President Rodrigo Duterte encourages Filipinos from all over the world to patronize locally produced films by supporting the 46th edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) via UPSTREAM in partnership with GMovies, which will take place as scheduled this Christmas season.The MMFF opens on Christmas Day, December 25, 2020 until January 21, 2021.
“This annual tradition, which began in 1975, has given the Filipino audience a time to enjoy the holidays with your families and friends at the cinemas. It is also the pioneer and foremost industry event that showcases the best Filipino filmmaking and how it compares to the rest of the world. Throughout its illustrious history, the MMFF has given us memorable films that convey the richness of our culture and heritage. This year, festival entries will be shown online so that you can see them with your families in the safety of our homes. May this festival be a beacon of hope for advancement of Philippine cinema,” said President Duterte in his video address.
“As the MMFF will be held online this year, we are very pleased that our Filipino films are not confined to audiences based here in the Philippines but can also be accessed by Filipinos living outside the country and in many parts of the world,” MMDA Chairman and concurrent Chairman of MMFF General Danilo Lim said.
Through a partnership with UPSTREAM and Globe’s GMovies, the MMFF is bringing this year’s festival online as the official entries can be streamed by Filipinos via UPSTREAM in partnership with GMovies for only P250 per title, and $10 for Filipinos abroad. UPSTREAM is likewise able to deliver a better viewing experience for customers while protecting the content creators’ intellectual property rights with the support of Globe’s #PlayItRight campaign. #PlayItRight is the telco company’s anti-piracy advocacy that helps protect the entertainment industry from illegal streaming and content piracy.
“We are grateful to MMFF for allowing us to recreate this well loved Christmas tradition of enjoying the MMFF films. Now, all Filipinos can watch this exciting MMFF lineup on a platform that revitalizes the local film industry,” said Albert de Larrazabal, Globe’s Chief Commercial Officer.
This year, the MMFF has 10 official entries, a shift from the usual eight entries in the previous years. The titles cover a wider range of audiences especially now that the festival has moved online:
Joel Lamangan’s “Isa Pang Bahaghari” is an LGBTQ-themed family drama about an OFW (Phillip Salvador) returning home to reconnect with his estranged wife (Nora Aunor) and children (Zanjoe Marudo, Joseph Marco and Sanya Lopez).
Another LGBTQ-themed film in the roster is “The Boy Foretold by The Stars” produced by Clever Minds, Inc. starring Adrian Lindayag and Keann Johnson, who portray high school classmates whose friendship is tested when their feelings towards each other evolve.
For those who enjoy a good scare, Easy Ferrer’s “The Missing” is set in a haunted house in Japan. Produced by Regal Entertainment, the film features Joseph Marco, Ritz Azul and Miles Ocampo.
“Mang Kepweng: Ang Lihim ng Bandang Itim” is another horror film but with a bit of comedy. Produced by Cineko Productions and directed by Topel Lee, the film stars Vhong Navarro, Ritz Azul, Benjie Paras, Joross Gamboa, Ryan Bang and Ion Perez.
A staple in the holiday film genre is comedy and Al Tantay’s “Pakboys: Takusa” aims to make Pinoys laugh. Produced by Viva Entertainment, the film focuses on the infidelity of comedians Andrew E., Janno Gibbs, Dennis Padilla and Jerald Napoles.
If visual effects are what some are looking for, Christian Acuña’s fantasy-adventure, “Magikland”, is expected to appeal to young audiences. Produced by Peque Gallaga, Lore Reyes, and Brightlight Leisure Productions, the film features a young cast including Miggs Cuaderno, Elijah Alejo, Joshua Eugenio and Princess Aguilar.
Pinoys can also expect a bit of romance with Mac Alejandre’s “Tagpuan”. This movie features a love triangle starred in by Iza Calzado, Alfred Vargas and Shaina Magdayao. Written by Ricky Lee and shot in Hong Kong and New York, the film is produced by Alternative Vision Cinema.
Those who enjoy true stories might like “Suarez, The Healing Priest.” Directed by Joven Tan, the film is based on the life of Father Fernando Suarez. Produced by Saranggola Media Productions, the film stars John Arcilla, Dante Rivero and Jin Macapagal.
Fresh from glowing reviews from its Japan and Estonia premieres, “Fan Girl”, the latest film from Antoinette Jadaone is about every fan girl’s fantasy of spending a night with their biggest celebrity idol. This was produced by ABS-CBN Films' Black Sheep, Globe Studios, Project 8, Epicmedia, and Crossword Productions with performances from newcomer Charlie Dizon and award-winning actor Paulo Avelino, who plays himself.
Lastly, OFWs are well-represented by Adolfo Alix, Jr’s’ “Coming Home.” Produced by Maverick Films, this is a drama about an OFW father(Jinggoy Estrada) who comes home to hisunwelcoming family. The film also featuresSylvia Sanchez, Edgar Allan Guzman, Martin del Rosario, Shaira Diaz, Vin Abrenica, Julian Estrada and Jake Ejercito.
Tickets will be on sale locally on December 7 and internationally on December 18. Visit UPSTREAM.ph to know how to enjoy the MMFF online.