Metro Manila Film Festival is a cornucopia when it comes to good scripts. The tight competition brings out the best, so to speak, for a story to pass the discriminatory taste buds of the screening committee. The 8 winning scripts get 100,000 pesos as incentive and the production outfits receive 1 million pesos subsidy for the production.
Since only local films are shown during the festival period, the gross sales are normally the highest for the entire year. But it can be seen that producers, at least for the MMFF, are not after the profit. The subsidy is a mere trickle compared to the production costs particularly for the fantasy genre. Digital processing of effects are very expensive. Not to mention are the various shooting locations especially if the setting is abroad.
Amidst the great financial risk, producers flock the queue of entrants for the Metro Manila Film Festival because the prestige that comes with being a finalist is incomparable. The lucky 8 films selected for this year are:
1. LASTIKMAN of Viva Films, directed by Mac Alejandre, lead stars are Mark Bautista and Sarah Geronimo.
2. ENTENG KABISOTE of M-Zet Films and Octo-Arts, directed by Tony Y. Reyes, lead stars are Vic Sotto and Kristine Hermosa.
3. AISHITE IMASU 1941 of BAS Films, directed by Joel Lamangan, script by Ricky Lee, lead stars are Judy Ann Santos and Raymart Santiago.
4. HAPPY TOGETHER of Regal Entertainment, directed by Joel Lamangan, script by Ricky Lee, lead stars are Kris Aquino and Eric Quizon.
5. PANAGHOY SA SUBA of Cesar Montano, directed by Cesar Montano, script by Cris Vertido, lead stars are Cesar Montano and Juliana Palermo.
6. SIGAW of Megavision, directed by Yam Laranas, script by Roy Iglesias, lead stars are Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin.
7. SPIRIT OF THE GLASS of Canary Films, directed by Joey Javier Reyes, lead stars are Alessandra De Rossi, Marvin Agustin and Dingdong Dantes.
8. MANO PO 3 of MAQ Productions, directed by Joel Lamangan, script by Roy Iglesias, lead stars are Vilma Santos and Christopher De Leon.
In the previous years, only the top 6 entries (based on the ranking in the selection) are shown during the festival season and the last 2 entries are exhibited starting January 2. This year, festival chairman Bayani Fernando decided to have all the 8 movies shown simultaneously starting December 25. To complement the audience, the festival includes Baguio, Lucena, Cebu and Davao aside from the towns and cities of Metro Manila.
The traditional parade of stars will begin from the Elliptical Road and end at Roxas Blvd. There will be a sort of preview parade in Baguio on Dec. 15, in Lucena on Dec. 18, in Cebu on Dec. 21 and Davao on Dec. 22. We heard that the Dec. 15 parade in Baguio was cancelled in deference to FPJ’s wake. A total of 2 million in prizes will be given to the winners of the float parade.
The awards night will be held on December 29 in Aliw Theater inside the CCP comples. The MMFF being one of its kind, the Best Picture award includes a cash prize.