Upbeat, off beat at MMFF 2013
JUST A THOUGHT: Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. – Janice Maeditere
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MMFF 2013 RISING: Against a pall of gloom that wrapped the country in October and November, the 39th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) unfolds beginning Dec. 25 not only in Metro Manila but in the rest of the country as well.
Three days earlier, on Dec. 22, the traditional Parade of Stars will roll from the Mall of Asia in Pasay City to the Quirino Grandstand at the Rizal Park. The star-studded parade, held annually since 1966 when the Manila Film Festival was born, is considered the best promotional tool of the festival. The presence of well-known actors playing in the festival creates excitement and ups the curiosity level of moviegoers about which picture to select, or watch first.
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GO OUT AND ENTERTAIN: Observers are anxious, however, how this year’s MMFF shall fare in light of the series of calamities that have rocked parts of the Visayas in the last couple of months.
First, the havoc wrought by the 7.2 tremor in Bohol; second, typhoon “Yolanda’s” devastation of Leyte and Samar. A number of cinemas in these places won’t be operational, although an MMFF official claims that the dent could only be minimal.
In 2012, the MMFF raked in over P600 million in gross earnings following a winning streak that began five years earlier. Will this year’s edition break last year’s record or fall short of it?
Some people are of the opinion that it is during crisis that people want diversion – in this case, watching movies – to entertain themselves. Many of the biggest box office hits in history made their mark either during floods or calamities.
Given that scenario, MMDA and MMFF Chairman Francis Tolentino called on the public to support this year’s festival. This year’s harvest of eight includes an action picture (“10,000 Hours”), a religious drama (“Pedro Calungsod: BatangMartir”), three comedy films (“Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy,” “Kimmy Dora: Ang Kiyemeng Prequel,” and “My Little Bossings”), one horror film (“Pagpag: Siyam Na Buhay”), an action picture (“Boy Golden”), and a musical drama (“Kaleidoscope World”).
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OVERHEARD: On the set of a TV commercial shoot in a remote Rizal town, the lead star, a famous actress-comedian, suddenly developed a craving for chips available only at an international supermarket. She demanded to be served those chips only, no matter if the production was at least 100 kilometers away from civilization.
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MASTER DIRECTORS IN TWINBILL: Two master directors, multi-awarded both, are facing the same predicament, forced to share directorial credits with their younger counterparts.
Former box office kingpin Elwood Perez is being asked by Viva Films to share directorial credits with Andoy Ranay in the now-filming “My Trophy Wife.” Elwood has quit the Heart Evangelista-Cristine Reyes project amid talks that he has been fired. “Trophy Wife” is based on Elwood’s concept and script.
On the other hand, Tikoy Aguiluz has reportedly been replaced as director of “Ang Huling Sugo” by Cesar Montano. Talks are that Tikoy and Cesar will be sharing directorial credits in the big-budget film, about the history of Iglesia ni Kristo in the Philippines.
Elwood is mum on the subject. He’s still savouring the Lifetime Achievement award handed him by the 2013 Cinema One Originals Film Festival recently. The Philstagers Foundation also honored him with similar recognition at a formal ball held Dec. 21 at Pan Pacific Hotel.
Aguiluz is in the middle of mad-rush preparations, against all odds, for the staging of the 15th Cinemanila International Film Festival, slated at SM Aura, The Fort, Taguig City from Dec. 18 to 22. Close to a 100 films, many of them award winners or contenders in Cannes, Venice, Berlin, and other festivals, are taking part in Cinemanila.
Indeed, what have these two accomplished film directors got to lose if they give up another film or share it with another director?
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BY THE WAY… Martin Nievera leads countdown to 2014 by way of a New Year’s Eve dinner show at Discovery Shores Boracay on Dec. 31. Rosary Ysmael says festivities start at 7 p.m. with a sumptuous dinner while the Smooth Band serenades guests. Fireworks explosion strikes at midnight.
There was a time, not too long ago, when entertainers had a field day choosing which New Year show to do. Every hotel of note presented one such show, whose centerpiece was a countdown to the incoming year. Those were the days.