Last 4 MMFF entries complete 2018 lineup
“Rainbow’s Sunset” (from left): Sunshine Dizon, Aiko Melendez and Tirso Cruz III
I know I’ll be hearing from bashers, but what can I do? I got picked,” said director Joven Tan, whose horror film, “Otlum,” was among the eight finalists in this year’s edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
The organizers of the annual festival announced on Tuesday the last four films to complete the lineup. Aside from “Otlum,” they are Joel Lamangan’s “Rainbow’s Sunset,” Eric Quizon’s “One Great Love” and RC delos Reyes’ “Mary, Marry Me.”
The first four movies, which were revealed in June, included Yam Laranas’ “Aurora,” Rodel Nacianceno’s “Popoy En Jack: The Puliscredibles,” Barry Gonzalez’s “Fantastica: The Princess, the Prince and the Perya” and Jay Abello’s “The Girl in the Orange Dress.”
“Sixteen films were submitted. We all took a chance,” Joven told the Inquirer after the press conference at Club Filipino in San Juan, Manila. “I’m nervous [about negative comments], to be honest; but I can proudly say that my film went through the selection process. I didn’t ask them (the MMFF selection committee) to pick mine over the others, but they did. I guess they tried to balance the lineup by including two horror films. After all, it’s Christmas.”
Joven said he was aware that Brillante Ma Mendoza’s “Alpha: the Right to Kill,” which even won an award at the recent San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain, was also on the list of submitted films.
The horror-thriller “Aurora” features Anne Curtis as a mysterious woman who helps save passengers and retrieves bodies from a shipwreck near her island home.
The 12-member selection committee, chaired by National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, gave each entry a score based on the following criteria: 40 percent, artistic excellence; 40 percent, commercial appeal; 10 percent, Filipino cultural sensitivity; and 10 percent, global appeal.
“Otlum,” starring Jerome Ponce, Michelle Vito and John Estrada, is Joven’s tribute to the horror film franchise “Shake, Rattle & Roll,” which was first shown at the MMFF in 1984, the director said.
“One Great Love” writer Gina Marissa Tagasa dedicated her film’s inclusion to her mom, actress Mely “Miss Tapia” Tagasa, who passed away in March.
“One Great Love” stars Kim Chiu (left) and Dennis Trillo
“It’s my first time to join. It’s overwhelming because, in January, my mom predicted that one of my projects would be included in the MMFF. I didn’t expect it because I didn’t know that Regal submitted it,” she shared with the Inquirer.
Gina said the film, starring Kim Chiu, Dennis Trillo, Miles Ocampo and Marlo Mortel, “is precious. It’s the fulfillment of my mom’s dream for me.”
Asked how she planned to deal with possible negative reactions from bashers for the film’s inclusion in the MMFF lineup, Gina said, “That’s unavoidable. Of course, people will still have something to say—that’s part of the business. Let’s hope that they’ll also see the merits of the film.”
“Mary, Marry Me” director RC delos Reyes said he would rather not think about how his film would fare at the box office, considering that it would be competing with the movies of Vice Ganda, Vic Sotto and Coco Martin. “What’s important for me is to share with the audience the story that Toni (Gonzaga) wrote,” he said. The film also stars Sam Milby and Toni’s younger sister Alex. It is produced by Toni’s husband Paul Soriano under Ten17P, which also came up with last year’s “Siargao.”
“I personally think the selection committee’s choices were fair. They must have deliberated really hard. The submissions are all deserving; it’s just that the committee had to choose only eight from among them,” he pointed out.
“Timely and very relevant” was how actress Sunshine Dizon described the story of “Rainbow’s Sunset.” Also part of that cast are Aiko Melendez, Tirso Cruz III, Gloria Romero, Tony Mabesa and Eddie Garcia.
“I’m sure the LGBT community will appreciate it. A lot of family dramas have been made in the past, but this is special because we made this with so much love,” Sunshine declared.