The line-up of the 31st edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival scheduled for this year is complete.
As revealed during a press conference hosted by the MMFF 2017 Executive Committee members this Fiday at Club Filipino in Greenhills, there was a total of 11 films submitted to the MMFF Secretariat.
From those 11 films, four were chosen: Loy Arcenas’ “Ang Larawan,” Julius Alfonso’s “Deadma Walking,” Ian Loreños’ “Haunted Forest” and Paul Soriano’s “Siargao.”
They will join the earlier announced official entries “Ang Panday,” “Gandarrapiddo: The Revengers,” “All of You,” and “Meant to Beh” to complete the festival’s Magic 8.
Among those that did not make the cut are Jet Leyco’s “Second Coming,” Perci Intalan’s “My Fairy Tail Love Story,” Arlyn dela Cruz’s “Immaculada, Pag-Ibig ng Isang Ina,” Adolfo Alix, Jr.’s “Madilim ang Gabi,” Joel Lamangan’s “The Significant Other,” and Khavn dela Cruz’s “Bamboo Dogs.”
The selection of the first batch of four entries in late June, which was based on submitted scripts only, was met with uproar from some quarters, who accused the festival of reverting to rampant commercialism after artistic merit ruled the selection process in last year’s festival.
It also led to the resignation of four MMFF Executive Committee members.
The second batch of four entries was chosen by a committee headed by National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, and composed of members Atty. Alu Dorotan, producer Jesse Ejercito, directors Maryo J. de los Reyes and Mel Chionglo, screenwriter Roy Iglesias, MTRCB Representative Consoliza Laguardia, and theater owners representatives Alanna Yulde (Cinema 2000), Bing Advincula (Robinsons Cinemas), and Gordon Ting (Vista Cinema).
Here are the respective synopses of the second batch of four entries and their trailers:
Directed by Loy Arcenas
Starring Rachel Alejandro, Joanna Ampil, Cara Manglapus, Sandino Martin, and Paulo Avelino
Set in Intramuros before World War II, the film focuses on sisters Candida and Paula Marasigan, daughters of high profile painter, Don Marasigan, who had to deal with financial hardship after their father claims to have suffere from artistic drought. Based on Nick Joaquin’s award-winning play which in turn was adapted into a stage musical by Rolando Tinio and Ryan Cayabyab.
Directed by Julius Alfonso
Starring Joross Gamboa and Edgar Allan Guzman
Based on Eric Cabahug’s Palanca-winning screenplay, this gay black comedy dubbed as a “laughfest of deadly proportions “tells the story of gay BFFs John (Joross Gamboa) and Mark (Edgar Allan Guzman). Their friendship is put to the test when one of them discovers he has a terminal illness and asks the other to help him stage his fake death, wake, and funeral as his dying wish.
Directed by Ian Loreños
Starring Jon Lucas, Jameson Blake, Maris Racal and Jane Oineza
The latest horror flick from Regal Films is about a young girl who starts to experience strange things after she and her friends go on a trip. A grizzly murder that took place in the same town reminds Nica’s father of a similar fate that befell a childhood friend.
Directed by Paul Soriano
Starring Jericho Rosales, Erich Gonzales, and Jasmine Curtis- Smith
A love story about three people searching for love, happiness, and belongingness in one of the country’s most popular paradise islands.