The Philippine movie industry needs love and support too. And one of the best times for films made in the country is during the Holiday season, when the Metro Manila Film Festival bars foreign productions to showcase participating movies vying for awards from the Metro Manila Development Authority. The film fest executive committee also took steps to expand the MMFF’s scope by proposing a summer edition, which was supposed to debut in April of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to that, so the MMFF EXECOM decided to put things off until 2021. Unfortunately, similar circumstances have forced them to cancel a second time.
CNN Philippines reports that the Metro Manila Film Festival executive committee has, for the second time in a row, decided to postpone the opening of a Metro Manila Summer Film Festival (MMSFF) due to the COVID pandemic still gripping the country. An official statement released by the MMFF EXECOM, comprising members of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), note that the ongoing community quarantines have kept cinemas across the country closed. The postponement of the MMSFF is deemed to remain effective until the situation significantly improves, allowing movie-houses to operate after over a year now.
With that summer edition not happening for some time yet, the EXECOM is now investing all time and resources they have on hand to the original MMFF screening period, this coming December after Christmas. To wit, they are announcing dates for deadlines that any interested Filipino filmmaker or producer that wants their movies to participate in the film fest competition. They have until June 30 to submit their letter of intent to join. One insistent suggestion by the MMFF was that films submitted must be uplifting and inspiring for Filipinos still reeling from the pandemic, and promise better days coming.
Considering the regulations and precautions required to film TV programs much less movies in the country where some areas are in quarantine, any production aiming to exhibit in the Metro Manila Film Festival must have their movie finished and submitted, along with trailers, clippings, behind-the-scene features and other production documentation, by September. Early Bird entries have until the third of the month while regular entries have until the 30th. Only eight entries will be chosen from the submissions, and they will be announced on October 15. Again, the MMFF begins screening its official entries on Christmas Day until early January.
Image from Philippine Entertainment Portal