Summer MMFF still not happening this year amid COVID-19 surge

Stars of the 'The Mall, The Merrier,' one of the entries in the 2019 edition of the MMFF, wave to fans gathered during the traditional Parade of Stars. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, mass gatherings such as a parade are no longer allowed. Michael Bagtas, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The inaugural summer edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), which was originally planned to debut in 2020, is still not happening this year, amid record-high surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.

In a statement, MMFF committee spokesperson Noel Ferrer said that the group has “decided on foregoing with the Summer MMFF until partner-cinemas are once again open to the public.”

Cinemas nationwide remain shuttered amid the raging pandemic, with Metro Manila placed under modified enhanced community quarantine — the second most stringers lockdown measure — until April 30.

The 2020 edition of the regular MMFF in December was held virtually.

Instead of pushing through with the first summer MMFF, the committee is “focusing on the yearend holiday festival,” Ferrer added, detailing the schedule for prospective entries. They are the following:

  • Submission of letter of intent: June 30
  • Submission of finished film entries, including trailers, behind-the-scenes footage: September 3 (early bird), September 30 (regular deadline)
  • Announcement of eight official entries: October 15

“With this, it is the MMFF EXECOM’s vision to encourage the submission of excellent films that would inspire, uplift and connect to a broader Filipino audience for this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival even as we navigate creatively through this present pandemic,” the group said.

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