Coronavirus threatens first Metro Manila Summer Film Festival

Rambo Talabong
Coronavirus threatens first Metro Manila Summer Film Festival
'It will gather a lot of people, and that's what we are trying to avoid,' says MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia

MANILA, Philippines – If the novel coronavirus continues to spread in Metro Manila, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) may cancel its first ever Metro Manila Summer Film Festival (MMSFF) from April 11 to 21.

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia told reporters on Tuesday, March 10, that canceling the film festival was a possibility when he was asked about the impact of the rising cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus, in Metro Manila. 

“It depends, but we are looking at that direction if there are still cases. It will gather a lot of people, and that’s what we are trying to avoid,” Garcia said, referring to the crowds who are expected to flock to the theaters to watch the film fest entries.

The MMSFF is the first summer film festival in Metro Manila and the Philippines, which is organized by the MMDA and the Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines.

It is a spinoff to the Christmas-season Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), which attracts hundreds of thousands of movie goers. In 2020, the MMFF raked in P955 million.

Like the original MMFF, the MMSFF has a parade of stars planned to promote the films.

Some 8 films have been chosen as official entries to the MMSFF, chosen on the basis of the theme Pinoy Pride. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.