Tolentino denies rigging MMFF raffle process

Posted at 12/26/12 1:45 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino refuted actor-politician ER Ejercito's claim that the festival's theater raffle process is rigged.

MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino on ANC Headstart.

In an interview with ANC’s “Headstart” on Wednesday, Tolentino explained some films are showing in more theaters than others because provincial theaters choose the films they want to show.

“Beyond Metro Manila, we allow the theater owners to decide kung ano 'yung pick nila. Sila ang nagde-decide. Otherwise they won't be joining the filmfest. They were chosen by the theater owners,” he explained.

“Yung na-raffle natin, lock-in period 'yun for two weeks, but outside Metro Manila, for one week they can change,” Tolentino added.

On Tuesday, Ejercito criticized the system of theater distribution for the MMFF, calling it “unfair.”

Ejercito noted that, for instance, "Si Agimat, Si Enteng at Si Ako" is playing in 130 theaters, while his entry "El Presidente" only 51 theaters.

“MMFF should change this unfair system,” the Laguna governor said.

Meanwhile, Tolentino said the lineup of entries this year is exceptional and earnings are estimated to reach around P700 million.

“The profits generated in MMFF are not just for the producers. Last year we gave out a huge chunk for the victims of 'Sendong.' This year, a part of the MMFF profits will help reconstruct classrooms for 'Pablo' victims in New Bataan and Cateel,” he said.

Entries to the Metro Manila Film Festival opened in theaters all over the country on Christmas day. – With ANC