It was fitting that chairman Danilo Lim made his opening speech right after a montage of how the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) came to be: how the original vision for it was to become an avenue for the best of local cinema to reach a wider audience.
His speech kept harking back to that mission, punctuated with the confirmation that a summer edition of the MMFF has been green-lit. "Sigurado akong ito ay makakatulong upang lalo nating maipaunlad ang industriyang Pilipino," he said.
The Metro Manila Summer Film Festival 2020, scheduled for April, was proposed by Senator Bong Go, one of the newest members of the MMFF Executive Committee.
Plans for it were first revealed back in July.
In an interview prior to the awards show, Go told reporters on the red carpet that having a second MMFF in a year will ideally provide promising entries with more chances of being shown in cinemas.
"Iyong mga hindi po napasok dito [MMFF 2019], may pagkakataon kayo sa summer festival," he promised.
The MMFF is traditionally held once a year, from December 25 to the first week of January. During the period, only the chosen MMFF entries are allowed to be shown in local cinemas.
You can check out Lim's speech in full in the video below (skip to the 1:21:00 minute mark)