Home Arts & Leisure MMFF offers whole gamut of genres

MMFF offers whole gamut of genres

A ROMANTIC comedy, a suspense-thriller-drama, an action-adventure comedy, a techno-horror film, an action-drama, a comedy drama, and two family dramas make the lineup for this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). Organized by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the film festival starts on Dec. 25 and runs until Jan. 7, 2023.

Now on its 48th year, this year’s film festival carries the theme “Balik Saya” (Fun Returns).

“We are urging everyone to support our filmmakers and watch the MMFF lineup of entries that feature different genres. Spend time with your families, friends, and loved ones, and see as many movies as possible; let us all make this fest a success,” MMDA Acting Chairman and concurrent MMFF Over-all Chairman Romando Artes said in a press release.

The coronavirus pandemic led to a big drop in the festival’s earnings since in-theater screenings were impossible to hold because of lockdown rules. So, it turned to online screenings in 2020, then limited screenings the following year.

The online edition in 2020 earned less than P50 million, in comparison to the P995 million in box office receipts in 2019. No official earnings figures were announced for 2021 when the film festival returned to physical screenings in selected movie theaters nationwide. The MMFF’s box office record was in 2018 when it earned P1.060 billion.

The MMFF’s Gabi ng Parangal or awards ceremony will be held at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City on Dec. 27.

The Metro Manila Film festival was established in 1975 to recognize the film industry’s role in depicting stories about the country and its history, and to promote and enhance the preservation of the Philippine cinema. During the festival’s run, no non-festival film can be screened in theaters. No foreign films can be shown during that time except in 3D and IMAX theaters.

Here are the eight official entries to the MMFF 2022 in alphabetical order:

(produced by Viva Communications, Inc.)
Directed by Mikhail Red

The techno-horror film follows Lyra (played by Nadine Lustre), who works at a shadowy online content moderation office where employees, known as “deleters,” are tasked with filtering graphic uploads from reaching social media platforms. Lyra’s co-workers are unaware that she hides a deep trauma. Her attempt to erase and forget her past has forced her to be apathetic to the horrors of the world. Co-starring with Ms. Lustre are McCoy De Leono, Louise Delos Reyes, and Jeffrey Hidalgo.

MTRCB Rating: R-13

(Cineko Productions, Inc.)
Directed by Nuel Naval

Francisco (played by Noel Trinidad) and Eleanor (Liza Lorena) are an elderly couple with four children. The film follows the family members who squabble over who will take care of their stroke-stricken father. The film also stars Nonie Buencamino, Mylene Dizon, Nikki Valdez, and JC Santos.

MTRCB Rating: G

(ABS-CBN Film Productions)
Directed by Coco Martin

Trisha (played by Jodi Sta. Maria) is a US-based businesswoman who returns to the Philippines after she catches her fiancé cheating. Back home, she meets Gabo (Coco Martin, a.k.a. Rodel Pacheco Nacianceno) who has been working different jobs to make ends meet. When Tricia returns to the US, Gabo follows her. Tricia then asks Gabo to pretend to be her new wealthy businessman boyfriend to keep her ex-fiancé out of the family business.

MTRCB Rating: PG

(Borracho Film Production)
Directed by Lester Dimaranan

The action-drama tells the story of the 44 Special Action Force officers who died during the tragic Mamasapano clash with the MILF in 2015. It stars Edu Manzano, Aljur Abrenica, Paolo Gumabao, Alan Paule, and Claudine Barretto.

MTRCB Rating: R-13

(3:16 Media Network)
Directed by Joel Lamangan

Robert (played by Jake Cuenca) and his wife (Dimples Romana) have a daughter (Tiffany Grey) and an adopted son, Matthew (Sean de Guzman). Matthew’s biological father is Robert’s deceased former lover. When the children grow up, matters grow complicated when Robert falls for his adopted son, who also impregnates his stepsister.

MTRCB Rating: R-18

(Rein Entertainment Productions)
Directed by Shugo Praico

The suspense-thriller-drama follows the covert relationship of a woman with a corrupt police officer and a sugar daddy. It stars Ian Veneracion, Heaven Peralejo, and Mon Confiado.

MTRCB Rating: R-13

(ABS-CBN Film Productions)
Directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina

The action-adventure comedy starring Vice Ganda and Ivana Alawi, follows two former lovers who cross paths again, but then they both get caught up in a crime.

MTRCB Rating: PG

Directed by Paul Soriano

A high school teacher (played by Toni Gonzaga) learns a valuable lesson in life after meeting a 70-year-old student (Joey de Leon).

MTRCB Rating: PG

— Michelle Anne P. Soliman