The Metro Manila Film Festival, which will be available on a digital platform this year, has earned the support of President Rodrigo Duterte, who described the event as “a beacon of hope.”
Duterte acknowledged the annual film festival as the “pioneer and foremost industry event that showcases the best Filipino filmmaking, and how it compares with the rest of the world.”
“The Metro Manila Film Festival has given us memorable films that convey the richness of our culture and heritage. This year, festival entries will be shown online so that you can see them with your families in the safety of our homes,” said Duterte, in a pre-recorded speech aired over MMFF’s official Facebook page.
“May the festival continue to be a beacon of hope for the advancement of the Philippine cinema and for the growth as a nation,” he added.
The annual festival, which began in 1975, has given the Filipino audience a time to enjoy the holidays with their family and friends at the cinemas, said Duterte.
Now on its 46th year, the MMFF features a diverse line-up of movies, ranging from drama, comedy, romance, horror, action, to thriller, biopic to fantasy adventure.
The 10 official entries are: Magikland, Coming Home, The Missing, Tagpuan, Isa Pang Bahaghari, Suarez, the Healing Priest, Mang Kepweng, Ang Lihim ng Bandang Itim, Pakboys Takusa, The Boy Foretold by the Stars, and Fan Girl.
All 10 official entries will be streamed online beginning Dec. 25, Christmas Day to Jan. 7, 2021, via Upstream.ph.
Concurrent Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and MMFF chairman Danilo Lim expressed gratitude to the President’s message of support, saying it is a big boost to the annual film fest which is part of the Filipino Christmas tradition.
“We thank President Duterte for his words of encouragement for this year’s MMFF. His message is a morale booster to the local film industry that has been trying to survive amid the uncertainties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“The best way we could help our local moviemakers and producers is by not engaging in movie piracy. We encourage everyone to report illegal streamers and streaming sites,” he added.
In compliance with the health and safety protocols for COVID-19, regular activities such as Parade of Stars and the Gabi ng Parangal will also be streamed online.
The MMFF is an annual event held every Christmas organized primarily to promote Philippine cinema. Proceeds from the film festival go to a number of beneficiaries in the film industry.