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The mindset

Erik Matti short of shares trade secrets for local directors to make it in the international scene

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Respected director Erik Matti’s main goal now is to do movies for the local market but with potential to make it internationally too.

Erik Matti (mb.com.ph)

Erik Matti

“I think everyone’s talking globally now with more contents geared towards speaking to as many as country as possible and not just on the local market,” he said in recent interview.

He advises aspiring directors to think carefully about doing materials bordering on comedy.

“Because comedy is usually local,” he explained. “In some cases, the material would probably be funny to us but not to the people of Thailand, Indonesia or in America. So as a filmmaker, we have to consider that aspect.”

He said originality is paramount though acknowledging it requires a lot of creativity. This stand came to fore when the conversation shifted to the resignation of three executive members of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) upon the announcement of the first four films that qualified to this year’s Magic 8.

Clarifying that his frustrations has nothing to do with the four entries, Matti said his main concern is on how the selection process was done. The director said it seems the MMFF committee only considered who stars in the movie and who produces it.

“They may be the best scripts they’ve ever read of all that were submitted, wala lang nakakaalam, ’di ba? Ang problema kasi, it’s the same type of films, it’s the same kind of movies,” he maintained.

Matti thinks the entries that were brought in were picked based on criteria that’s “30 percent artista, 30 percent producer, 30 percent theme song, 10 percent brightness.”

As of this writing, MMFF has yet to address the matter.

Filmmakers guild

Bulletin Entertainment caught up with Matti at the press conference of the largest Video on Demand Service in South East Asia HOOQ, where it was announced the director is on the judging panel of the company’s filmmakers guild.

HOOQ Filmmakers Guild is South-East Asia wide project that aims to give breaks to the most promising filmmakers.

Joining Matti on the table are from Indonesia – Mouly Surya, a critically acclaimed director who recent screened at Director’s Fortnight in Cannes; and Nicholas Saputra, an award-winning actor and documentary producer.

“I believe the Philippines still has a lot of undiscovered filmmakers out there and just waiting for their big break. The HOOQ Filmmakers Guild, will give these aspiring filmmakers a chance to see their ideas become reality, and hopefully inspire others to pursue their dream,” the Pinoy director said.

Asked what his criteria is for judging, Matti expounded on originality.

(From left): Sheila Paul, Allison Chew Jane Cruz-Walker, Erik, and Jeff Remigio (mb.com.ph)

(From left): Sheila Paul, Allison Chew Jane Cruz-Walker, Erik, and Jeff Remigio

“We want to be our materials to be edgy but very sensitive to cultural differences as well,” he said. “Basta ang mahalaga may personal voice, it could be influence from another film, but in style and in the content, it should be something personal to the filmmakers then it become a fresher idea.”

Good venue

HOOQ Philippines Country manager Jane Cruz-Walker believes HOOQ Filmmakers Guild is a good venue for amateur and professional filmmakers not just locally but regional.

“It offers international opportunity for all for us, in the South-East Asia in general. With this, we are able to share our content, our stories and be able to bring it to the global stage.”

She is confident the Philippines has a big chance to snatch one of the coveted five slots of the guild.

HOOQ Director of Content and Programming Jeff Remigio thinks so, too.

“We believe Filipino filmmakers will somehow deliver the best content. But we could also noted that the other countries are really working hard to produce something that has global appeal,” he shared.

The search for the HOOQ Filmmaker Guild began on June 5 and will be open for entries until Aug. 15. The five chosen best scripts will be receiving a funding of $30,000 to be converted into a pilot episode that will debut on HOOQ. (With report from Jojo P. Panaligan)

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