The celebration of the 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) will push through this coming December as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced that the event will be held physically for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said Friday that the viewing of the agency’s eight MMFF entries and the fluvial parades and the awarding ceremonies will be all in person.
This came as Metro Manila has already been deescalated to Alert Level 2 quarantine status.
Abalos also said they are toying with the idea of conducting the parade on Pasig River and no longer on the streets like before.
The MMDA chief said they are planning to hold the parade by December 23 or two days before the showing of the eight entries.
“Ngayon lang nangyari na yung worst na kalaban nya, itong pandemya (This is the first time that the MMFF faced its worst enemy—pandemic)… It’s about time (to do this) na wala na tayong pandemya (that we’re no longer facing the brunt of the pandemic),” he said in an interview during the announcement of the official entries in Quezon City.
“It’s about time that we really support this industry,” he added, “The long wait is over. There is no stopping the Metro Manila Film Festival. We are bringing back the MMFF to the silver screens that have been shut down for almost two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The eight MMFF entries, which are composed of “diverse line-up,” are the following:
1. A Hard Day, an action movie directed by Lawrence Fajardo with Dingdong Dantes as the lead star
2. Big Night!, a social drama directed by Jun Robles Lana, with Christian Bables, Nico Antonio, John Arcilla, Ricky Davao, Soliman Cruz, Eugene Domingo, Gina Alajar and Janice De Belen as lead stars
3. Love At First Stream, a romance comedy directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, with Anthony Jennings, Jeremiah Lisbo, Daniela Stranner and Kaori Oinuma as lead stars
4. Kun Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether the Weather is Fine), a drama film directed by Carlo Francisco Manatad, with Daniel Padilla, Charo Santos-Concio and Rans Rifol as lead stars
5. Nelia, a suspense film directed by Lester Dimaranan, with Raymond Bagatsing and Winwyn Marquez as lead stars
6. Huwag Kang Lalabas, a horror film directed by Adolfo Alix, Jr. Lead stars are Jameson Blake, Joaquin Domagoso, Beauty Gonzales, Aiko Melendez and Kim Chiu
7. The Exorcis, a comedy horror directed by Fifth Solomon and starred by sisters Toni and Alex Gonzaga
8. Huling Ulan sa Tag-araw, a romance film directed by Louie Ignacio, with Ken Chan and Rita Daniela as lead stars
The MMFF is an annual event held every Christmas organized primarily to promote and enhance the preservation of the Philippine cinema. Proceeds from the film festival go to a number of beneficiaries in the film industry.