Summer MMFF canceled this year amid cinema shutdown

Published April 15, 2021, 12:58 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

The summer edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) won’t push through this year.

(Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP / FILE PHOTO)

This was announced Thursday, April 15 by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), which oversees the cinema extravaganza.

“The 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival Executive Committee constituted by new MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos met yesterday (April 14) and have decided on foregoing with the Summer MMFF until partner-cinemas are once again open to the public,” a statement from the agency read.

Cinemas and movie houses have remained closed for the better part of the past year, no thanks to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Instead, the MMFF Executive Committee (Execom) is reportedly shifting all efforts toward the holiday edition of the festival, which takes place at the end of the year.

“The MMFF Execom…has set the deadlines this early so that interested producers and filmmakers may be guided accordingly, while observing proper health protocols,” it said.

The deadline for the submission of the letter of Intent has been set at 5 p.m. on June 30, 2021.

Meanwhile, the deadline for the submission of finished film entries and other required documents (including official trailer, clippings, behind the scenes details) was set at 5 p.m., September 3, 2021 for “early birds”. Regular submission deadline is on September 30, 2021.

October 15, 2021 will be the day that the eight official finished film entries of the year-end MMFF will be announced.

“With this, it is the MMFF Execom’s vision to encourage the submission of excellent films that would inspire, uplift and connect to a broader Filipino audience for this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival even as we navigate creatively through this present pandemic,” the statement read.

The summer MMFF was first held in 2019.