Christmas Day is exciting to moviegoers because it’s always the first day of the annual Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) that runs till Jan. 7.
As usual, the “Magic 8” have everything from the usual headline-grabbing comedies and drama-romance, to action and thrillers.
Now on its 44th edition, MMFF was established “in recognition of the role of the film industry in providing artistic depictions of both this country’s stories and history.”
Director: Yam Laranas
Production Company: Viva Films/ALIUD Entertainment
Actors: Anne Curtis, Phoebe Villamor, Marco Gumabao, Alan Paule, and Mercedes Cabral
Synopsis: Over a thousand passengers perish when a passenger ship named “Aurora” collides into a rocky shore. Many of the dead bodies turn up along the shore of the tiny island near the shipwreck, but many are still missing. Their distressed families are in need of a place to stay in as the search continues.
In the movie, Anne is Leana, owner of a rundown inn on the island and guardian to Rita, her 8-year-old sister, played by Phoebe. She is asked to help look for the cadavers in exchange for a large amount of money. Leana is hesitant, but her fear is overcome by her sympathy for the families and her sister’s encouragement.
‘The Girl In The Orange Dress’
Director: Jay Abello
Production Company: Quantum Films/MJM Productions/Star Cinema
Actors: Jericho Rosales, Jessy Mendiola, Sheena Halili, Hannah Ledesma, Ria Atayde, Nico Antonio, Cai Cortez, Via Antonio, and Juan Miguel Severo
Synopsis: Jericho plays Rye, a superstar who is the object of many girls’ fantasy, including Anna’s (Jessy) friends.
Rye and Anna cross paths. They end up in a bed and from there, everything turns upside down when their picture together goes viral and becomes a hot topic on television. Who is that girl, they ask. Who is the girl in the orange dress?
Director: Jovinor Tan
Production Company: Horseshoe Studios
Actors: Ricci Rivero, Jerome Ponce, Buboy Villar, Vitto Marquez, and Michelle Vito
Synopsis: ‘Otlum’ which means multo or ghost is a story of wanting to be accepted, rejection and revenge.
A mix of spoiled and nice students take their classmate Fred, who is desperate to be part of the group, into an initiation.
Played by Buboy, Fred is faced with a simple challenge – stay inside an old, abandoned orphanage for one night. However, the abandoned orphanage have this deep dark story in the past and the group is not spared as mysteries sprout along the way.
Director: Barry Gonzales
Production Company: ABS-CBN Production/Viva Films
Actors: Vice Ganda, Dingdong Dantes, Richard Gutierrez, Jaclyn Jose, Maymay Entrata, Edward Barber, Kisses Delavin, Donny Pangilinan, Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte, and Bela Padilla
Synopsis: A family seeks the help of magical creatures to keep their carnival from closing.
‘Mary, Marry Me’
Director: RC delos Reyes
Production Company: Ten17P/TINCAN Productions/Star Cinema
Actors: Sam Milby, Toni Gonzaga and Alex Gonzaga
Synopsis: Mary Anne (Alex) seeks the help of her sister Mary Jane (Toni), a professional wedding planner, to orchestrate her wedding with Pete (Sam).
However, Mary Jane and Pete turned out to have a romantic past. The sisters seem not to mind it at first, until it causes conflict among them.
‘Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles’
Director: Rodel Nacianceno
Production Company: CCM Films Productions/MZET Productions/APT Entertainment
Actors: Vic Sotto, Coco Martin and Maine Mendoza
Synopsis: The film is about a team of “puliscredibles”, consisting of three charismatic and adventurous police officers named Jack, Emily, and Popoy, who embark on a mission to stop crimes from occurring within their vicinity.
Director: Joel Lamangan
Production Company: Heaven’s Best Entertainment
Actors: Gloria Romero, Eddie Garcia, Tony Mabesa, Noel Comia Jr, Sunshine Dizon, Aiko Melendez and Tirso Cruz III
Synopsis: An old man comes out as gay to his children in his senior years, so he could freely take care of his ailing lover.
‘One Great Love’
Director: Enrico Quizon
Production Company: Regal Entertainment
Actors: Kim Chiu, Dennis Trillo and JC De Vera
Synopsis: Kim plays Zyra Paez who believes love will complete her and bring her joy. JC is Carl Mauricio, who is Zyra’s one great love. However, because of Carl’s turbulent past, he unintentionally keeps hurting the women he loves.
Dennis is Ian Arcano, Zyra’s dependable friend, who eventually falls in love with her. These three lives are intertwined in a story that reveals while all seek love, everyone sees it differently.