2021 MMFF to be held in cinemas, official entries announced

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There are eight official entries in the upcoming Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) it was announced on Friday. And unlike last year’s festival which was held online because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this year’s festival will return to the cinemas from Dec. 25 to Jan. 8, 2022.

Out 19 submissions, this year’s lineup returns to eight titles compared to last year’s roster of 10 films, it was announced today at a press conference held at the Novotel Manila in Quezon City’s Araneta City.

The eight films are Lawrence Fajardo’s action drama A Hard Day, starring Dingdong Dantes and John Arcilla; Jun Robles Lana’s comedy Big Night, starring Christian Bables and John Arcilla; Louie Ignacio’s romance comedy Huling Ulan Sa Tag-Araw, starring Rita Daniela and Ken Chan; Adolf Alix, Jr.’s horror film Huwag Kang Lalabas, starring Kim Chiu, Jameson Blake, Beauty Gonzalez, and Aiko Melendez; Carlo Francisco Manatad’s drama Kun Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether the Weather is Fine), starring Charo Santos-Concio and Daniel Padilla; Cathy Garcia-Molina’s romance comedy Love at First Stream, starring Kaori Oinuma, Jeremiah Lisbo, Daniella Stranner, and Anthony Jennings; Lester Dimaranan’s suspense drama Nelia, starring Wynwyn Marquez and Raymond Bagatsing; and Fifth Solomon’s comedy horror The Exorsis, starring Toni and Alex Gonzaga.

“Let us assume na Alert Level 2 pa rin (during the film festival), gagawa kami ng paraan na ating parada and even the awards night ay gawin nating parang normal [setup] (Let us assume that it will still be Alert Level 2, we will find a way to have the parade and even the awards night similar to a normal setup),” said Benjamin Abalos, Jr., Chairperson of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), referring to the MMFF Parade of Stars and MMFF Gabi ng Parangal. The MMDA runs the festival, which is now on its 47th year.

“The purpose of this parade and awards is to grow interest again for people to go out and watch in the cinema. Whatever would really be for the best of the industry,” he said.

Tignan natin kung pwede natin i-extend nang kaunti. (We will see if we can make extend the run a little). We will look at the legality and feasibility,” Mr. Abalos said regarding the possibility of extending the screening dates due to the limited seating capacity in cinemas.

After being closed for 20 months because of the pandemic, selected cinemas in the country opened on Nov. 10 in accordance with health and safety protocols.

For more information on the festival, visit https://www.facebook.com/watch/mmffofficial/.Michelle Anne P. Soliman