Metro Manila Film Festival goes Hollywood
Los Angeles — Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), the popular annual event that celebrates Filipino cinema and its talents in the Philippines, is going Hollywood.
The MMFF’s international edition, named Manila International Film Festival (MIFF), will screen the eight 2023 MMFF entries in Los Angeles in late January 2024. MIFF will climax with a glamorous awards gala.
An MIFF opening premiere and a meet-and-greet will also be held on Nov. 2. Stars and filmmakers representing the eight entries will be invited to grace the Hollywood event.
Four of the eight entries in this year’s MMFF, scheduled from December 25, 2023 through the first weekend of January 2024 in the Philippines, have already been selected, based on their script submissions alone.
The first four entries, announced by MMFF last July, are: Nuel Naval’s “A Mother and Son’s Story,” written by Mel Mendoza Del Rosario, starring Sharon Cuneta and Alden Richards; King Palisoc’s “(K)Ampon,” written by Dodo Dayao, starring Beauty Gonzalez and Derek Ramsay; Jason Paul Laxamana’s “Penduko,” which he also wrote, starring Matteo Guidicelli and Cristine Reyes; and Mae Cruz-Alviar’s “Rewind,” written by Enrico Santos and starring Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes.
The remaining four entries will be chosen from completed film submissions.
The four-day festival in Los Angeles showing the eight entries is anticipated to draw a diverse audience from all over California, home to the biggest Filipino population in the United States, and generations of immigrant families from various countries.
MIFF will be launched in Hollywood on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) with a screening of three films chosen from the eight entries in the inaugural summer edition of MMFF (Metro Manila Summer Film Festival – MMSFF) held last April in the Philippines.
These three films to be screened in the MIFF launch at the DGA on famed Sunset Boulevard are Jun Lana’s “About Us But Not About Us,” starring Romnick Sarmenta and Elijah Canlas, which won several MMSFF awards, including best picture; Chris Martinez’s “Here Comes the Groom,” starring Enchong Dee, Miles Ocampo, and Gladys Reyes, MMSFF special jury prize winner; and JP Habac Jr.’s “Love You Long Time,” starring Carlo Aquino, Eisel Serrano, and Ana Abad Santos.
The LA launch will feature a VIP reception and a meet-and-greet with the stars and filmmakers behind these three films from MMFF’s first-ever summer version.
Tickets to the Nov. 2 screenings and events, to be held at DGA (7920 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046), including screening and event times, are available at: https://manilainternationalfilmfest.com/
The Hollywood edition is part of the celebration marking the 50th edition of the MMFF in 2024. In 1975, with the establishment of the Metro Manila government, the annual event was renamed Metropolitan Film Festival with the inclusion of the other towns and cities in the metropolis.
In 1977, the festival was renamed Metro Manila Film Festival, its name to this day. A cherished festival organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), MMFF is now held nationwide. Celebrating its half a century of existence, the festival continues its highly anticipated parade of floats, bearing stars of the film entries, which kicks off the festival every Dec. 25 in the Philippines.
MIFF is expected to continue MMFF’s tradition of bringing families together to the cinemas and to discover and appreciate the talents and variety of genres of Philippine cinema.
The MIFF founders are Omen Ortiz, chairman; Ebradu Udarbe, president; Lisa Lew, executive producer; Ruben Nepales and Janet Nepales, media relations consultants; and Celia Abaya Dy, ticketing manager. Also on the MIFF team are Leo Dela Cruz, chief financial officer; Erickson Ilog, chief operations officer; Ron Ramores, chief marketing officer; and Cindy Sison, consultant.
MMFF is led by MMDA acting chair and MMFF concurrent chairman, Atty. Romando Artes and executive director, Atty. Rochelle Ona. Festival venues in LA will be announced soon.