MMFF 2013 aims to revive the spirit of its heyday

The festival has had its glorious seasons and otherwise, in its long and still-running narrative which also tells the story of Philippine cinema

MANILA, Philippines – This year is another milestone for the Metro Manila Film Festival in its continuing evolution, with the addition of an Animation category as part of the festival’s New Wave section.

This is a small but distinct development for a festival that has had its glorious seasons and otherwise, in its long and still-running narrative which also tells the story of Philippine cinema.

Organized in 1974, the Metro Manila Film Festival had originally evolved from the Manila Film Festival, which was launched in 1966 as a component celebration of Araw ng Maynila on June 24.  

READ: Metro Manila Film Fest 2013 shortlist

Hollywood’s local distributors had objected to the festival, but the Manila government went ahead with this event. The first Manila Film Festival became a vivid episode in the city’s postwar scene, as the Avenida, Escolta and other downtown thoroughfares became a sprawling theater for the festival parade and the moviegoing masses. 

This festive atmosphere would be revived through the years, amid the festival’s revamping, including its rescheduling to Christmas. But the spirit of the festival would wane amid the increasing commercialization of the film industry, especially after the Marcos years.

Yet the festival has also adjusted to other changes sweeping Pinoy cinema, notably the rise of the indies.  

In 2010, the MMFF introduced its New Wave section, to entice independent productions by aspiring filmmakers. This section would further be expanded to include the Student Short Film category and the Cinephone category.

Here are the official feature-length entries in this year’s festival:

“10,000 HOURS” (Joyce Bernal, Philippine Film Studio Inc.)

Robin Padilla marks his return to the action genre which serves as Joyce Bernal’s change of scene. 

 '10,000 HOURS'. Photo from the ROBIN PADILLA Facebook page

San Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir” (Francis Villacorta, Hubo Productions)

JM de Guzman and Christian Vasquez star in this film bio on the martyred missionary.

'SAN PEDRO CALUNGSOD: BATANG MARTIR'. From the Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir Facebook page

Boy, Girl, Bakla, Tomboy (Wenn Deramas, Viva Films and Star Cinema)

A comedy starring Maricel Soriano, Gabby Conception and Vice Ganda, who will portray 4 different characters

'BOY GIRL BAKLA TOMBOY'. 4 in one. Photo from the Girl Boy Bakla Tomboy Facebook Page

“Pagpag” (ABSCBN Film Productions, Skylight Films And Regal)

Young stars Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla team up in this horror film that also tackles Filipino superstition.

Watch the trailer for the on-screen couple’s first movie here:

“Kimmy Dora Prequel” (Chris Martinez, Spring Films)

Piolo Pascual joins Eugene Domingo in the latest in the Kimmy Dora franchise

Watch the trailer for ‘Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme’ here:

“My Little Bossing” (Marlon Rivera, OctoArts/ MZET/ APT/Kris Aquino Production)

A Vic Sotto comedy with Ryzza Mae Dizon and James “Bimby” Yap in his film debut

'TORKY AND MY LITTLE BOSSING'. Photo from the Baby James Yap Facebook page

Kaleidoscope World” (directed by Eliza Cornejo, Gorio Vicuna)

A hiphop dance film inspired by the music of the late King of Rap, Francis Magalona. The film stars Sef Cadayona and Yassi Pressman.

“Boy Golden” (directed by Chito Rono)

An thriller reminiscent of the well-loved Filipino action classics, starring Jorge Estregan and KC Concepcion.


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