From its schedule to its star-studded lineup, here’s what to look forward to at the first-ever Summer Metro Manila Film Festival.
Related: 8 Entries From MMFF 2022, Here’s What We Know So Far
Following its commercial success last year, with gross earnings of over half a billion pesos in its two-week run, the Metro Manila Film Festival is set to bring its cinematic treat this coming dry season. What was once only a Filipino holiday tradition every December, the MMFF offers another platform to highlight Filipino movies and hopefully develops a market with its first-ever summer edition. From its familiar blockbuster slate to its new mission, here’s what we know so far about this historic event.
8 OFFICIAL ENTRIES
Just like its holiday counterpart, the Metro Manila Summer Film Festival has an eight-film offering, too. According to the Metro Manila Development Authority, these movies were selected from 33 submitted films (23 new movies and 10 resubmissions from last edition), the highest number of submissions received by the MMDA in its 48-year history.
Cutting across different genres, the final eight films were selected based on its commercial appeal (40%), artistic excellence (40%), Filipino cultural values (10%), and global appeal (10%). From a crime drama that’s traveled to international film festivals to a local musical, here are the eight films screening at the MMFF’s summer celebration:
- Apag, directed by Brillante Mendoza
- Single Bells, directed by Fifth Solomon
- About Us But Not About Us, directed by Jun Robles Lana
- Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko, directed by Joven Tan
- Unravel: A Swiss Side Love Story, directed by RC delos Reyes
- Here Comes The Groom, directed by Chris Martinez
- Yung Libro Sa Napanood Ko, directed by Bela Padilla
- Love You Long Time, directed by JP Habac
In partnership with the Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines, the inaugural summer edition of MMFF will hold an 11-day screening period from April 8-18, 2023. Coinciding with the Holy Week break, the summer festival will run in all cinemas nationwide. Staying true to its traditional ceremony, the Summer MMFF will have a parade of stars on April 2 in Quezon City while the awards night is set to take place at the New Frontier Theater on April 11.
A STAR-STUDDED EVENT
And per usual, the MMFF summer event is looking to be another star-studded gathering of high-profile celebrities and industry heavyweights. For instance, ABS-CBN’s primetime king, Coco Martin, joins Jaclyn Jose, Lito Lapid, and Gladys Reyes in the crime and family drama Apag, by Brillante Mendoza.
Meanwhile, Enchong Dee topbills Here Comes The Groom, another comedic romp from director Chris Martinez that is a sequel to his 2010 offering, Here Comes The Bride. Also in the powerhouse cast are Eugene Domingo, Keempee De Leon, Maris Racal, Kaladkaren, drag queen Xilhouete, with special appearances by Tony Labrusca and Miles Ocampo.
Bela Padilla is also set to star in the romantic drama, ‘Yung Libro Sa Napanood Ko, which she’s also written and directed. On the other hand, RK Bagatsing and Meg Imperial lead the Rey Valera-inspired musical, Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko, by director Joven Tan. As if all of that star power is not enough, you’ll also get to see Gerald Anderson and Kylie Padilla this summer in another aching romance, Unravel: A Swiss Side Love Story. While Carlo Aquino partners anew with filmmaker JP Habac in Love Me Long Time with newcomer Eisel Serrano.
Needless to say, the first summer MMFF will surely be exciting, not only in the stories they’re about to tell, but also in how the awards competition shapes up with all the talented storytellers taking part of the festival.
AIMED AT GEN Z AUDIENCE
In an interview, MMDA and MMFF concurrent acting chairman Don Artes highlights the mission of the summer film festival to “concentrate” on the Gen Z and millennial market as opposed to the usually family-centric themes of the movies from the December edition of MMFF.
The festival’s selection committee head and veteran actress Boots Anson-Rodrigo also shares how they have selected youth-oriented films from a very competitive batch of submissions, making sure that there’ll be a variety of genres and stories in the lineup that the younger generation can relate to, particularly in the topic of mental health.
“We are very proud that these eight official entries that we have selected are all quality films,” says Artes in a press release. “We are hoping that the first-ever Summer MMFF would also receive the same warm support from moviegoers as the December 2022 MMFF.”
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