The 8 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2018 entries, unveiled
At the risk of repeating myself, I think it’s important to note that part of the film festival experience in the Philippines is dealing with programmers’ logistic errors. No other festival has thus far matched the reputation of the Metro Manila Film Festival when it comes to such errors, and it looks like it keeps its hold to that this year.
From the get-go, the idea of separating the selection into two batches—the first four are selected as screenplays and the remaining four are selected as finished films—feels, at best, cringy. It’s like saying: “Look, we have four actual contenders and four cash-grabbing pieces of cinematic garbage”.
And that’s no prejudice. That’s sheer cynicism talking.
MMFF isn’t exactly known for producing the best stuff as it sometimes does (ahem, “Sunday Beauty Queen”). It’s known mainly for the many controversies it finds itself involved in, most infamously the exhaustive legal battle that sprang from disqualifying “Honor Thy Father” from winning the Best Picture category and allegedly doctoring ticket sales in 2015.
Last week, the MMFF Execom (Executive Committee) has announced the remaining four entries. These are selected as complete, finished films, meaning their individual merit is based on the totality of its being, not the idea of a story, or worse, the star-power draw lent by its approved cast. For this, we’re excited.
Brillante Mendoza’s “Alpha: The Right To Kill” has reportedly been bumped off by the “Shake, Rattle, and Roll”-esque barkada-horror movie, “Otlum”. Better for me, because 1.) there’s always room for horror, and 2.) who knows what entails from a ‘festival movie’ that’s literally titled “The Right To Kill”? Good riddance, I dare say.
Also, to give context, the first four films, first announced in June this year, included titles such as “Fantastica: The Princess, The Prince and The Perya” and “Popoy En Jack: The Pulisincredibles”. I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Here’s the full list of MMFF 2018 entries.
Starring: Eddie Garcia, Tony Mabesa, Gloria Romero, and Sunshine Dizon directed, by Joel Lamangan
Film Company: Likhang Silang Entertainment
One Great Love
Starring: Dennis Trillo, Kim Chiu and JC De Vera, directed by Eric Quizon
Film Company: Regal Films
Mary, Marry Me!
Starring: Toni Gonzaga, Alex Gonzaga, and Sam Milby, directed by RC Delos Reyes
Film Company: Ten17 Inc
Starring: Ricci Rivero, Jerome Ponce, directed by Joven Tan
Film Company: Horsehoe Productions
Starring: Anne Curtis, directed by Yam Laranas
Film Company: Viva Films
Fantastica: The Princess, The Prince and The Perya
Starring: Vice Ganda, Maris Racal, Loisa Andalio, and Maymay Entrata, directed by Barry Gonzalez
Film Company: Star Cinema and Viva Films
The Girl in the Orange Dress
Starring: Jessy Mendiola, Jericho Rosales, Tom Rodriguez, directed by Jay Abello
Film Company: Quantum and MJM Films
Popoy En Jack: The Pulisincredibles
Starring: Vic Sotto, Coco Martin, directed by Rodel Nacianceno
Film Company: MZet, APT, and CCM Productions
The 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival happens on December 25, 2018.