(We are running this guide to help you plan your holiday movie-viewing activity. The 48th Metro Manila Film Festival, or MMFF, runs from Dec. 25 to Jan. 7, 2023.)
Directed by Paul Soriano; stars Toni Gonzaga, Joey de Leon, Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte, Carmi Martin, Rufa Mae Quinto, Kakai Bautista, Pauline Mendoza, Kych Minemoto, Hannah Arguelles and Isaiah dela Cruz; produced by Ten17P and TinCan Films
After her unjust dismissal from the school she works for, Emma (Toni) decides to return to her hometown and accept an offer to teach senior high school students. Now, she must confront past issues and conflicts, which forced her to leave the country in the first place.
Emma is tasked to take charge of the school’s most notorious section, which is composed mostly of delinquent students. Still, she’s determined to helped these kids—who are deemed hopeless by many—to graduate.
Also part of her class is Solomon (De Leon), a man in his 70s determined to finish his studies and learn English; his goal is to be able to communicate with his granddaughter who lives in the United States. While they initially clash about the right approach to handle the class, the two eventually develop a father-daughter dynamic.
Joey hasn’t topbilled a movie in over a decade. It was Toni, his former “Eat Bulaga!” cohost, who personally convinced him to take on the project. “I first texted Tito Joey in 2020 for the movie because I consider him as my mentor in the industry,” Toni said. “I remember when I was starting out, my father would always tell me to idolize those who have achieved longevity.”
“What a privilege it is to work with a legend in the industry. And it’s so nice to absorb his wisdom,” she said.