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‘Oro’ producers, director banned from joining next year’s MMFF

'Oro' director Alvin Yapan speaks to reporters after a closed door meeting with the Metro Manila Film Festival executive committee on Monday, as producer Mark Shandii Bacolod and actress Irma Adlawan look on. (Photo by Yummie Dingding/InterAksyon)

Following another closed door meeting Friday, the Metro Manila Film Festival Executive Committee decided to ban the makers of the controversial film, “Oro.”

The ban prohibits the film’s director Alvin Yapan, producer Mark Shandii Bacolod and executive producer Feliz Guerrero of Feliz Film Productions from joining the annual Christmas season film festival for one year.

Since the ban only covers the MMFF, Yapan, Bacolod and Guerrero are still free to make films and join other film festivals.

“Oro,” which drew controversy following a scene involving the alleged slaughter of a real dog, may also be submitted to international film festivals.

“We have to understand that the jurisdiction of the MMFF is just within the festival. If there are going to be further inquiries we also have the other guilds, I don’t even know how far FDCP can explore this matter. I’ve already proposed our own probe on this but when it comes to film, workers are within the authority of the Film Academy of the Philippines to decide,” Film Development Council of the Philippines chair Liza Diño told InterAksyon.

The Directors Guild of the Philippines has vowed to investigate Yapan in particular in response to a complaint by the Philippine Animal Welfare Society against the embattled filmmaker.

The sanction is the latest to befall “Oro” which earlier lost the Fernando Poe, Jr. Memorial Award that it won during the MMFF awards night. The film was also pulled out of cinemas after Yapan promised but failed to submit an edited version where the dog slaughter scene is supposedly “blackened” out as he himself suggested during an earlier meeting with the MMFF Execom.

In an interview with News5’s MJ Marfori, however, producer Bacolod clarified that it was not the MMFF that pulled out their film. Instead, Bacolod said they made a conscious decision not to re-edit the film anymore.

Aside from the FPJ Memorial Award, “Oro” also won Best Ensemble Cast and Best Actress for lead star Irma Adlawan. Despite the clamor of PAWS and other concerned parties to have all of the film’s awards rescinded by the MMFF, festival organizers have opted not to withdraw its two acting honors.