full list of mmff movies
full list of mmff movies

List of MMFF Movies That Are Actually GOOD!

With its cruel, often mafia-like efforts to feed the masses with worn-out rehashes passed off as films, the MMFF has indelibly tainted itself as a film festival. No longer do people flock for its curatorial rigour. People go because it’s simply tradition at this point. One that’s no less depressing than having to sit through a dinner filled with condescending titos and titas.

This year’s lineup is particularly dismal. It feels naked. We can see through it for what it is: a flashy menu of corporate products that swears still puts the arts before commerce.

While the current state of MMFF wants you to settle with the kinds of movies it puts at the forefront, we’ve listed a whole list of great films that have come out of the film festival’s previous iterations.

List of MMFF Movies that are actually Good!

Ganito kami noon…Paano Kayo Ngayon? (1976)
Set at the turn of the 20th century during the Filipino revolution against the Spaniards and, later, the American colonizers, it follows a naive peasant through his leap of faith to become a member of an imagined community.
Director: Eddie Romero
Writers: Eddie Romero (screenplay), Roy Iglesias (screenplay)
Stars: Christopher De Leon, Gloria Diaz, Eddie Garcia
Source: IMDB

Honor Thy Father (2015)
A family is caught in a financial ruin after being involved in a ponzi scheme.
Director: Erik Matti
Writers: Michiko Yamamoto (screenplay), Erik Matti (story)
Stars: John Lloyd Cruz, Meryll Soriano, Dan Fernandez
Source: IMDB

Himala (1982)
Elsa saw the blessed Virgin Mary who had changed her life and caused a hysteria in a poor isolated village.
Director: Ishmael Bernal
Writers: Ricardo Lee (story), Ricardo Lee (screenplay)
Stars: Nora Aunor, Veronica Palileo, Spanky Manikan
Source: IMDB

English Only, Please (2014)
A Filipino-American man hires a translator to help translate a letter he wrote for the woman that broke his heart.
Director: Dan Villegas
Writers: Antoinette Jadaone (story), Dan Villegas (story)
Stars: Derek Ramsay, Jennylyn Mercado, Kean Cipriano
Source: IMDB

Dukit (2013)
Story of a celebrated Kapampangan sculptor who has been battling his personal demons for years.
Director: Armando Lao
Writers: Honeylyn Joy Alipio (as Honie Alipio), Armando Lao
Stars: Angela Cortez, Bambalito Lacap, Wilfredo Layug
Source: IMDB

ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Moveeh (2006)
Ada (aka Adrian) is a lonely gay man in Manila, and after yet another heartbreak he takes his beauty parlor and his niece, Aruba, to the provinces to start a new life. One night while singing in the shower, Ada is hit on the head with a strange meteorite with the word “Zaturnnah” printed on it. His best friend Didi is convinced it will give Ada superhero powers, and convinces him to swallow it. He does so, and after shouting, “Zaturnnah!” he turns into a beautiful woman!
Director: Joel Lamangan (as Joel C. Lamangan)
Writers: Carlo Vergara (graphic novel), Dinno Erece (screenplay) (as Dino Erece)
Stars: Zsa Zsa Padilla, Bb Gandanghari, Pops Fernandez
Source: IMDB

Thy Womb (2012)
An infertile midwife and her husband find a surrogate mother so that they can have a child.
Director: Brillante Mendoza (as Brillante Ma Mendoza)
Writer: Henry Burgos (screenplay)
Stars: Nora Aunor, Bembol Roco, Lovi Poe
Source: IMDB

Thy Womb (2012)
An infertile midwife and her husband find a surrogate mother so that they can have a child.
Director: Brillante Mendoza (as Brillante Ma Mendoza)
Writer: Henry Burgos (screenplay)
Stars: Nora Aunor, Bembol Roco, Lovi Poe
Source: IMDB

Tanging Yaman (2000)
The decision of three siblings to sell their ailing mother’s property causes deeply burried resentment to resurface as each of them also faces difficulties within their own families.
Director: Laurice Guillen
Writers: Laurice Guillen (story), Shaira Mella Salvador (screenplay)
Stars: Gloria Romero, Hilda Koronel, Dina Bonnevie
Source: IMDB

