6 entries make final cut for year-end MMFF
Actor Piolo Pascual said that the horror-thriller “Mallari”—one of the 10 movies chosen for this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF)—was the most difficult project he has made so far, but was done the fastest.
“I had to portray three different characters from three different timelines. It’s my first time doing a horror project. We also had to rush in order to beat the deadline for the submission of finished film entries. It’s a good thing that we were able to make it,” Piolo told Inquirer Entertainment. Derick Cabrido’s “Mallari” is inspired by the story of Fr. Juan Severino Mallari, a parish priest who lived in the 1800s and is believed to be the first and only recorded Filipino serial killer.
“Pinoys are like that; our creative juices flow more during crunch time. Everyone just worked hand-in-hand. We were all passionate about what we were trying to do. I also had an acting coach,” said Pascual, who is also part of the cast of Pepe Diokno’s “GomBurZa.”
On the news that two more films have been added to the festival lineup, Piolo said he only wished the best for the other festival entries. “It’s hard for one local film to compete with another local film. How much more if the competition is among 10 films?” he pointed out. “We all want a share of the pie. We want everyone to be happy. As a producer, who doesn’t want to earn from the money you invested? I just hope that films will be distributed evenly in cinemas. I also hope Filipinos unite and learn to patronize our own products. Our goal should be to showcase our talent, to come up with films that we can be proud of here or internationally.”
‘More chances of winning’
King Palisoc’s “(K)ampon,” another horror-thriller entry starring Derek Ramsay and Beauty Gonzalez, is produced by Joji Alonso under Quantum Films. She pointed out that adding two films in the lineup “is definitely a good thing for the audience because they will have more choices. To a certain extent, it’s also a good thing for producers because they have ‘more chances of winning,’ so to speak, in the sense that two more slots were added for filmmakers to get in.”
However, Alonso, who has been producing films for more than 20 years, said: “If you analyze it carefully, it’s going to be a tough fight. Each year, we always see films that perform well at the MMFF and those that don’t. In the past, there was already the issue of films having difficulty sustaining their cinemas and getting additional theaters because there were eight films to consider. The process becomes even more difficult now because there will be 10 films vying for the theaters. This is more evident in provinces that have only three or four cinemas operating. Who will they pick for those slots?”
Incidentally, the annual “Parade of the Stars” will be hosted by the Camanava region, and is tentatively set on Dec. 16, according to Metro Manila Development Authority Chair Romando Artes.
The MMDA is the overall organizer of the annual film event.
Hollywood screenings of last year’s three best picture winners—”Deleter,” “Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told” and “Nananahimik ang Gabi”—will mark the start of the MMFF’s international run on Nov. 2, Artes reported. The entries for the 2023 edition will be screened from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, 2024.
Artes said the continuation of the Summer MMFF is still up for discussion. “We’ve received requests from cinema operators and producers to continue this. We’re seriously considering it. With all the film entries we’ve received, I’m confident that we will be able to come up with a good lineup for the summer run,” the MMDA chief said, adding that entry fees will be waived for producers who submitted entries for this edition, but failed to make the cut.