Metro Filmfest 2013 attracts new titles, Rom-Coms

JUST A THOUGHT: Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious. - Peter Ustinov

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MMFF UPDATE: Good to know that of the 15 scripts submitted for approval by the Metro Manila Film Festival screening committee, of which we are a member, not one is titled "Enteng Kabisote," "Panday," "Agimat," or "Shake, Rattle & Roll."

The producers of these previous film franchises have probably (at last) realized that the time has come for them to rest their case and try some new formula if they are to widen their market.
The emergence of "Sisterakas," a relative newbie, as the top grosser raking in 342 million pesos in MMFF 2012 has empowered producers to try their luck by submitting new titles.
While the genres are still restricted to comedy-fantasy, romantic comedy, horror, action and historical drama, there appears an attempt to combine commercial appeal with artistic merits in the case of several proposals.

There is a good number of rom-coms in the lineup of submitted scripts, at least six, some of them starring the likes of Vic Sotto, Kris Aquino, Bong Revilla, Ogie Alcasid, Eugene Domingo, Vice Ganda, Maricel Soriano, Toni Gonzaga, Richard Yap, Jodi Sta. Maria, among others. If all the films starring these comedy actorsmake it to the final cut, MMFF 2013 promises to be the merriest, gayest batch ever.

However, only eight films will be named official entries in MMFF 2013, which traditionally opens on Dec. 25. On Tuesday, June 18, MMFF Chairman Francis Tolentino shall announce them.

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FOUR SISTERS MINUS ONE: Much fuss is being made over Shaina Magdayao's less-than-stellar billing in the four-star-plus-one light drama, "Four Sisters and A Wedding."

The former child actress and former girlfriend of John Lloyd Cruz is billed in smaller font type (75 percent) than her three "sisters" in the film, namely Bea Alonzo, Toni Gonzaga and Angel Locsin, who all get 100 percent each.

Shaina occupies the layout's second line, which she shares equally with Enchong Dee.

Has Star Cinema committed an injustice here?

At first blush, it may seem like it. Rewarding Shaina with equal billing together with Bea, Toni and Angel, who are all certified box-office stars, can certainly work wonders for her career. It will promote her to a new, higher level that seems just right if the producers wanted to be in congruence with the number four in the film's title.

On the other hand, it also seems premature to project Shaina in the same light as her three co-actors. She has not proven anything as a movie actress to qualify her for that rare distinction.
If Star Cinema were more kind or sympathetic, however, it could have gone the extra mile and awarded Shaina with such equal importance. Alas, a film is a marketing proposition, and its producers and marketers are not running an NGO or a charitable institution.

It's good to know that Shaina, in her pronouncements, says she understands the set-up completely, with no hard feelings, sana nga. What's important is that she has an interestingly new film on hand, and a potential box office hit at that.
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SHANGRI-LA PLAZA CHEERS DADS: Celebrate the joys of fatherhood this June at lifestyle destination Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong City.

Tonight at 7, Jazz For You, Dad featuring The Executive Band performs at the Grand Atrium.
Capping off the month of June is a series of live saxophone performance of songs dedicated especially to dads, happening from June 21 to 23, Friday to Sunday, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., also at the Grand Atrium.

Meanwhile, The Shang kicks off the Eiga Sai 2013 Japanese Film Festival with an exclusive screening on June 19 at 10:30 a.m.
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BY THE WAY... Pilar Pilapil has replaced Amalia Fuentes on "Muling Buksan ang Puso," opposite Susan Roces... Dingdong Dantes starts taping his new show, "Genesis," for GMA-7 this June. It's science fiction.

Cesar Montano turned down ABS-CBN's "Muling Buksan ang Puso" and another offer from TV5 to accept GMA-7's "Hanggang Kailan." The new teleserye stars good friends Lovi Poe and Rocco Nacino.

TV audiences seem ready for more mature, experimental themes. "My Husband's Lover," teleserye on gay romance, reportedly doused off "Apoy sa Dagat" on June 10 to 12, according to a Nielsen survey, hitting an average household rating of 22.2 percent versus "Apoy's" 15.9 percent in Mega Manila.