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Who will win at tonight’s MMFF Awards?

The 43rd Metro Manila Film Festival officially started with the traditional parade of stars on December 23 held at Muntinlupa City where it was welcomed by a mammoth crowd.

Then the battle for box-office supremacy among the eight festival entries commenced Christmas Day, where the kids (could be your sons and daughters, nephews and nieces) had the most purchasing power. They probably have more money than most adults after making a beeline to their ninongs and ninangs.

Among the eight entries this year, expected to slug it out for the top-grosser plum are “Ang Panday” (produced, directed and starred in by Coco Martin) and Vice Ganda’s “Gandarrapido: The Revenger’s Squad.”

Also expected to make a strong showing at the box-office is the Chris Martinez film “Meant To Beh,” the first movie teamup of Vic Sotto and Dawn Zulueta. They first worked together in the TV series “Okay Ka Fairy Ko” where Dawn played Faye. Plus this is the comeback movie of Bossing Vic to the MMFF after missing it last year.  

Horror movies have a niche market so many are saying that Regal Entertainment’s “Haunted Forest” could spring a surprise even if it features virtual unknown upstarts.

Buoyed by the good reviews and the A-rating given to it by the Cinema Evaluation Board, “Deadma Walking” is getting the attention of millennial viewers. This gay-themed comedy about friendship beyond death features real-life friends Joross Gamboa and Edgar Allan Guzman playing gays. This is the only pink film in the festival, with a Palanca award-winning screenplay (written by Eric Cabahug) and directed by Julius Alfonso, so it will surely get the support of the LGBT community.

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“Ang Larawan” is the only A-Rated movie by the Cinema Evaluation Board and features an awesome cast led by Rachel Alejandro, Joanna Ampil and Paolo Avelino.

This is a Filipino musical based on Nick Joaquin’s play “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.” Set in 1941 in Intramuros, it tells of how sisters Candida and Paula defiantly hold on to their father’s painting, and how the handsome Tony Javier wants to change their mind. Direction is by Loy Arcenas.

Jennylyn Mercado and Derek Ramsay return to the MMFF via the mature love story “All Of You,” directed by MMFF 2014 Best Director Dan Villegas.

A love story set in the beautiful island of “Siargao” is the entry of Paul Soriano and this stars Erich Gonzales, Jasmine Curtis Smith and Jericho Rosales.

Fantasy-comedy is the name of the game for Vice Ganda, Daniel Padilla and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach in “Gandarrapido: The Revengers Squad.” At the movie’s press conference, Vice said he is hoping to earn one billion for his entry. If that is the case, does that mean that only his movie will earn that much during the duration of the festival?

A much awaited part of the MMFF is the awards night or Gabi ng Parangal. This is one of the most exciting part of the festival as critics as well as common folk have their choices as winners in various categories.

Aside from the debate as to which movie will earn bragging rights as festival top-grosser, the winners in the various categories are keenly awaited. Who will bring home the coveted trophies?

It is expected that if a particular entry wins major awards, it could prop up its box-office potential. If a film entry is lagging behind in terms of box-office receipts, awards might rejuvenate its earnings.

But an award, sometimes, is not an accurate barometer, to shore up a film’s chance at the box-office. Some MMFF award winners did not have a good run at the box-office even if it won a lion’s share of the awards.

But there are some award-winners which made good at the box-office, although this is a rarity. Most people would rather go for movies that are viewer-friendly.

So who will win tonight? Your guess is as good as ours. Let us support all entries to the MMFF. That will be good for the industry.

We cannot give a fearless forecast since we’ve only watched five entries so far. We wish everyone good luck!

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