The list of this year’s participating movies in the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival is finally out! Through a well-attended virtual press conference held recently, the organizers of this year’s MMFF revealed the wide array of film options that are awaiting Filipino movie fans this holiday season. Since the announcement and enumeration of qualified entries lasted a long three hours, let me, in turn, write an article that is likewise about the interesting “numbers” that are represented in this year’s film fiesta.
ONE. This is year one of the MMFF presenting its entries via online means. Usually packing theatres with an overflow audience year after year, this year’s festival will be accessible to Filipino audiences anywhere in the world via online platforms GMovies and Upstream.
TWO. That’s the most number of films the most prolific festival actors and actresses have as entries in this year’s filmfest. For the 2020 online edition,the honor of having the most entries belong to actor Joseph Marco and to actresses Jaclyn Jose and Ritz Azul. Two is also the number of times the Nora Aunor entry “Isa Pang Bahaghari” had to screen in the MMFF before it finally got accepted as an official entry. It first screened last year but failed to make the final cut. 2020 turned out tobe its lucky year, however.
THREE. Refers to the number of entries that officially backed out from this year’s filmfest. The films that withdrew from this Gonzaga starrer “Exorcism of Siszum;” and “Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan,”starring Joshua Garcia and Angie Ferro. The festival organizing committee said the films backed out due to “pandemic-related”reasons.
FOUR. That’s the number of companies that Globe had to beat in order to get the co-presenter status of this year’s Metro Manila Filmfest. The organizers, however, did not name the four other groups that vied for the right to co-present the festival.
EIGHT. The number of official entries usually accepted by organizers each year.
NINE. The number of best actress awards Superstar Nora Aunor will have if she scores another victory this year. So far, she has recorded eight wins as best actress.
TEN. The number of entries the organizers allowed to participate this year (yes, the number has been increased by 2!). These films made it to the final list of films participating in this year’s MMFF: 1) Magikland (fantasy/adventure) Cast: Jun Urbano, Migs Cuaderno, Elijah Aleto; Director:Christian Acuna; 2) Coming Home (drama) Cast: Jinggoy Estrada, Sylvia Sanchez, EA de Guzman, Jake Ejercito, Vin Abrenica; Director: Adolf Alix Jr.; 3) The Missing (horror) Cast:Ritz Azul, Miles Ocampo, Joseph Marco; Director: Easy Ferrer; 4) Isa Pang Bahaghari (drama.romance) Cast: Nora Aunor, Michael de Mesa, Philip Salvador,Sanya Lopez, Zanjoe Marudo; Director: Joel Lamangan; 5) Suarez: The Healing Priest (drama/religion) Cast: John Arcilla, Dante Rivero; Director: Joven Tan;6) Mang Kepweng: Ang Lihim ng Bandang Itim (Fantasy/Comedy) Cast: Vhong Navarro, Barbie Imperial, Ryan Bang; Director: Topel Lee; 7) Pakboys: Takusa (comedy)Cast: Andrew E, Dennis Padilla, Janno Gibbs, Jerald Napoles; Director: Al Tantay; 8) The Boy Foretold By the Stars (BL/Drama) Cast: Adrian Lindayag,Keann Johnson; Director: Dolly Dulu; 9) Fan Girl (drama) Cast: Paolo Avelino,Charlie Dizon; Director: Antoinette Jadaone; 10) Tagpuan (drama/romance) Cast:Iza Calzado, Shaina Magdayao, Alfred Vargas; Director: Mac Alejandre.
FORTY SIXTH. The number of year’s the filmfest has been held since its inception in 1974.
TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY. The amount one has to pay in pesos to gain access to the movies being showcased in this year’s festival.
TOO MANY TO REMEMBER. The number of issues and scandals previous editions of the festival got embroiled in, especially after the awards are given.Let’s all hope that this year’s edition will be spared from having those scandals and that it becomes a great online edition afterall.