FERRY boats served as the floats for the entries to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival in the first-ever Fluvial Parade of Stars along the Pasig River.

THE METRO Manila Film Festival (MMFF) has partnered with Meta, formerly the Facebook company, to showcase short films by Filipino creators on Facebook.

The MMFF will feature five short films made by creators which will premiere on Dec. 25 at the creators’ respective Facebook pages. With the theme “Lockdown,” the short films run for 10 to 15 minutes.

The short films are: Let It Simmer by Erwan Heussaf of Featr (watch at www.facebook.com/featrmedia) which follows two young people who did not want to spend the first lockdown in Manila alone, so they decide to move in together. While living together, they explore each other’s tastes and learn about each other. Kandado by Pio Balbuena (watch at https://www.facebook.com/PioBalbuena) tells the story of Anghel who ends up in jail after failing to wear a mask. While in prison, he discovers a new power structure that he must carefully navigate to survive. Dito Ka Lang by Beverly Cumla (watch at https://www.facebook.com/BCumla) exposes the stories of those who are trapped, voiceless, powerless, and dealing with a situation more life-threating than the virus. Then and Now by Discover Mnl (watch at https://www.facebook.com/DiscoverMNL) is a rundown of how life was before and at present, and how one occurrence could mean a lot of different things all at the same time. Pepe sa Lockdown by Rayn Brizuela / PGAG (watch at https://www.facebook.com/myPGAG) follows a young man from the year 2080 who is sent back to the past to take on a mission of finding a solution to end the seemingly “eternal” lockdown.

The MMFF jury will also award the Jury’s Choice Award for the short film that “goes beyond mere entertainment, demonstrates creative excellence, and elevates the Facebook viewing experience,” a press release stated.

“In the midst of a lockdown, we witnessed how the creative spirit of the Filipino shines through in the funny, heartwarming, and meaningful content we see online. Through our partnership with Meta, we hope to continue to support the diverse community of Filipino storytellers who share original, engaging, and meaningful content,” Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and MMFF concurrent Chairman Benhur Abalos said in a state-ment.

Content creation has transformed modern storytelling said Revie Sylviana, Entertainment Partnerships Director for the Philippines at Meta, said in a statement.

“In the past year and a half, countless Filipino creators have shared their stories with the world through Facebook, helping bring people together and stay connected through these trying times. By partnering with the Metro Ma-nila Film Festival, we celebrate the creativity and immense talent of these Filipino creators, who have shared original, engaging, and impactful stories that go beyond mere entertainment,” Ms. Sylviana said.


Unlike last year’s festival which went online, the 2021 festival will return to 300 cinemas, which are allowed to operate at 50% capacity, from Dec. 25 to Jan. 8, 2022.

This year’s eight full-length MMFF films are Lawrence Fajardo’s action drama A Hard Day, starring Dingdong Dantes and John Arcilla; Jun Robles Lana’s comedy Big Night, starring Christian Bables and John Arcilla; Louie Ignacio’s romance comedy Huling Ulan Sa Tag-Araw, starring Rita Daniela and Ken Chan; Adolf Alix, Jr.’s horror film Huwag Kang Lalabas, starring Kim Chiu, Jameson Blake, Beauty Gonzalez, and Aiko Melendez; Carlo Francisco Manatad’s drama Kun Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether the Weather is Fine), starring Charo Santos and Daniel Padilla; Cathy Garcia-Molina’s romance comedy Love at First Stream, starring Kaori Oinuma, Jeremiah Lisbo, Daniella Stranner, and Anthony Jennings; Lester Dimaranan’s suspense drama Nelia, starring Wynwyn Marquez and Raymond Bagatsing; and Fifth Solomon’s comedy horror The Exorsis, starring Toni and Alex Gonzaga. — MAPS