Not even the pandemic can stop us from enjoying Philippine cinema. This year’s Metro Manila Film Festival is still happening, albeit online via streaming.
There are 10 diverse films this year — that’s two more than previous installments of the festival. Based on the diverse genres of the entries, from heavy drama and straight horror to boys’ love rom-com and fantasy adventure, it looks like the film festival has a pretty solid lineup this year.
The 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival will run from Dec. 25 to Jan. 8, 2021 exclusively on Upstream.ph.
Director: MacArthur Alejandre
Love proves to be complicated in this romantic drama starring Iza Calzado, Alfred Vargas and Shaina Magdayao. The film, which was shot in Hong Kong and New York in 2019, initially joined MMFF that same year but was not able to be included as a finalist.
“Mang Kepweng: Ang Lihim ng Bandanang Itim”
Director: Topel Lee
Vhong Navarro returns as the funny folk healer in the sequel of the 2017 fantasy horror-comedy “Mang Kepweng Returns.” This time, he is joined by Barbie Imperial.
Director: Christian Acuña
Inspired by a popular theme park in Negros Occidental, this fantasy-adventure flick follows a group of kids who are transported into the magical world of a mobile game and must save it from forces of evil.
Director: Adolfo Alix, Jr.
A father returns to his family after being left by his mistress and is determined to win back his children, despite their lukewarm welcome. The family stars Jinggoy Estrada and Sylvia Sanchez, among others.
“The Boy Foretold by the Stars”
Director: Dolly Dulu
With the help of a fortune-teller, two senior high school boys cross paths in a school retreat. Starring Adrian Lindayag and Keann Johnson, this film is considered the first BL film in the Philippines.
“Isa Pang Bahaghari”
Director: Joel Lamangan
A former seaman, after being presumed dead for many years, comes home and tries to repair severed ties with his family with the help of his gay best friend. The film is top-billed by Nora Aunor, Phillip Salvador and Michael de Mesa.
Director: Antoinette Jadaone
In this coming-of-age drama, a teen-aged die-hard fan (played by Charlie Dizon) gets to spend a night with the celebrity she idolizes the most (played by Paulo Avelino).
Director: Al Tantay
A group of philandering middle-aged men try to win back their wives in this cheeky comedy starring Janno Gibbs, Dennis Padilla, Jerald Napoles and Andrew E.
“Suarez: The Healing Priest”
Director: Joven Tan
In this biopic, John Arcilla portrays the Filipino priest and faith healer Fernando Suarez. Suarez himself was involved in the production of the film before his untimely passing in February this year.
Director: Easy Ferrer
An ancestral home in Japan reveals a sinister past in this year’s only horror ticket starring Joseph Marco, Ritz Azul and Miles Ocampo. This is Ferrer’s first horror movie.