MANILA - Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the deep-rooted tradition of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) vows to continue this Christmas by going digital.
"Ngayong taong ito, hindi kagaya ng mga nakaraang taon. Tayo ay may problema sa pandemya kung saan ang ating mga cinemas ay hindi pwedeng mag-operate at full capacity. Pero hindi 'yan sapat na dahilan para itigil natin ang MMFF," MMFF chairman Danny Lim announced in a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
This is made possible by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s partnership with Globe Telecom. Moviegoers can watch the official entries in the comforts of their own home on demand via Upstream and GMovies.
"Maganda nga ito dahil online ang panonood natin. Hindi lamang limited dito sa Pilipinas kung 'di pati ang mga kababayan natin sa ibang bansa ay pwede na ring manood," Lim said.
From just eight entries in the past years, the 2020 MMFF will feature 10 full-length films with varying genres.
One of the films included in the list is “Fan Girl” starring Paulo Avelino and promising new actress Charlie Dizon. Directed by Antoinette Jadaone, the coming-of-age drama is a collaboration between ABS-CBN Films' Black Sheep, Globe Studios, Project 8, Epicmedia, and Crossword Productions.
“I [immediately fell in love with the script. It tells a lot about our current fandom culture hindi lang dito sa Pilipinas but also abroad. It’s very Filipino. It’s something that most of us have been through, halos lahat meron tayong ina-idolize or tinitingala na halos mabaliw na tayo, gusto nating sundan,” Avelino said.
Jadaone said she is fortunate that Avelino agreed to do the role because it required him to play “as himself, or a fictionalized version of himself, we will never know.”
“Kailangan ko talaga ng artista na naiintindihan 'yung script. The actor that will play the role is someone who is brave enough to use his own name and reputation and image,” she said.
“Naintindihan ko kung bakit nakakatakot siyang i-play. Napakaswerte ko na pumayag si Pau. After mga three days lang yata, minessage niya ako kaagad na tinatanggap niya 'yung project. Ang question lang niya ay kung sino yung fan girl. After we chose Paulo, tsaka pa lang kami naghanap kung sino yung fan girl,” Jadaone added.
The following are the official entries for the 2020 MMFF:
Director: Christian Acuna
Cast: Miggs Cuaderno, Princess Aguilar, Elijah Alejo, Josh Eugenio, Hailey Mendes, KenKen Nguyad
- Coming Home
Director: Adolfo Alix Jr
Cast: Jinggoy Estrada, Sylvia Sanchez, EA Guzman
- The Missing
Director: Easy Ferrer
Cast: Joseph Marco, Miles Ocampo, Ritz Azul
Director: Mac Alejandre
Cast: Alfred Vargas, Iza Calzado, Shaina Magdayao
- Isa Pang Bahaghari
Director: Joel Lamangan
Cast: Nora Aunor, Philip Salvador, Michael de Mesa, Joseph Marco, Zanjoe Marudo, Albie Casino, Sanya Lopez, Maris Racal
- Suarez The Healing Priest
Director: Joven Tan
Cast: John Arcilla
- Mang Kepweng, Ang Lihim ng Bandanang Itim
Director: Topel Lee
Cast: Vhong Navarro, Ritz Azul, Yamyam Gucong, Fumiya Sankai, Ion Perez, Joross Gamboa
- Pakboys Takusa
Director: Al Tantay
Cast: Janno Gibbs, Dennis Padilla, Jerald Napoles, Andrew E
- The Boy Foretold by the Stars
Director: Dolly Dulu
Cast: Adrian Lindayag, Keann Johnson
- Fan Girl
Director: Antoinette Jadaone
Cast: Paulo Avelino, Charlie Dizon