An unofficial guide to MMFF 2017 » Manila Bulletin Entertainment

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JUST A THOUGHT: ‘Talent is a universal gift, but it takes a lot of courage to use it. Don’t be afraid to be the best – only mediocrity is safe.’ – Paulo Coelho

WATCHING OUT FOR MMFF 2017: What are the films worth watching out for in the coming Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2017?

Now that the MMFF screening committee has released the complete list of eight feature films taking part in the annual film fiesta, people have been talking heads, weighing their options about which films to watch first and last.

In fairness, this year’s line-up looks like a happy mix between artistic and commercial films. A number of the official entries combine both artistic merits and commercial potential. Obviously, MMFF has learned from last year’s debacle characterized by a predominantly indie line-up and a huge, dramatic dip in box office take, the lowest in MMFF history.

UNOFFICIAL GUIDE: In separate, informal caucuses among reporters, journalism and communication teachers, and other film enthusiasts, the following films were ranked according to importance. Meaning to say, they are the films they will want to watch first.

These films, they claim, promise artistic environment as well as high entertainment value.

Joanna Ampil as Candida Marasigan (left) and Rachel Alejandro as Paula Marasigan in ‘Ang Larawan’

“Ang Larawan” (Culturtrain Musicat Productions)

Based on National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin’s classic play “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino,” the movie musical stars Paulo Avelino, Joanna Ampil and Rachel Alejandro.

Set in Intramuros before World War II, the movie is about spinster sisters Paula (Alejandro) and Candida (Ampil) who take in a boarder (Avelino) to augment their household’s income after their artist father is no longer able to produce artworks.

“Ang Larawan” has three National Artists attached to the project: Joaquin, Bienvenido Lumbera, and Rolando Tinio (librettists).

Joross Gamboa (left) and Edgar Allan Guzman as gays in ‘Deadma Walking’

Joross Gamboa (left) and Edgar Allan Guzman as gays in ‘Deadma Walking’

“Deadma Walking” (T-Rex Productions)

Based on the Palanca-winning script of Eric Cabahug, this comedy-drama starring real-life friends Joross Gamboa and Edgar Allan Guzman is a light-hearted, irreverent, laugh-out-loud film about life and friendship that celebrates the creativity, chutzpah and and can-do spirit of the Filipino in the face of adversity.

One of the beshies (Joross) stages his own fake death and wake in anticipation of what friends would say to him at his eulogy. Features big-name stars like and many others in cameo roles.

Jericho Rosales

Jericho Rosales

“Siargao” (TEN17P)

Directed by Paul Soriano, this romance drama stars Jericho Rosales, Erich Gonzales and Jasmine Curtis-Smith in a love triangle that blends past and present, set against the picturesque surfing destination.

“All Of You” (Quantum Films, MJM Productions)

Following the success of “English Only, Please,” Jennylyn Mercado and Derek Ramsay reunite in another romantic comedy about two people who have such strong, opposing views on love and marriage.

Directed by Dan Villegas.

“Gandarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad” (Star Cinema, Viva Films)

Movie brothers Vice Ganda and Daniel Padilla discover they have secret powers that make them super heroes out to save the world.

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach makes her film debut here as an eccentric, lunatic, unpredictable villainess in the guise of a rising couturier.

This superhero flick is directed by Joyce Bernal.

Coco Martin

Coco Martin

“Ang Panday” (Star Cinema, CCM Productions)

Here’s the seventh resurrection of “Carlo J. Caparas’ Ang Panday,” originated on screen by the late Fernando Poe Jr.

In this all-star cast, epic fantasy-action movie, Coco Martin plays a grandson of the great Flavio, who discovers that his bloodline has been tasked to save the world from the evil doings of Lizardo, played this time by Jake Cuenca.

Coco Martin makes his debut as a film director using his real name, Rodel Nacianceno.

“Haunted Forest”

(Regal Films)

Helmed by “Mano Po 7: Chinoy” director Ian Loreños, this horror flick-teen romance tells of a band of young people who enter a strange, haunted forest where they get lost easily. Strange events happen to the cast that includes Hashtags member Jon Lucas, James Blake, Maris Racal and Jane Oineza.

“Meant To Beh” (OctoArts Films, M-Zet Productions and APT Entertainment)

Directed by Chris Martinez, this movie reveals how children of a couple breaking apart find ways and means to put them back together at all cost. It marks the reunion of Vic Sotto and Dawn Zulueta 30 years after they worked together in the fantasy-comedy series, “Okay Ka, Fairy Ko!” Features an all-star cast.

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