For cinephiles hungry for quality content in cinemas, we have great news: the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) is removing “commercial viability” in its selection criteria, and will heavily invest in “story” and “cinematic attributes.” This means better movies and a return to MMFF’s tradition of providing film gems.
Previously, commercial viability made up 50% of the selection criteria. The other half is divided between story, creativity, writing excellence, innovativeness and thematic value (40%), and Filipino cultural and historical value (10%).
Now, it will be story, audience appeal, overall impact (40%), cinematic attributes and technical excellence (40%), global appeal (10%), and a Filipino sensibility (10%).
This change in the selection process is in line with the festival’s new vision, which is to be a “festival that celebrates Filipino artistic excellence, promotes audience development and champions the sustainability of the Philippine film industry.” Its new mission statement is “to develop audiences for and encourage the production of quality Filipino films, and to promote the welfare of its workers.”
Upon closer inspection, the criterion of story, audience appeal, and overall impact is similar to commercial viability, but the festival believes that a movie must also excel in “storytelling, measured by how successfully a film transforms its artistic vision into a vital […] engagement with its audience.”
The MMFF is usually held every December, starting on Christmas Day. Since its beginnings in 1975, it has given us cinematic gems such as Insiang, Burlesk Queen, Bona, Kisapmata, and Himala.
Are you excited for this year’s MMFF? Share your thoughts below!
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