Entertainment

Metro filmfest 2023 earns new record of P1.069 B, extended to another week, gears for Los Angeles edition

The theatrical run of the 49th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) has been extended to another week due to moviegoers demand after the festival earned a new record P1.069 billion since its opening on Dec. 25, 2023 until Jan. 7, beating the previous record set in 2018.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) acting chairman Don Artes, who is also the MMFF chairman, said the 2023 edition is now the top earning year for the festival, although its 10 film entries were being shown only in 800 cinemas compared to 1,200 cinemas in 2018 that earned a record then of P1.061 billion.

“We received reports that moviegoers watched multiple films while others watched films repeatedly. Hopefully, we can sustain this beyond the festival so that our film producers can offer quality movies all year round. We also encourage filmmakers to create better films for the MMFF’s 50th edition,” Artes said.

The MMFF 2023 was supposed to run only until Jan. 7 but was extended for another week or until Jan. 14.

Artes attributed the success of the film festival to the quality of the films offered and the wider range of moviegoers targeted by the films.

“We at the MMFF would like to express our deepest gratitude to all who have supported us and watched the movie entries, particularly those who requested for the MMFF movies to extend beyond its original run,” said Artes.

“Marami pong salamat sa inyong patuloy na pagtangkilik. Moviegoers, may mga karagdagang araw pa para panoorin lahat ng MMFF entries,” he added.

“This is a good sign as we gear up for the Manila International Film Festival (MIFF),” said Artes.

The MMFF movies were honored in an awards night on December 27, with “Firefly” emerging as the Best Picture while Vilma Santos [“When I Met You in Tokyo”] and Cedrick Juan [“Gomburza”] hailed as the Best Actress and Best Actor, respectively.

After the festival, all ten MMFF movies will be brought to Los Angeles, California for the Manila International Film Festival set for January 29 to February 2. 

MMFF spokesperson Noel Ferrer earlier thanked the moviegoers as the box office gross of the 49th MMFF reached P1-billion, exceeding their performance in 2022 when the movies combined for P500-million.

“ISANG BILYONG PASASALAMAT … We have reached the 1 BILLION MARK sa box office gross ng 49th METRO MANILA FILM FESTIVAL,” Ferrer said in a statement.

The combined gross ticket sales of the ten MMFF movies reached P700-million as early as last Wednesday, January 3.

After the festival, the MMFF committee will focus on the maiden Manila International Film Festival (MIFF) that will screen 10 films in Los Angeles, California in the United States from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2.

Winston Emano, MIFF consultant and spokesperson, said there will be a series of gatherings and dialogues of Filipino celebrities, filmmakers, and scriptwriters with their American counterparts.

“There will be an exchange of ideas and knowledge sharing. We hope to bridge the gap and connect the Philippine entertainment industry with that of Hollywood and the international stage,” he said.

The MIFF will hold a separate awards night with a different set of judges that may or may not have the same conclusions as the MMFF’s ‘Gabi ng Parangal (awards night)’ in December 2023.

The MMFF committee will also hold a student short film caravan, publish a coffee-table book, and ‘Cine 50,’ where the top 50 MMFF films for the last 49 years will be screened in select theaters for only P50.

“We are expecting to feature bigger and better films for our 50th edition as we celebrate the cinema-goers return to theaters and patronize local movies,” Emano said. (with Jennifer T. Santos)

____________________

MMFF IN HOLLYWOOD:

MANILA INT’L FILMFEST

IN LOS ANGELES SET

LOS ANGELES – All is  ready for the inaugural Manila International Film Festival (MIFF) in Los Angeles.

This as organizers unveiled its official poster honoring Hilda Koronel, the festival’s Monty Manibog Lifetime Achievement Awardee (named after the late outstanding Filipino American leader, lawyer and mayor), and representing the best of Philippine cinema.

The poster image is made up of hundreds of stills from Koronel’s movies with Lino Brocka, including “Insiang” and “Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag,” which are considered among the most important works in Philippine cinema.

A closer look at the poster, designed by Elton Lugay and Adam Lang, shows that Brocka is beside Koronel, a detail that symbolizes the Philippines’ excellent filmmakers and talents.

The MIFF actually had its first launch at the Directors Guild of America in Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, last November.

The MIFF said it plans “to showcase, promote, and help uplift Filipino films from the Philippines in Hollywood and beyond.”

It also aims to “bridge the gap between the two worlds and connect the Philippine entertainment industry with that of Hollywood and the international stage.”

 MIFF, whose mission is to showcase, promote and help uplift Philippine cinema, has invited the filmmakers and stars behind the 10 Metro Manila Film Festival entries which make their American premiere in the LA festival to be held from January 29 to February 2.

The talents from the Philippines are invited to attend MIFF events, including Q&As and personal appearances at select screenings, at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood and the Directors Guild of America on Sunset Boulevard.

The 10 films debuting in America at MIFF, including the biggest winners and most nominated in the MMFF awards ceremonies held in Quezon City last December 27, are: Jun Robles Lana’s “Becky and Badette,” starring Eugene Domingo and Pokwang; Lemuel C. Lorca’s “Broken Heart’s Trip” (Christian Bables); Nuel Naval’s “Family of Two (A Mother and Son Story)” (Sharon Cuneta and Alden Richards); Zig Dulay’s “Firefly” (Alessandra De Rossi and Euwenn Mikaell); Pepe Diokno’s “GomBurZa” (Enchong Dee, Dante Rivero and Cedrick Juan); King Palisoc’s “(K)Ampon” (Beauty Gonzalez and Derek Ramsay); Derick Cabrido’s “Mallari” (Piolo Pascual and Janella Salvador);Jason Paul Laxamana’s “Penduko” (Matteo Guidicelli and Kylie Verzosa); Mae CruzAlviar’s “Rewind” (Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes); and Conrado Peru, Rommel Penesa and Christopher de Leon’s “When I Met You in Tokyo” (Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon).

Screenings and events will be held mainly at the TCL Chinese Theatres. TCL Chinese Theatres is located on the third level of the Ovation Hollywood (formerly Hollywood & Highland), 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028.

 On the MIFF’s closing day on February 2, the screenings will both be at the TCL Chinese Theatres and the DGA, located at 7920 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles.