MMFF 2020 goes online
STAR CIRCUIT - Ricky L. Calderon (The Freeman) - October 30, 2020 - 12:00am

The Metro Manila Film Festival – the biggest, most popular and longest running local filmfest – pushes through despite the GCQ status in Metro Manila until the end of the year. COVID-19 cannot dampen the Filipino Christmas spirit and the MMFF Executive Committee has decided to bring this holiday tradition to every Filipino home across the globe.

After careful and thorough deliberation on the five proposals for the online streaming partner, the MMDA and the MMFF Execom has engaged the services of Globe and Upstream to be its partner. With this partnership, the MMFF reach will be expanded to include Filipinos abroad who cannot go home for the Holidays but can still have a Christmas complete by watching MMFF movies.

As MMDA/MMFF Execom Chair Danilo Lim says, “We enjoin the public to be one with the entertainment industry and the other stakeholders including the MMFF beneficiaries who have been hardly hit by this pandemic to make this online MMFF 2020 a success.”

According to Dondon Monteverde of Upstream, they are happy that their partnership with Globe pushed through. “It’s a great opportunity to be able to bring joy to the movie-loving public via this new platform,” said Monteverde, adding that they also aim to showcase Filipino ingenuity via this new platform.

On the other hand, thru Globe G-Cash, the telecom company hopes to bring convenience to the public when it comes to purchasing tickets to the festival this year. Buying cinema tickets is made easy and for P250, the entire family can watch an entry of their choice.

They want the MMFF to be more accessible to the public via an easy and seamless way possible to enable more people to experience what has been a tradition for more than four decades.

“We don’t want to deprive the moviegoers of a well-loved tradition. The Pinoy family can enjoy all the entries in the comfort of their homes,” said Chairman Lim.

They also do not want to deprive the film industry of the revenues they stand to earn if the festival pushes through.

“We also need to help the film industry to survive despite the pandemic,” added Monteverde. “It is our hope, with the help of the new platform, to bring Pinoy content where Korea is now today. Sa panaginip din naman nagsimula ang Korea. We hope to bring Filipino films to the global stage through this new platform that we are going to use for the first time in the festival.”

Since it might be difficult to screen the entries in local cinemas because of the pandemic, streaming is the best option so that the MMFF tradition is preserved and continued.

As for the problem of film piracy, Upstream said they are doing all the steps to prevent it. They are also asking the cooperation of everyone and engage the help of proper government agencies.

As for the Parade of Stars and Awards Night, these will also be experienced virtually. The MMFF Execom said strict protocols will be imposed and followed to ensure the safety of everyone during these events.

***

Four films, one film project, and 10 production companies are among the representatives of Philippine Cinema in the 25th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in South Korea.

“Death of Nintendo” by Raya Martin, “Cleaners” by Karl Glenn Barit, “How to Die Young in Manila” by Petersen Vargas, and “Kids on Fire” by Kyle Nieva are part of the BIFF Official Selection.

Sheron Dayoc’s “6th Finger” is the only Filipino project in Busan this year while 10 production companies are part of the Philippine Pavilion spearheaded by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).

The FDCP is also the organizer of the Philippine Cinema Night as well as the sponsor of the webinar “Screen Talk: Asian Production Bounces Back” featuring FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño as one of the speakers.

“The Busan International Film Festival has been a crucial platform for the global track of the Filipino film industry. This year, the FDCP continues to be one with the BIFF in promoting Asian Cinema especially amid the COVID-19 crisis,” said Diño.

The BIFF, which will conclude on Oct. 30, has limited film screenings in Busan while the programs and events concurrent with the festival have been migrated online.

rickcalderon2005@yahoo.com

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