8 Great Filipino Films Go Head to Head in 2016 MMFF
Last June 28, 2016, the MMFF head, Tim Orbos, announced that there would be some major changes in the selection process of the entries for the 2016 MMFF or the Metro Manila Film Festival. True to their words, this year’s choice of movie entries was a surprise to everyone.
For the past decades, blockbuster movie franchises had been dominating the two-week film feast. Last year, MMFF earned a total of 1.2 billion pesos in ticket sales. But this year, you won’t see Vic Sotto, Kris Aquino, Ai-ai delas Alas, nor Vice Ganda on cinemas for this year’s film fest as their movies did not make it to the final list of the 2016 MMFF entries.
The exclusion of these sure box-office magnets made critics worried that it might drive down the revenues, but for Orbos, they are not after the movie earnings but rather on the quality of the films.
The 2016 MMFF selection committee, headed by University of the Philippines professor Nick Tiongson, wants moviegoers to watch the movies not because of the cast but for the story and values the films offer.
Among the films that didn’t make it to the “magic 8″ are that of famous love teams AlDub (Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza), LizQuen (Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil) and JaDine (James Reid-Nadine Lustre). Their films would have easily been box office hits.
Among the chosen 8 are Kabisera, which stars Nora Aunor; Die Beautiful starring Paolo Ballesteros; and Ang Babae sa Septik Tank 2: #Forever Is Not Enough, which stars Eugene Domingo. These are all great films which feature award-winning actors. Having award-winning stars in a movie, however, doesn’t necessarily translate into box-office magic.
Although Eugene’s Ang Babae sa Septic Tank was a box office hit back in 2011, but how about the other 7 official entries.
A portion of the 2016 MMFF earnings will be donated to several group beneficiaries including Movie Workers Welfare Fund (Mowelfund), the Motion Picture Anti-Piracy Council, the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP), and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). Less ticket sales for the MMFF means these organizations will also receive less.
Some critics said that the MMFF committee should have chosen movies based not only on the social relevance of the film but also based on their commercial viability.
Tiongson is aware of the risk, but he is sure of the committee’s choices. “Turtles only make progress when they stick their necks out,” he said.
Entertainment journalist Crispina Belen has a few words to say on the committee’s choice of movies,”It’s their loss (if they won’t watch the films).”
Mae Paner, aka Juana Change, hopes that people patronize these MMFF movie entries since it will be shown for only two weeks; after that, she said, people can watch the commercial films they want to see.
One example of a film that hit the box office late is Heneral Luna. The movie had a lackluster start, but because of word of mouth, it became a hit.
The lesson here is not to judge the movie for its unknown casts but for its substance. Let’s open our mind and move on. Go and watch the film not because of certain star’s presence but because of the story it tells.
We should be thankful to the MMFF committee for veering from the usual Christmas movie lineup in hopes of making us realize that Filipinos are also capable of making quality films. After so many years, at last, the Filipinos are given the opportunity to watch relevant movies. So it will be worth it to go out this Christmas and watch these films.
Here is the complete lineup for the 2016 MMFF to be shown this December 25, 201, in cinemas nationwide.
- Die Beautiful directed by Jun Robles Lana, starring Paolo Ballesteros
- Kabisera directed by Arturo San Agustin and Real Florido, starring Aunor, Ricky Davao, JC de Vera, Jason Abalos, Victor Neri, and Rj Agustin
- Saving Sally directed by Avid Liongoren, starring Rhian Ramos and Enzo Marcos
- Seklusyon directed by Erik Matti, starring Rhed Bustamante, Phoebe Walker, Elora Espano, Neil Ryan Sese, Ronnie Alonte, Lou Veloso, Dominique Roque, John Vic De Guzman, and JR Versales
- Sunday Beauty Queen directed by Baby Ruth Villarama, starring Hazel Perdid, Maylyn Jacobo, Cherry Bretania, and Leo Selomenio
- Vince & Kath & James (Star Cinema) directed by Ted Boborol, starring Julia Barretto, Joshua Garcia, and Ronnie Alonte
- Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: Forever Is Not Enough directed by Marlon Rivera, starring Eugene Domingo and Chris Martinez
- Oro directed by Alvin Yapan, starring Joem Bascon
Let’s support the 2016 MMFF.8 Great Filipino Films Go Head to Head in 2016 MMFF by Holly