MANILA — Since it started in th 1970s, the annual Metro Manila Film Festival has come up with some of the finest films in the history of Philippine cinema — classic and memorable movies which won awards and recognitions here and abroad.

"Himala," a MMFF entry in the early ‘80s, is a fine example. Viewers of CNN voted the Nora Aunor starrer as the Best Asia-Pacific film of all time, besting movies directed by the biggest names in the region. It was also a box-office hit.

Other great MMFF entries include "Jose Rizal," "Tanging Yaman," "Mano Po," "Kisapmata," "Brutal," ‘Bakya Mo Neneng," "Insiang," "Bona," "Diligan Mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa," "Crying Ladies," "Andrea," "Haplos," "Muro Ami," "Deathrow," "Baler," "Ina Ka ng Anak Mo," "Rubia Servios," "Paradise Inn," "Moral," "Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon," "Mga Bilanggong Birhen," "Burlesk Queen," "Markova," "Katas ng Saudi," "Pagputi Ng Uwak, Pag-Itim ng Tagak," "Ang Panday."



The festival also came up with such blockbusters as "Agimat," "Enteng Kabisote," "Captain Barbell," "Shake Rattle & Roll," "Lastikman," "Desperadas," among many others.

"Shake, Rattle & Roll," now on its 12th "scream," competes with seven other MMFF entries this year for awards and, but of course, box-office returns.

The other entries: "Ang Tanging Ina Mo (Last Na To!)," "Rosario," "Si Agimat at Si Enteng Kabisote," "Dalaw," "Father Jejemon," "Super Inday and the Golden Bibe," and "RPG Metanoia."

Actually, the MMFF is now nationwide. All eight entries open simultaneously in Metro Manila and key cities in the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao on Dec. 25.

Chairman Francis Tolentino of the Metro Manila Development Authority announced that on its 36th year, MMFF is introducing some changes. This 2010, it is also paying tribute to indie movies.




Five have been chosen by a selection committee from among nine film producers who submitted their entries. The exhibition of the indie films dubbed as "Tribute to the Indie Films – Philippines Premier," will serve as a prelude to the 2010 filmfest. "Nasaan si Hefte" by Jonnah Lim, "Presa" by Adolf Alix, Jr., "Slow Fade" by Rommel Sales, "Senior Year" by Jerrold Tarog and "Rindido" by Noriel Jarito, will be shown one at a time, from Dec. 16 to 20 at SM Megamall.



"This is our way of helping new filmmakers to showcase their movies and to increase public awareness on these kinds of films which are not commercially shown in local theaters but are internationally acclaimed in foreign film festivals," Chairman Tolentino explained.

Chairman Tolentino also announced that the criteria for the much-contested best picture have been changed. From giving much weight to commercial viability in the choice for best movie, the criteria now put 70% to Artistry, Creativity, Technical Excellence, Thematic Value and Global Appeal and 30% to Filipino Cultural and/or Historical Value.

The board of jurors, which is composed of members of the industry and the academe, now will include regular moviegoers in its ranks: a public school teacher, a bus driver, a housewife and a student.

This year’s Parade of Stars, which is the industry’s Christmas treat to Filipino fans, will kick off at 1 p.m. on December 24 at the parking lot of the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia.
The much-awaited awards night will be at the Meralco Theater on Dec. 26 (Sunday), 6 p.m.







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