Sunday Beauty Queen (2016)
Sunday Beauty Queen is a real-life Cinderella tale of a Filipina house helper who dreams to be a Beauty Queen in Hong Kong.
Director: Baby Ruth Villarama
Stars: Rudelie Acosta, Cherrie Bretana, Chuck Gutierrez
Source: IMDB

Shake, Rattle & Roll (1984)
Baso (glass) talks about the adventure of three friends who performed Spirit of the Glass and discovered the tale of a tragic love triangle. Pridyider (Frigidaire – a brand name for a refrigerator) revolves around a refrigerator that seemed to be “alive”. Manananggal is about a teenager who courts a barrio lass without his knowledge that this lass is a monster. She eventually causes chaos to his family.
Directors: Ishmael Bernal, Emmanuel H. Borlaza, Peque Gallaga
Writers: Jose N. Carreon (story & screenplay) (as Jose Carreon), Amado Lacuesta (story & screenplay)
Stars: Charito Solis, Herbert Bautista, William Martinez
Source: IMDB

RPG Metanoia (2010)
11-year-old Nico and his friends fight to prevent a dangerous computer virus from crossing over into the real world by infecting the minds of gamers all across the globe, unleashing his inner warrior in his fight to save the world.
Director: Luis C. Suarez
Writers: Luis C. Suarez (story), Luis C. Suarez (screenplay)
Stars: Aga Muhlach, Vhong Navarro, Eugene Domingo
Source: IMDB

Payaso (1986)
St. Peter sends his jester (German Moreno) to Earth after he lost his heavenly keys. The jester’s quest is to look for the misplaced keys. As he wandered out in the streets, the happy clown found himself in sadness as he sees the depressing situation of poverty and moral degradation of man. His melancholy worsened after he met the Red Devil who has supernatural powers that he couldn’t even compete with. Depressed, hopeless and defeated, he asks his master to help him and make its presence known to him once more.
Director: Celso Ad. Castillo
Writers: Celso Ad. Castillo (story), George Kabristante (screenplay)
Stars: German Moreno, Gene Palomo, Monique Castillo
Source: IMDB

Muro-Ami (1999)
Maestro Fredo, a tyrant captain, fixates to claim the treasures of the sea — no matter what, in whatever diabolical technique for as long as he profits. He employs dozens of men, mostly children, in his dangerous expeditions. Conditions aboard the ships are oppressive. Children are often overworked and his crew is furious with the way they are living. He blames the sea for claiming the lives of his family and he exacts revenge by plundering its depths.
Director: Marilou Diaz-Abaya
Writers: Ricardo Lee (screenplay), Jun Lana (screenplay)
Stars: Cesar Montano, Pen Medina, Jhong Hilario
Source: IMDB

Minsa’y Isang Gamu-gamo (1976)
A young nurse questions her planned emigration to the United States, and her country’s post-colonial conditions, following her brother’s fatal shooting by an American soldier from the nearby military base.
Director: Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara (as Lupita A. Concio)
Writer: Marina Feleo-Gonzales (story and screenplay)
Stars: Nora Aunor, Jay Ilagan, Gloria Sevilla
Source: IMDB

Magic Temple (1996)
The magical world of “Samadhi” is threatened by the evil forces of Ravenal and Sifu sends out three teenage boys to journey on the Magic Temple. Jubal, Sambag and Omar, each with their own unique power battles the threat to the world of “Samadhi” and along the way faces many extraordinary things. The boys are sure to face a huge battle ahead of them but with the help of magical creatures they met along their journey, evil is eliminated and they learn the true value of camaraderie and believing in them selves to face any problem.
Directors: Peque Gallaga, Lore Reyes
Writers: Peque Gallaga (story), Lore Reyes (story)
Stars: Jason Salcedo, Junell Hernando, Marc Solis
Source: IMDB

