MMFF 2021 Returns to the Cinemas starting December 25

The Metro Manila Film Festival is heading back to the cinemas this year as restrictions due to the pandemic have been relaxed. This follows the recent re-opening of theaters that have so far gotten trickles in audiences despite the roster of the usual blockbuster drawers shown.

To date, no information has been released if the MMFF movies will be available online for streaming. For those who would brave the malls to watch a movie, the following safety protocols are being observed by cinemas:

Moviegoers must take a body temperature check before entering the cinema
Moviegoers must present an authentic vaccination card that shows the completion of two vaccine doses
Moviegoers and staff must adhere to the IATF’s current ruling on face shields, face masks
No eating inside the cinema
Theaters will implement “socially-distanced seating,” even for moviegoers who are entering together (two seats apart)
Contactless and cashless transactions to be encouraged during ticket-purchasing
Improved air ventilation
Availability of hand sanitizers at every cinema entrance
Mandatory hand-washing every 30 minutes for cinema employees
Deep cleaning of surfaces, chairs between screenings

Here are the entries for the 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival:

“Big Night” (Cignal Entertainment, Ideafirst Company, Octobertrain Films, and Quantum Films)
Starring: Christian Bables, Eugene Domingo
Directed by: Jun Robles Lana

Continue reading “MMFF 2021 Returns to the Cinemas starting December 25”

ABS-CBN reminds Filipinos: Andito tayo Para sa Isa’t Isa

Christmas is never the same without an ABS-CBN Station ID. It is as much a part of Filipino culture and tradition as the network itself. And while the network has been targetted by the Duterte administration and ripped off of its franchise following the attacks of a disgruntled president, ABS-CBN shines through and offers much-needed hope for the citizenry.

Kaya pa, laban lang, gabay nati’y pagmamahalan. This year’s station ID reminds Filipinos that guided by unity and love, we can still fight. This comes at a time when the dark cloud cast by an administration that normalized abuse, misogyny, and even murder is about to come to an end. Sure, we may be facing bigger and more sinister demons in the next election but we have a chance to fight.

Today, we hold on to hope that love can triumph over the divisiveness and hate seeded by disinformation from those in power. Tomorrow we fight as if our lives depended on it because they really do.

Inigo Pascual to star alongside Susan Sarandon in Fox Country Music Drama ‘Monarch’

Inigo Pascual is going to Hollywood! This is a well-deserved break I must say. More than just being a showbiz legacy, Inigo has made a name in PH entertainment and music industry on his own merit. He has massive hits locally and has released the international album ‘Options’ in June 2021.

Monarch is a cross-generational musical drama about America’s first family of country music, the Romans. At the head of the Romans is the incredibly talented but tough Queen of Country Music Dottie Cantrell Roman (Susan Sarandon). Together with her beloved husband Albie (Trace Adkins), Dottie created a country music dynasty. But although the Roman name is synonymous with authenticity, the basis of their success is a lie. When her reign as country queen is jeopardized, crown heiress Nicolette ‘Nicky’ Roman (Anna Friel) will stop at nothing to protect her family’s legacy while ensuring her own pursuit of fame. Pascual will play Ace Grayson, Nicky’s adopted son who also dreams of becoming a country star.

“Monarch” will debut midseason for Fox on January 30, 2022.

Gameboys gets 2021 International Emmy Kids Awards nomination

Gameboys – the acclaimed Filipino series that tells of a love story between two boys amidst the pandemic has added another feather in its cap. Today, it was announced as one of the nominees under the Kids: Live-Action category at the 2021 International Emmy Kids Awards.

“Children see and learn much of what they know of the world through the stories and characters they watch on television.” said Bruce Paisner, President & CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. “We congratulate the Nominees for their outstanding talent in entertaining and educating young viewers worldwide on a diversity of topics that impact their everyday life.” Winners will be announced on October 12, 2021 at 9 am Eastern Time on the International Academy’s website.

No stranger to international recognition, Gameboys won Best Web Series at the Seoul Indie Shorts Awards in November 2020.

Gameboys is available on Youtube (better version IMO) with an updated version on Netflix. A movie was recently released online and a second season is coming up real soon.

Check out the trailers below:

Continue reading “Gameboys gets 2021 International Emmy Kids Awards nomination”

On The Job: The Missing 8 to premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival

The sequel to the critically-acclaimed 2013 action thriller, On The Job, is set to premiere on September 10, 2021 at the 8th Venice International Film Festival. An Asia-wide release will follow as a 6-episode series on September 12 on HBO GO.

On The Job: The Missing 8 tells the story of Sisoy Salas, a corrupt journalist seeking justice for his colleagues, and convict Roman Rubio, a hired gun who is regularly brought out of prison to perform assassinations.

Per director Erik Matti’s post: This film attempts to explore, through the disappearance of eight people, the reality in the Philippines that is never shown in the news. Politicians are gangsters. Journalists are paid hacks. Prisoners as assassins. This ensemble of crazy characters intersect to represent a deep-seated culture of impunity and non-accountability in a country like the Philippines.

While I disagree that this is not in the news, as we have heard of the very words uttered in the film from the current administration’s murderous war on drugs, OTJ has always shown the bloody and ruthless reality in the country. Not surprisingly, this film is based on true events.

Check out the Venice International Film Festival trailer below.

Continue reading “On The Job: The Missing 8 to premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival”

Gawad Urian 2021: Full List of Nominees/Winners

It is interesting to note that the films considered in this year’s awards season may be the last films that were shot before the pandemic. These films mark the end of a certain way of making movies before the time of shooting bubbles, social distancing, and endless Covid tests.

But while we eagerly await how Filipino creatives wiggle their way around the limitations of a world that is standing still, let us look back at a simpler, (arguably) safer time. Here is the complete list of nominees for the 44th edition of Gawad Urian. The awarding ceremony is set to be streamed on YouTube and the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino Facebook Page on October 21, 2021.

Update: 10/21/21 Winners were announced/added to the list below.

BEST PICTURE

Aswang – Winner
Hayop Ka: The Nimfa Dimaano Story
Kintsugi
Lahi, Hayop
Midnight in a Perfect World
A Thousand Cuts
Watch List

Continue reading “Gawad Urian 2021: Full List of Nominees/Winners”

Normalizing acceptance and equality: The gay ads in the PH II

On the surface, it looks like the PH is an inclusive country. But one look at the comment section on Facebook and/or Twitter threads whenever a hate crime is posted in the news or the subject of gay marriage is brought up and we get jolted back to the reality that we still have a long way to go.

I have cut ties with people who post lengthy justifications for their bigotry, often invoking God to justify their hate. The quest to educate is still there but sometimes we just have to accept that there are people who are set on their ways. And while I am at an age where I don’t give a crap what people think, the younger generation who may still be grappling and coming to terms with their sexuality, is in constant need for representation in the media.

Read: Normalizing acceptance and equality: The gay ads in the PH

Last year, a love story between two boys rose to critical fame and international success/recognition. Their message was simple – that love has no gender. Gameboys ushered in a slew of Boys Love series and movies, and recently an ad promoting inclusivity. That it is partnered with the City of Pasig makes it even more special and official.

I would have loved to be a gay kid at a time when content like this is shown in the mainstream. And yes, we have a long way to go even today. But this makes me feel that things are less bleak and maybe there is a chance for things to get better after all.

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