MMFF 2016: All for quality Filipino films

SINCE the day that the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) committee posted the film entries to be shown in cinemas for this year in their social media sites, it drew mixed and countless reactions especially from those who really patronize the festival since it started.

Some of them expressed how they were hands down to the committee who took a very big risk to feature mostly indie films for this year but sadly majority were deeply upset because a Vice Ganda and Vic Sotto starrer-movies didn’t make it to the list.

Honestly, it was a really drastic move for the committee to just change their standards for the line-up of films that will be competing in this year’s film festival and how they didn’t even consider the preference of the masses when it comes to films, given that Filipinos have always been engrossed to mainstream movies offered by the likes of Vice Ganda and Vic Sotto.

It’s safe to say that the committee had finally come to their senses that film festivals should contain quality films that reflect at least the history or the culture of our country, the struggles of the Filipino people, the issues that we are currently facing and moral lessons that viewers should get from watching them.

I am not saying that the previous MMFF entries lack those good qualities but these official entries now are rare and seldom shown in mainstream cinemas. No offense meant but you could actually just count all the MMFF films that really stood out in one hand.

That is why, one of the biggest challenges for all Filipinos or aspiring filmmakers this decade is to work harder on the story and the content of their films–one that will truly change the game in the Philippine film industry and something that we, Filipinos, could be proud of. It is also good to get international recognition for our films because of originality, relevance, and impact.

A really big salute to the committee for taking the risk and for being brave enough to stand with their decision. Also worth commending is their act of choosing to do what is right- that huge film festivals such as this are created to celebrate Filipino talents and to showcase quality Filipino films that deserve to be recognized globally.

For those people who are against the decision of the committee regarding the official MMFF entries, it will really take time for you to digest all the changes that had been made because you have grown accustomed to movies that are profitably driven and purely commercial for how many years.

However, it is not yet too late for you to appreciate what quality films really are. Just give all these films a chance and you might find your favorite Filipino film of all time through these films. You can never really tell, right?

Don’t worry. This year’s MMFF entries are just as diverse as the previous MMFF. If you are into live animation, Avid Liongoren’s Saving Sally is perfect especially for kids and those young at heart. If you are a horror or thriller junkie, Erik Matti’s Seklusyon is the way to test your limits.

Are you a sucker for Romantic-Comedy films? You got Theodore Boborol’s Vince and Kath and James. Pour all your hearts out in joy and laughter in Marlon Rivera’s Ang Babae sa Septic 2: #ForeverIsNotEnough. You fancy a tear-jerker... documentary? Go grab a tissue in Baby Ruth Villarama’s critically-acclaimed Sunday Beauty Queens.

You also have Arturo San Miguel and Real Florida’s Kabisera if you are a certified Noranian and Alvin Yapan’s Oro, if you are into heavy drama with a touch of politics. Lastly, dying has never been this beautiful in Jun Lana’s award-winning film, Die Beautiful.

Life is way too short ladies and gentlemen to spend it on hating something that actually does not deserve all the hate. Films are made to be appreciated, not hated and especially not these purely quality films. Real Jhon O. Castillon