As previously reported earlier this month, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) is going digital this year by making all feature films available for streaming via the newest content hub, UPSTREAM. How the landscape has changed since then.
According to a press conference held by the Metro Manila Development Authority on Tuesday, the final list of the top ten finalists is finally out, and only one film from the four finalists originally publicized last July — Christian Acuña’s adventure-fantasy, Magikland — made the cut.
Nine other films previously slated for the MMFF Summer edition but was nixed due to the pandemic joins Acuña’s adventure-fantasy film. The films that fell out of the former list are Chito Roño’s Ang Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan with Joshua Garcia, Fifth Solomon’s The Exorcism of My Siszums with the Gonzaga sisters, and Jun Lana’s The Super Praybeyt Benjamin with Vice Ganda.
Here’s the full line-up of this year’s film festival finalists:
Winners of a video game are transported to the fantasy world of Magikland, where they soon realize that they’re in real and mortal danger. An adventure-fantasy directed by Christian Acuña and starring Miggs Cuaderno, Joshua Eugenio, Elijah Aleto, and Princess Aliyah Rabara.
2. Coming Home
10 years after a couple calls it quits after the husband is caught in an overseas affair, he comes back bearing grave news. A family drama directed by Adolfo Alix Jr., and starring Jinggoy Estrada, Sylvia Sanchez, Martin Del Rosario, Vin Abrenica, and Edgar Allan Guzman.
3. Fan Girl
An obsessed teenage fan gets stuck inside a mansion with her celebrity idol, but things turn out very far from what she had hoped. A coming-of-age drama directed by Antoinette Jadaone, starring Charlie Dizon and Paulo Avelino.
4. Isa Pang Bahaghari
A follow-up to the hit 2018 drama film Rainbow’s Sunset, the movie is about “a former seaman long presumed dead tries to reconcile with his embittered family with the help of his gay best friend.” A family drama directed by Joel Lamangan, starring Nora Aunor, Phillip Salvador, Michael De Mesa, Zanjoe Marrudo, Joseph Marco, and Sanya Lopez.
5. Mang Kepweng: Ang Lihim ng Bandanang Itim
Mang Kepweng is back in a comedy sequel that comes on the heels of the 2017 blockbuster comedy film Mang Kepweng Returns. A comedy-adventure directed by Topel Lee, starring Vhong Navarro, Benjie Paras, Ritz Azul, Ryan Bang, and It’s Showtime’s Ion Perez.
6. Pakboys: Takusa
Another comedy sequel to 2019’s Sanggano, Sanggago’t Sanggwapo, this movie will feature once more the misadventures of the troublesome trio of Andy, Dondon, and Johnny. A comedy directed by Al Tantay, starring Andrew E, Janno Gibbs, Dennis Padilla, and Jerald Napoles.
7. Suarez: The Healing Priest
The movie tells the life story of the Philippines’ “Healing Priest,” Catholic priest Father Fernando Suarez, who became popular for his healing masses but later faced backlash in the form of banishment by several dioceses as well as several sexual abuse allegations. A true-to-life drama directed by Joven Tan, starring John Arcilla, with Alice Dixson, Rosanna Roces, and Rita Avila.
Three friends try to look for their true selves, and ultimately, for the second chance that everyone yearns for through their relationships: in their present life and in their future lives. A romance-drama directed by Mac Alejandre, starring Alfred Vargas, Iza Calzado, and Shaina Magdayao.
9. The Boy Foretold the Stars
Standing as the country’s first Boys Love (BL) movie on record, it tells of two boys from a Catholic high school who, with the motivation of a fortune-teller’s prediction, finds a “soul mate” in each other. A BL romantic-comedy directed by Dolly Dulu, starring Adrian Lindayag and Keann Johnson.
10. The Missing
A team tries to restore an ancient ancestral home in Karatsu, Japan, where they encounter urban legends of the previous Japanese residents offering human sacrifices to keep the structure stable. A horror directed by Easy Ferrer, starring Ritz Azul, Joseph Marco, and Miles Ocampo.
Looks like the MMFF is donning a more serious, “dramatic” look this year.
The MMFF has also announced that the annual Parade of Stars, as well as the MMFF Awards Night, will push through virtually.
The film festivall will run from December 25, 2020, until January 7, 2021.
Which film are you most excited to watch?