MMFF’s final four films named

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A PERIOD film about women looking for the cure for leprosy, a feel-good romantic comedy, a Brillante Ma. Mendoza film, and Rodel “Coco Martin” Nacianceno’s second feature film complete this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) lineup as the final entries chosen from among finished film submissions.

The announcement was made on Oct. 16 at Club Filipino in San Juan City.

The final four entries are:

Mindanao by Brillante Ma. Mendoza, a film about a mother, played by Judy Ann Santos, who is caring for her child who has terminal cancer while having a husband on active duty as a soldier;

Culion by Alvin Yapan, a film about three women who all have leprosy and are looking to cure the disease, starring Iza Calzado, Meryll Soriano, and Jasmine Curtis-Smith;

3pol Trobol: Huli Ka Balbon stars Coco Martin the director, Jennylyn Mercado, and Ai-ai delas Alas;

Finally, Write About Love by Crisanto Aquino, is a romantic comedy starring Rocco Nacino and Miles Ocampo. This is Mr. Aquino’s directorial debut.

Write About Love producers, TBA Studios, noted in a release sent shortly after the announcement that the film is about “honoring the unsung heroes of filmmaking — the scriptwriters.”

Mindanao, meanwhile, was one of the Filipino films shown during the recently concluded Busan International Film Festival in South Korea. It was presented in the festival’s Icons section.

The four films join the first four entries announced in July which were chosen from script submissions: Miracle in Cell #7 by Nuel Naval and starring Aga Muhlach and Bela Padilla; Mission Unstapabol: The Don Identity by Mike Tuviera starring Vic Sotto and Maine Mendoza; Sunod by Carlo Ledesma starring Carmina Villaroel, Mylene Dizon, Susan Africa, and Kate Alejandrino; and The Mall, The Merrier by Barry Gonzales starring Vice Ganda and Anne Curtis.

Sunod replaced the Kris Aquino-starrer (K)Ampon after it was pulled out for changing its main actor beyond the deadline. The Mall, The Merrier earlier working title was Momalland.

The film festival runs from Dec. 25 to Jan. 7 in all cinemas nationwide. Its annual parade of stars will be held on Dec. 22 and will be hosted by Taguig City.

The MMFF is arguably the country’s largest film festival meant to promote Filipino films. It is now on its 45th year. Last year, the festival grossed P1.60 billion. — Zsarlene B. Chua