MMFF 2016’s Great 8

The cast of “Die Beautiful” led by Paolo Ballesteros (fourth from right). (MMFF FACEBOOK PAGE)

The cast of “Die Beautiful” led by Paolo Ballesteros (fourth from right). (MMFF FACEBOOK PAGE)

IT’S a leap of faith for this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

With its diverse lineup of films competing this year, MMFF is testing the waters as it sets expectations for films higher, doing away with the presence of the usual line-up of blockbuster stars and relying instead on good storytelling and a variety of themes.

The final list got mixed reactions fom netizens, with fans of MMFF regulars Vice Ganda and Vic Sotto questioning why their films did not make it to the list. But others saw it as an opportunity to get exposed to other film genres and a deeper appreciation for independent filmmaking.

On December 25, we are lucky to have the complete eight MMFF entries for screening in cinemas around Cebu.

In SM City Cebu, all films except for “Oro” and “Sunday Beauty Queen” will be screened. In Ayala Center Cebu, movies “Oro,” “Sunday Beauty Queen” and “Vince & Kath & James” will not be on the lineup, the rest of the entries will be hitting the cinemas.

If you want to see the film “Oro,” you can head straight to Gaisano Cinemaplex and Robinson’s Galleria or make a trip to Cine Oriente, Gaisano Cinemaplex and Robinson’s Galleria for the screening of “Sunday Beauty Queen.”

Let’s not put these filmmakers’ efforts in vain and give #MMFF2016 a chance.


1. Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: #ForeverIsNotEnough (PG) – It’s a sequel to the award-winning film of Eugene Domingo, as she prepares for her comeback after a long break from movie making.

Rainier proposes “The Itinerary,” a heartbreaking anatomy of a crumbling marriage as told through a couple’s trip to Baguio, their former honeymoon location. Getting giddy about her new project, Eugene has other ideas in mind. In the film, we get to see her absurd suggestions changing the script by employing the poetics of the Pinoy romantic comedy genre into what was supposedly a realistic portrayal of love and marriage.

Director: Marlon Rivera
Starring: Eugene Domingo, Jericho Rosales, Kean Cipriano, Khalil Ramos and Cai Cortez

2. Die Beautiful (R13) – It tells a story of a Filipino transgender woman named Trisha, who suddenly dies while being crowned in a beauty pageant.

Her last wish was to be presented as a different celebrity on each night of her wake, but her conservative father wants to bury her as a man. So
Trisha’s friends are left with no choice but to steal her body and hold a wake for her in secret to make her dying wish come true.

Director: Jun Robles Lana
Starring: Paolo Ballesteros, Joel Torre, Gladys Reyes, Luis Alandy, Albie Casiño, Iza Calzado

3. Kabisera (R13) – It’s a sociopolitical story about a tightly knit family of Nora Aunor and Ricky Davao that comes to grips with the abusive elements of Philippine society, especially the hooded perpetrators of extrajudicial killings.

Directors: Arturo San Agustin and Real Florido
Starring: Ms. Nora Aunor , Ricky Davao, ,JC De Vera,Luis Alandy,
Jason Abalos, RJ Agustin

4. Oro (PG) – The movie gives a glimpse of the rising tensions in a mining community as an armed group, Patrol Kalikasan, makes its threatening presence known. Kapitana, leader of the community, must try to defend the town as she struggles to get a permit to mine. We also get to see the effects on the citizens through the story of Liza and Elmer, a young couple trying to carve out their lives amid the challenges being faced by their community.

Director: Alvin Yapan
Starring: Irma Adlawan, Mercedes Cabral and Joem Bascom


5. Saving Sally (PG) – It’s a coming-of-age story about a boy who loves a girl and some monsters on the side. Marty, an aspiring comic-book artist, secretly loves his gadget inventor best friend Sally, and fantasizes of saving her from the big bad world.

Director: Avid Liongoren
Starring: Rhian Ramos, Enzo Marcos

6. Sunday Beauty Queen (G) – It zooms in to a story of a Filipina house help in Hong Kong who always have been dreaming to become a beauty queen someday. Being away in a foreign country and working as a house help, it does not stop her in making her own real-life Cinderella tale. Every Sunday, they would meet in one place, and dress up as beauty queens in Hong Kong.

Director: Babyruth Villarama Gutierrez
Starring: Hazel Perdido, Cherrie Mae Bretana, Mylyn Jacobo, Leo Selomenio, Rudelyn Acosta

7. Vince & Kath & James (G) – The film is based on Vince and Kath, an online series written by Jenny Ruth Almocera, that went viral on social media especially on Facebook. It’s a story about two teens, who eventually found themselves falling in love through text messages.

Director: Ted Boborol
Starring: Julia Barretto, Joshua Garcia, Ronnie Alonte

8. Seklusyon (R13) – Back in the early ‘90s, those aspiring priests were sent to a remote convent to live in seclusion on the last day of training. The purpose is to shield them from evil of the world. However, the plot thickens when a mysterious young girl, whether she is really sent by God or the Evil, comes to the convent.

Director: Erik Matti
Starring: Rhed Bustamante, Phoebe Walker, Elora Espano, Neil Ryan Sese, Ronnie Alonte, Lou Veloso, Dominique Roque, John Vic De Guzman, JR Versales

TAGS: Die Beautiful, film, Movies
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