MFTPA may sue Marco Muller for “breaches of contract”

The Macau Films & Television Productions and Culture Association (MFTPA) may sue Marco Muller – the International Film Festival and Awards Macao (IFFAM) former director – for “breaches of contract.” According to a statement released two days ago, MFTPA declares Muller failed to fulfil the agreement, which was signed by the Association and the former director. On Monday, the organisation held a press conference to announce IFFAM’s programme, but MFTPA’s representatives preferred not to comment on the matter. According to an interview Muller gave to Macau Closer magazine, he was informed about the possible legal action through Monday’s [Monday] conference: “I find it quite shocking that during the press conference, the officials who first called me a friend, then without even sending me a letter, they say that they are considering legal action against me. This is completely surprising,” he stated. The former director believes the legal action issue is “an absurd situation” and his lawyers “are waiting to see if they’re going to file” one as well.

Also at the press conference, the Director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Helena de Senna Fernandes told media “there are ongoing differences of opinion between the Association and Mr. Muller.” Senna Fernandes said the government is “simply not one of the contractual parties” and for that matter, it should not comment on further developments.

Asked about how Muller’s withdrawal will affect IFFAM, Senna Fernandes assumed that there are “definitely effects” and keeping up with this Festival’s stage is not an easy task. “The part regarding the films’ selection has been completed, but however, I would say that having, all of a sudden, the resignation of the Festival’s director is not a very productive act in terms of the entire organisation,” Senna Fernandes said.

IFFAM is now out of a director, but still keeps all the other organisation members, including the invited film directors and actors. “Because this is a very critical period, I would say it is not fair to appoint somebody to assume this out of the blue. That is why (…) I will also assume the duties of Acting Festival Director,” MGTO’s director added.

The Festival, which takes places in several venues from 8th to 13th December 2016, will showcase 49 films throughout different categories. There will also be workshops – with Hollywood producer Gianni Nunnari, writer Tom McCarthy and actor Bobby Cannavale –, a co-production initiative called “Crouching Tigers Project Lab” and a Macao Short Film Competition. Tickets for the film sessions are priced at 50 MOP for classical versions and 80 MOP for 3D versions.