By Boy Villasanta I Published: July 30, 2020
In a news advisory circulated by Metro Manila Film Festival publicist Noel Ferrer, he announced that Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and concurrent MMFF Chairman Danilo Lim has just appointed Laurice Guillen and Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso as new members of the Executive Committee of the annual Filipino film fiesta.
Ferrer said that chairman, Lim has “the sole authority under the MMFF law to appoint members of the Execom.”
Laurice Guillen is a very respected actress and director while Nick Lizaso is a revered theater, television and movie actor, writer, and director.
Vice Liza Diño
The announcement was an eventual development after Liza Diño-Seguerra, chairperson of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), was sacked from the committee for grounds — according to Lim’s expulsion letter — of the FDCP’s “dream” of taking over from MMDA the administration of the annual MMFF.
Ferrer said that Lim “is already excited on this development in MMFF” as he believes in the integrity and wisdom of the two new members.
“Their track record speaks for themselves,” said the MMDA Chief.
The yearly celebration of Filipino films in December has been under the auspices of the MMDA for years.
Constructive, Productive Execom
In a statement, Lim said he is optimistic that this will set the ground for a more constructive and productive work for the MMFF Execom. Lim also assured the public that it has reached out to all the sectors to serve the best interest of the film industry.
“The appointment of Director Guillen in the MMFF Execom will start a more fruitful collaboration between MMFF and Cinemalaya,” Lim added.
Guillen, apart from her being a former FDCP Chairman is the President of the Cinemalaya Foundation, the organization runs, together with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the annual Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film festival.
Nick Lizaso is the President of CCP and Chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), both presidential appointees.
In hindsight, Guillen and Lizaso’s appointments to the Committee would serve as additional representations to the sectors and organizations they move about.
Meanwhile, Liza Diño insists that the position paper of FDCP administering the MMFF is lawful.