's proposed Hollywood remake.
But for now, the director aims to enjoy experiencing the first time that a film of his will screen in American theaters.
“On the Job” will start playing in the US on September 27.