Oct 10, 2018

One would expect that on the centenary of the Philippine cinema that the movies that will be shown in theaters this year will elevate the craft of filmmaking. But as expected, new titles gracing the mainstream silver screen continue to bank on the pull of celebrities as evidenced by the recent announcement of the finalists of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2018.

The first four finalists were selected based on finished scripts earlier this year. These include:

  • Yam Laranas’ thriller Aurora starring Anne Curtis and Barry Gonzales (Viva Films and Aliud Entertainment)
  • Barry Gonzales’ fantasy-comedy Fantastica: The Princesses, The Prince And The Perya with Vice Ganda (Star Cinema and Viva Films)
  • Jay Abello’s romantic movie Girl In The Orange Dress with leads Kim Chiu and Jericho Rosales (Quantum Films and MJM Production)
  • Rodel Nacianceno’s action-comedy flick Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles with Vic Sotto, Maine Mendoza, and Coco Martin (CCM, MZET, and APT Entertainment)

In a press conference at San Juan yesterday, the rest of the eight finalists with finished film submissions were announced. And no surprise there, the films bannered even more celebrities, who star in the first four submissions as well.

The remaining four finished films are as follows:

  • RC delos Reyes’ Mary, Marry Me starring sisters Toni and Alex Gonzaga with Sam Milby (Ten17p Films)
  • Eric Quizon’s One Great Love with Kim Chiu, Dennis Trillo and Sam Milby (Regal Entertainment)
  • Joven Tan’s Otlum featuring newcomer Ricci Rivero, John Estrada, and Jerome Ponce (Horshoe Studios)
  • Joel Lamangan’s Rainbow’s Sunset with Eddie Garcia, Gloria Romero, Tony Mabesa, and Tirso Cruz III (Heaven’s Best Entertainment)

This current roster backed by big movie houses with celebrities to boot is worrisome but expected. What is exciting now is the steady growth of independent films that despite low budgets and under-the-radar casting are still attracting Filipino viewers who eager for some new and original stories to flock small and relatively obscured theaters.


Header photo courtesy of CCM Film Productions

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TAGS: MMFF 2018 philippine cinema