The 39th Metro Manila Film Festival
Dec 01,2013 0 Comments
A review of what happened and a preview of what’s to come in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival.
Words by: Lorenzo Cruz
December 25 marks not only the festive Christmas day for the Filipinos but also the start of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). It has been a tradition for Filipino families to wake up from the night of their Noche Buena and to go to their favorite malls to bond over some popcorns and quality local films.
The festival is organized by The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). It has been bringing critically acclaimed films to the Filipino masses for 38 years and this year is certainly no exception. The MMFF returns this December on its 39th year with a fresh new roster of films.
The festival has two main categories: the Mainstream and the New Wave. The Mainstream category involves films that are under licensed producers such as Viva Films, Star Cinema, and the like while the latter serves as a “Tribute to Independent Cinema”. Unlike the Mainstream category, the New Wave is a “non-competitive” category.
Last year’s roster proved to be most entertaining. One familiar entry that welcomed everyone was the “Shake, Rattle and Roll” installment on its 14th year.
A horror film that was graced by a line up of talented actors such as Carla Abellana, Dennis Trillo, Iza Calzado, Janice de Belen, Lovi Poe, Solenn Heussaff, and Vhong Navarro to name a few. The story revolves around a family who is haunted by characters from an old comic book. The film is loaded with zombie action, ghost encounters and special effects that landed them the award Best Visual Effect. The installment usually gives way to new and upcoming filmmakers but it is surprising that this year the veteran Chito S. Roño directed it. Roño already directed several award winning films like “Emir”, “Dekada ‘70” and “Caregiver”.
Another somehow familiar entry is the “Si Agimat, Si Enteng at si Ako” directed by Tony Reyes, starring Judy Ann Santos, Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. and Vic Sotto.
The film is about three different heroes of three different worlds, uniting to achieve one common goal –to protect everyone from an unknown evil. A jam-packed movie full of action, magic, drama and comedy that the whole family can enjoy.
On the other hand, there were also a lot of new faces that joined the competition. One of which is the “El Presidente” which won the most awards. Their awards include 2nd Best Picture, Youth Choice Award, Best Festival Float, Best Sound, Best Musical Score, Best Theme Song, Best Make Up and Best Supporting Actor by Cesar Montano. The film is about the life of General Emilio Aguinaldo, his battles and achievements.
Another new contender is the film “One More Try”, a most dramatic treatment of a love triangle by director Ruel S. Bayani. The film stars Angel Locsin, Zanjoe Marudo, Dingdong Dantes and Angelica Panganiban. The story revolves around a mother who is asking for her ex-husband’s help in saving their child but complications come when she finds out that her ex-husband is already married, the mother then had to make the hardest decision; a role played exceptionally well by Angel Locsin.
One would expect a rather diverse roster from an independent category but what’s interesting to see this year is that the Mainstream category seems to be mixing it up a bit. We don’t see the usual contenders like the “Shake, Rattle and Roll” installment or the “Enteng Kabisote” series. We can expect, though, the return of Kimmy and her adventures from “Kimmy Dora”, brought to life by none other than Eugene Domingo with a brand new leading man, Piolo Pascual.
The complete roster of the MMFF 2013:
1. 10, 000 Hours
2. San Pedro Calungsod, Batang Martir
3. Boy, Girl, Bakla, Tomboy
4. Be Careful with My Heart
6. Kimmy Dora Prequel
7. My Super Kap
8. Torky and My Little Bossing
1. Mga Anino ng Kahapon
2. Island Dreams
5. Sak Saka
It is nice to see that there are new films coming out and joining the MMFF. The fact that the MMDA now shows support for the independent film community, aside from the Cinemalaya, means that the reach of the medium is getting larger. It is slowly building up the Filipino’s identity in the film industry. Whether it is a good or a bad identity still remains to be seen.