Die Beautiful (2016)
Friends attend the wake of Trisha, a Filipino transgender woman. They look back into the her life as she faces the adversities and triumphs of living as a transgender in Filipino society
Director: Jun Lana (as Jun Robles Lana)
Writers: Rody Vera (screenplay), Jun Lana (story) (as Jun Robles Lana)
Stars: Paolo Ballesteros, Christian Bables, Joel Torre
Source: IMDB

José Rizal (1998)
Jose Rizal’s life and works are recounted through a series of non-linear flashbacks which reflect on various aspects of his life – as writer, propagandist, lover, friend, brother, doctor, and the man that inspired a revolution.
Director: Marilou Diaz-Abaya
Writers: Ricardo Lee (screenplay), Jun Lana (screenplay)
Stars: Cesar Montano, Joel Torre, Jaime Fabregas
Source: IMDB

Insiang (1976)
The first Filipino film to show at the Cannes Film Festival is set in the slums of Manila. A beautiful girl gets raped by her mother’s lover, and then learns how to exact revenge.
Director: Lino Brocka
Writers: Mario O’Hara (story), Mario O’Hara (screenplay)
Stars: Hilda Koronel, Mona Lisa, Rez Cortez
Source: IMDB

Insiang (1976)
The first Filipino film to show at the Cannes Film Festival is set in the slums of Manila. A beautiful girl gets raped by her mother’s lover, and then learns how to exact revenge.
Director: Lino Brocka
Writers: Mario O’Hara (story), Mario O’Hara (screenplay)
Stars: Hilda Koronel, Mona Lisa, Rez Cortez
Source: IMDB

Bulaklak sa City Jail (1984)
A pregnant woman arrested for attempted murder is sent to the Manila City Jail where she meets several women with shocking pasts.
Director: Mario O’Hara
Writer: Lualhati Bautista (story and screenplay)
Stars: Nora Aunor, Gina Alajar, Celia Rodriguez
Source: IMDB

Bona (1980)
BONA loves Gardo. Gardo loves Gardo. Gardo loves going to bed with almost any woman he can attract. Once – apparently in the absence of anyone better – he even takes Bona to bed, but by the next morning, the matter seems to have slipped his mind.
Director: Lino Brocka
Writer: Cenen Ramones (story and screenplay)
Stars: Nora Aunor, Phillip Salvador, Marissa Delgado
Source: IMDB

Baler (2008)
Baler is a love story between Feliza, the daughter of a rebel commander and Celso, a half-Spanish soldier, set during the twilight years of the Spanish regime in the Philippines. The young couple struggle to keep their forbidden love alive despite familial and political tensions, culminating in an almost year-long blockade known as the Siege of Baler.
Director: Mark Meily
Writer: Roy Iglesias (story and screenplay)
Stars: Phillip Salvador, Jericho Rosales, Anne Curtis
Source: IMDB

Ari: My Life with a King (2015)
A young man forms a close bond with an old poet.
Director: Carlo Catu
Writer: Robby Tantingco (screenplay)
Stars: Jonalyn Ablong, Policarpio Batac, Chloe Carpio
Source: IMDB

Ang Panday (1980)
Panday is a blacksmith whose real name is Flavio. When a meteor fell from the sky one night, he forged the metal from the meteor into a dagger, the balaraw. When he raises the dagger to the sky, it magically grows into a sword. He uses this magical sword to fight the evil Lizardo (Max Alvarado) and other supernatural beings. Eventually, Lizardo and his minions are destroyed.
Director: Fernando Poe Jr. (as Ronwaldo Reyes)
Writers: Carlo J. Caparas (story), Fred Navarro (screenplay)
Stars: Fernando Poe Jr., Max Alvarado, Bentot Jr.
Source: IMDB

Ang Larawan (2017)
In a musical tale about standing together against materialism, two impoverished sisters anguish over whether or not to sell a painting, the final masterpiece by their recluse father. A bitter struggle for survival against betrayal set in pre-World War II Manila.
Director: Loy Arcenas
Writers: Alemberg Ang, Loy Arcenas
Stars: Joanna Ampil, Rachel Alejandro, Paulo Avelino
Source: IMDB

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Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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Festival Report: Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2018, reviewed
Festival Report: Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2018
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