The slate for this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival has been revealed, with the annual fest going ahead as a virtual event due to continuing coronavirus restrictions in the Philippines.
In a press conference on Tuesday (November 24), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) revealed the slate of films in contention this year, which range from fantasy adventure to romance and horror fare.
From December 25 to January 8, the line-up will be available to watch digitally in partnership with on-demand platform Upstream and mobile app GMovies.
Bucking the trend from previous MMFF editions, this year’s line-up boasts 10 films from the standard limit of eight.
Magikland, directed by the late Peque Gallaga, was the first title to be revealed for MMFF in July. The big-budget film – to the tune of P100million, as Philstar reported – combines animation and live-action footage with special effects wizardry.
The film pays tribute to the titular long-running theme park. Watch the trailer below.
Other films on the roster include family drama Coming Home, starring Jinggoy Estrada, Sylvia Sanchez, and Martin Del Rosario; Tagpuan starring starring Iza Calzado, Alfred Vargas, and Shaina Magdayao; and Isa Pang Bahaghari, which is about “a former seaman long presumed dead [who] tries to reconcile with his embittered family with the help of his gay best friend”.
The sole horror entry on the MMFF lineup this year is The Missing, which is set in Karatsu, Japan, where an ancestral home slowly reveals its cursed past. Also up for viewing is Suarez: The Healing Priest, a biopic about the controversial faith healer Fernando Suarez; Mang Kepweng: Ang Lihim ng Bandanang Itim, the latest in the franchise that began in 1979; and raunchy comedy Pakboys: Takusa.
Finally, the offerings are wrapped up by “boy’s love” feature and high school romance The Boy Foretold by the Stars and Antoinette Jadaone’s Fan Girl, which premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival in October.
“Christmas won’t be complete without the MMFF which has been part of the Filipinos’ tradition,” said MMDA and MMFF Chairman Danilo Lim, as reported by PTV News.
“We may not enjoy films traditionally in cinemas because of the restrictions brought by the coronavirus disease pandemic but that will not stop us from bringing cheer to the Filipino families through the MMFF.”