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Comedy, horror, fantasy spice up 2017 MMFF

The last four finished films accepted (clockwise, from top left): Deadma Walking, Haunted Forest, Siargao and Ang Larawan.

MANILA, Philippines — The official entries to the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) were unveiled yesterday at the Club Filipino with comedy, horror and fantasy themes dominating this year’s line-up of “indie and commercially-viable movies.”

It was MMFF Selection Committee chairman National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera who announced the eight entries that will be screened in the annual Pinoy filmfest starting on Dec. 25 until Jan. 7, 2018. They are Ang Panday under CCM Creative Productions, Viva and Star Cinema with Coco Martin as director and lead star; Deadma Walking, Trex Productions with Joross Gamboa and Edgar Allan Guzman; Ganddarrapiddo! The Revenger Squad, Star Cinema and Viva Films with stars Vice Ganda, Pia Wurtzbach and Daniel Padilla; Siargao, Ten17 Productions of director Paul Soriano starring Erich Gonzalez and Jericho Rosales; All of You, Quantum Films, starring Jennylyn Mercado and Derek Ramsay; Haunted Forest, Regal Films with Jane Oineza, Maris Racal, Jameson Blake and Jon Lucas in lead roles; Meant to Beh of M-Zet, APT and OctoArts with Vic Sotto and Dawn Zulueta; and Ang Larawan under Culturtain Musicat Productions, Inc. starring Rachel Alejandro, Joanna Ampil and Paulo Avelino.

According to Lumbera, the movies were selected based on the following criteria: Artistic excellence, 40 percent; commercial viability, 40 percent; promotion of Filipino cultural and historic values, 10 percent; and global appeal, 10 percent.

In an interview with The STAR, Lumbera said that the movies that made it to the full-length category line-up were the types that were agreed upon by all the members of the Selection Committee. But unlike last year where indie movies gained the most nod, Lumbera said that this year’s roster is different.

“Indie movies last year were purely for cinematic values whereas this year we involved the audience for movies that we selected.”

Thus, higher box-office returns compared to last year are being expected. To recall, 2016’s earnings only amounted to P373M.

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“I think, definitely the Vice Ganda movie will get a lot of audiences dahil may kasamang adventure, comedy, fantasy. Ako, personally, I didn’t expect na ganun ang magiging epekto ng pelikula ni Vice sa akin. He defined entertainment value in this movie. It is not confined to mature audience...but also for the children.”

Meanwhile, short film committee chair and selection committee member director Maryo J. delos Reyes also announced the films under the short film category. They are Anino, Anong Nangyari kay Nicanor Dante?, Black Market, Crab Mental, Gunita, Isang Gabi, One Night, Kinalimutan Natin ang mga Bata and Noel.

This year’s Parade of Stars is sponsored by the City of Muntinlupa in celebration of its Centennial anniversary.

The Gabi ng Parangal will be on Dec. 27 at the Kia Theater.

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