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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Dec 29, 2011

Why Yesterday Today Tomorrow Was Disqualified In Metro Filmfest Awards

MOTHER LILY was shocked when she learned that “Yesterday Today Tomorrow,” one of Regal Entertainment’s two entries in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival has been disqualified by the festival's executive committee due to a “major revision” in the script that was approved by the committee.

Metro Manila Dev. Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino said he himself discovered the violation after he watched the film. “Iba yung lumabas, iba rin yung cast. Pareho lang yung title,” Tolentino said. He said that Mother Lily, who was summoned early Tuesday by the MMFF executive committee, already acknowledged the violations. With the disqualification, “Yesterday Today Tomorrow” is barred from competing in four major categories in the awards night held on Wednesday (Dec. 28) at Resorts World Manila. These categories include Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and the Gatpuno Villegas Cultural awards.This is the first time in 37 years that a competing film has been disqualified by organizers.

In an official statement, Mother Lily said “Regal is shocked, dismayed, and deeply hurt by MMFF’s decision to disqualify its entry “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” from receiving awards in certain categories. The reason cited by MMFF is an alleged major deviation in the storyline.

It is quite disturbing that the decision was handed out on the very same day as the awards night REGAL was not even informed, not until yesterday (27 Dec. 2011), on any complaint by MMFF with regard to the script and the cast despite the fact that MMFF Execom previewed the entry last 18 Dec. 2011. MMFF’s letter dated 26 Dec. 2011 merely alluded to “certain” deviation without any indication that this was considered “major” under MMFF Rules.

REGAL wants to make it clear that it committed no violation of the MMFF Rules and Regulations. There was no major deviation in the storyline. While the script was slightly modified, this was done primarily to suit changes in the cast of which MMFF had prior notice as per REGAL’s letter dated 23 November 2011. The genre and essence of the film were never changed. All the necessary elements required by MMFF that will make the final script identifiable with the one originally submitted are in tact.

The Film Festival is supposed to be an opportunity to unify the film industry. This unfortunate event, however, mars such a beautiful endeavour and unduly limits artistic freedom which was exercised to increase the film’s box office appeal, not for REGAL alone but MMFF as well.

REGAL thanks the public for continuing to support its movies and the others shown in the Festival as well. This statement is being issued not in the expectation to win but simply to correct an unfair decision which serves no purpose but to divide an already vulnerable industry.”

Related Links:

Yesterday Today Tomorrow Cast Pictures
Yesterday Today Tomorrow Movie Review
Fearless Forecast On Who Might Win In The Metro-Manila Filmfest Awards On Wednesday Night