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PH movie industry rallies support for inaugural Summer MMFF

Despite resulting from the pandemic, it is high time for the local movie industry to enjoy another stretch of strictly all-Filipino titles in cinemas nationwide to boost the ever-challenged entertainment platform.

A shoot-off of the annual Metro Manila Film Festival in December which marked its 43rd year in 2022, producers likewise enjoy the support of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Film Council Development of the Philippines (FDCP) and the Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines in this new endeavor.

A very timely stretch to hold another festival, the Holy Week is an annual break for most Filipinos, with the Easter weekend this year extending through Holy Monday. Following the spiritual traditions of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, Black Saturday is an ideal time for family and friends to get together for quality time at the cinemas, where they can enjoy stories close to heart and home.

The MMFF Selection Committee, which curated a variety of quality Filipino films as finalists for this maiden outing, is optimistic that the lineup will encourage the public – especially millennials and Gen Z who are on a break from work and school — to support the summer film fest.

And so, as The Manila Times Entertainment does every Christmas, it rounds up a comprehensive guide to the eight official entries the public should support for the first time this summer starting today, April 8 to April 18.


The love between a father and son, portrayed by Coco Martin and Lito Lapid, is put to the test in ‘Apag.’

Producer: Center Stage Production

Director: Brillante Mendoza

Cast: Coco Martin, Lito Lapid, Jaclyn Jose, Gladys Reyes Genre: Crime and Family Drama

Synopsis: Apag delves into themes of family, guilt, justice and forgiveness as it follows the story of Rafael (Martin), a prominent Kapampangan restaurant owner who figures in an accident that kills a lowly tricycle driver. The incident forces his father, Alfredo (Lito Lapid), to take the fall for a crime he didn't commit, and leaves Rafael free but devoured by guilt. As penance, Rafael attempts to make amends with the victim's widow Nita (Reyes) but realizes that no secret can remain uncovered for long.

'Unravel: A Swiss Side Love Story'

Gerald Anderson and Kylie Padilla deliver a touching and thought-provoking movie that centers on mental health and suicide.

Producer: MavX Productions Inc.

Director: RC Delos Reyes

Cast: Gerald Anderson, Kylie Padilla

Genre: Social Issue Drama

Synopsis: The film revolves around Lucy (Padilla), a woman seeking assisted voluntary death in Switzerland after a painful separation and Noah Brocker (Anderson), a half-Filipino determined to convince his visiting kababayan to change her mind. “Swiss Side” is a wordplay on suicide, which the love story heavily tackles, highlighting the man's need for “human connection” amid deep anxiety, distress and depression.

'Here Comes The Groom'

Gladys Reyes, Kimpee de Leon, Enchong Dee and Maris Rascal portray the exemplary Filipino family about to crash into a van full of gay conteseras amid a solar eclipse, which will turn all their worlds upside down.

Producer: Quantum Films, CineKo Productions, Brightlight Productions

Director: Chris Martinez

Cast: Enchong Dee, Keempee De Leon, Gladys Reyes, Awra Briguela, Xilohuette, Maris Racal, Kalad Karen Genre: Comedy

Synopsis: Rodrigo Sr. (de Leon), his wife Salve (Reyes), and their children Rodrigo Jr. (Dee) and Blesilda (Racal) are on the road to Junior's destination wedding when a solar eclipse takes place on a mysterious magnetic field where they meet an accident. The family car collides with a van filled with gay pageant regulars in Mama Wendy (Iyah Mina), Wanda (Xilhouete), Winona (Antonio), Whilhelmina (Kaladkaren) and their trainee, Whitney (Awra). Soul swapping occurs on both sides the night before Junior's wedding, which cannot be undone until the next solar eclipse.

'Yung Libro Sa Napanuod Ko'

Bella Padilla and Kim Gun-hoo deliver a K-Drama, Pinoy-style.

Producer: Viva Communications, Inc.

Director: Bela Padilla

Cast: Yoo Min-Gon, Bela Padilla Genre: Romance Drama

Synopsis: After reading “To Room 19,” the book where her favorite Korean drama series was based, Lisa (Padilla) is inspired to dabble in writing. Fortunately, with hard work, she succeeds as a bona fide author. At a book signing, she meets a Korean guy named Kim Gun-hoo (Yoo), who asks her for an autograph, admitting he is a huge fan. Gun-hoo soon invites Lisa to visit Korea with him, where he promises to take her to the iconic film locations of her favorite K-Dramas. On the trip, Lisa discovers a life-altering secret from her past that threatens to thwart her blossoming relationship with Gun-hoo.

'Love You Long Time'

New-comer Eisel Serrano is paired with movie heartthrob Carlo Aquino in a throwback love story.

Producer: Studio Three Sixty Inc.

Director: JP Habac

Cast: Carlo Aquino, Eisel Serrano

Genre: Romance

Synopsis: A young romance screenwriter (Serrano) suffers her biggest heartbreak causing her to hit a brick wall with her writing until she meets and falls in love with a mysterious guy (Aquino) through an old push-to-talk phone.

'About Us But Not About Us'

Producer: Octoberian Films, The Ideafirst Company, Quantum Films

Director: Jun Robles Lana

Cast: Romnick Sarmenta, Elijah Canlas

Genre: Drama Thriller

Synopsis: A literature professor meets his student at a restaurant and, over the course of a meal, secrets and lies arise, and a sinister connection to a mysterious suicide is discovered.


Producer: TinCan

Director: Fifth Solomon

Cast: Aljur Abrenica, Alex Gonzaga, Angeline Quinto

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Synopsis: Rose Ann (Gonzaga) and Rose Mae (Quinto) strike up a friendship despite being polar opposites. Rose Ann swore to be single forever after being left at the altar, while Rose Mae is desperate to be in a relationship. In their search for contentment, they join the Single Bells Organization, a group that promotes self-love and is proud to be single.

'Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko'

Producer: Saranggola Media Productions, Inc.

Director: Joven Tan

Cast: RK Bagatsing, Meg Imperial

Genre: Musical

Synopsis: Rey Valera (Bagatsing) relives the inspirations that spurred him to compose his most popular hits, considered today among the beloved Original Pilipino Music classics.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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