Not even the monsoon rains could stop the 39th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) from making its top eight film choices, said Francis Tolentino, chair of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, which spearheads the annual event.
Still, the announcement was delayed by three hours last Tuesday because Tolentino was called to an emergency meeting in Malacañang.
Alluding to the inclement weather, Tolentino said the MMFF had proven that the industry was “deluged with talent,” as illustrated by the selected films: Joyce Bernal’s action-drama “10,000 Hours” (starring Robin Padilla); Francis Villacorta’s religious-historical drama “San Pedro Calungsod, Batang Martir” (JM de Guzman); Wenn Deramas’ comedy “Boy, Girl, Bakla, Tomboy” (Vice Ganda, Maricel Soriano); Jeffrey Jeturian’s romantic-comedy “Be Careful With My Heart” (Jodi Sta. Maria, Richard Yap); Frasco Mortiz’s thriller “Pagpag” (Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla); Chris Martinez’s comedy “Kimmy Dora: Prequel” (Eugene Domingo, Piolo Pascual); DonDon Santos’ action-fantasy “My Super Kap” (Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Toni Gonzaga); and Bernal’s comedy-drama “Torky and My Little Bossing” (Vic Sotto, Kris Aquino).
Noticeably absent are festival franchises like “Enteng Kabisote,” “Ang Panday” and “Shake, Rattle & Roll.” Tolentino said it was the producers’ decision to “expand” the fest this year, genre-wise.
Even so, the franchises’ stars Sotto and Revilla; plus Aquino and Vice Ganda (who top-billed last year’s top-grosser “Sisterakas”), have entries.
Missing from the lineup are Jeorge Ejercito’s true-life epics. In the last two years, Ejercito fielded film-bios of controversial figures like Asiong Salonga and Emilio Aguinaldo. This year, Ejercito’s mob drama “Boy Golden” failed to make the grade.
Tim Orbos, screening committee chair, said organizers had a hard time trimming the list of entries.
Alu Dorotan, secretariat head, added that the MMFF made sure regulations were followed, to ensure diversity.
“We can have only two films per genre; an actor can top-bill just one film; a filmmaker can direct only one movie.”
Thus, director Bernal, who is attached to two films (“10,000 Hours” and “Torky”) will have to give up one, said Dominic Du, screening committee member.