Big stars returning in this year’s Metro Manila filmfest, first 4 films bared

By Jennifer T. Santos
Expect the return of big stars in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2023 this December to January.
This as the MMFF executive committees unveiled the first list of official entries to its 49th edition .
According to the MMFF, 26 films were submitted for the first selection.
The movies that made it to the initial list include Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes’ comeback film, “Rewind” by ABS-CBN Films and Sharon Cuneta and Alden Richards movie, “A Mother and Son’s Story.”
Joining “A Mother and Son’s Story” and “Rewind” are Beauty Gonzales and Derek Ramsay’s horror thriller “(K)Ampon),” Matteo Guidicelli and Cristine Reyes’ fantasy action “Penduko.”

First announced in June, A Mother and Son’s Story is a drama movie under Cineko Productions Incorporated. It will be directed by Nuel Naval with a screenplay by Mel Mendoza-Del Rosario.

“(K)Ampon” is a horror-thriller movie under Quantum Films. King Palisoc will be directing, while Dodo Dayao is in charge of the script.

“Penduko,” a fantasy-action movie under Sari Sari Network, will have Jason Paul Laxamana as the director and scriptwriter.
Guidicelli  was first announced in October 2019 as the new actor to take on the role of Pedro Penduko.
“Rewind” is a romance-drama film in collaboration between Star Cinema, APT Entertainment, and Agosto Dos Media. Mae Cruz-Alviar is the director, while Enrico Santos is the scriptwriter. “Rewind” is Rivera and Dantes’ first movie together in 13 years.

MMFF committee head Jessie Ejercito and selection committee member Roy Iglesias explained that the entries were selected based on script submissions alone, adding that they received a total of 26 scripts from 32 production companies.

According to the MMFF, it received 26 scripts from 32 production companies, with the top four films selection based on Artistic Excellence (40%), Commercial Appeal (40%), Filipino Cultural Sensibility (10%) and Global Appeal (10%)

On Instagram, Sharon posted a couple of photos with Alden and celebrated the inclusion of their film to the MMFF.

“We are as of today an official MMFF 2023 entry!!! Yaaaayyy!!!” She wrote.

MMFF will choose another four films to complete this year’s lineup. Deadline for submission is on September 29.
The list of the first approved films:
1. “A Mother and Son’s Story” by Cineko Productions, Inc.

Director: Nuel Naval

Lead stars: Sharon Cuneta, Alden Richards

2. “K(Ampon)” by Quantum Films

Director: King Palisoc

Lead stars: Beauty Gonzales, Derek Ramsay

3. “Penduko” by Sari Sari Network

Director: Jason Paul Laxamana

Lead stars: Matteo Guidicelli, Cristine Reyes

4. “Rewind” by ABS-CBN Film Productions, Inc.

Director: Mae Cruz-Alviar

Lead stars: Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes

The remaining four entries will be selected from finished film submissions. Deadline for this is on Sept. 29.

The 49th MMFF will happen in December.