Metro Manila Film Festival

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Metro Manila Film Festival
2013 Metro Manila Film Festival
Official logo of Metro Manila Film Festival
Awarded for Excellence in cinematic achievements
Location Manila
Country Philippines
Presented by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority
First awarded December 1975
Official website Metro Manila Film Festival official website
38th ed. 39th ed. 40th ed. >

The Metro Manila Film Festival-Philippines (MMFF-P) is an annual film festival held in Manila. The festival, which runs from the 25th of December to the first week of January in the following year, focuses on locally-produced films.

The MMFF was established in the year 1975, during which Diligin Mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa (Water the Thirsty Earth with Dew) by Augusto Buenaventura won the best film award.

During the course of the festival, no foreign movies are shown across the Philippines (except in 3D theaters and IMAX theaters). Moreover, only films approved by the jurors of the MMFF are shown. One of the festival highlights is the parade of floats during the opening of the festival. The floats, each one representing a movie entry to the festival, parade down Roxas Boulevard, with the respective stars for the represented films on them. On the awards night, a Best Float award is also announced along with the major acting awards.


Founder of the Metro Manila Film Festival, Antonio Villegas in 1970.

Antonio Villegas, the Manila mayor during his time, inaugurated the "Manila Film Festival" ("Manila Tagalog Film Festival") in 1966, the father of the Metro Manila Film Festival and all other Philippine festivals.[1] It is a 12-day event in which only locally produced films could be shown in the metropolis' theatres. The festival also features a grand parade in downtown Manila where the artists in the featured films parade in their floats. Villegas aims to encourage local producers to develop world class quality movies that showcased the beauty of the Philippines and the greatness of the Filipino people. He appointed Attorney Expiridion Laxa to serve as the Chairman of the film festival which starts on June 14 and culminates on June 24, Manila's birthday. In addition, in an effort to promote Philippine films, Antonio Villegas banned the showing of foreign films at movie houses during the Manila Film Festival from June 14 through June 24.[2] Furthermore, in order to instill national pride and prevent vagrants from sleeping in movie theaters, Villegas started the tradition of playing the national anthem at the beginning of each film showings.[2] Despite criticism from smokers and cigarette manufacturers, Villegas was adamant in banning smoking from movie theaters. In that effort, he delivered his poetic verse which is displayed on movie screens right after the national anthem. It reads: "Hindi po nais namin kayo'ng pigilin, pero ang usok ay masamang hangin." This translates to "Not that we wish to restrain you, but smoke is foul air (stench)."[3]

During that time, the mayor believes the potential of the festival for educating Filipinos in patronizing their country's produced movies, but the festival did not flourish and failed. Most of the first batch of the festival films came up with English titles.[4] Nevertheless, despite the lack of support from the government, money, and international films, there were different changes in making the festival flourish.[5] The Best films of Manila Film Festival included "Daigdig ng mga Api' (1966), "Dahil sa Isang Bulaklak" (1967), "Manila, Open City" (1968), "Patria Adorada" (1969), "Dimasalang" (1970), "Cadena de Amor" (1971), "Elias, Basilio at Sisa" (1972), "Nueva Vizaya" (1973), "Alaala mo Daigdig Ko" (1974). From 1975 to 1990, Manila Film Festival was discontinued as Metro Manila Film Festival took over.

In 1975, the Film Festival officially began on September 21 under the name "1975 Metropolitan Film Festival" (MFF) until it was changed to "Metro Manila Film Festival" in 1977.

Years after Villegas' death in 1984, a special award in the Metro Manila Film Festival bearing his name, the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Awards, was created in his honor and is given to the best film that best portrays Philippine culture and Filipino people to the world.[6] MRN Film International's Andrea, Paano Ba ang Maging Isang Ina? was the first one to receive the lifetime achievement award in 1990.[7] Since then, it has been awarding prestigious films that deserves the honors.

In 2010, the film festival had undergone some changes. Firstly, the commercial viability criterion (box-office performance of the entries) was removed. As of 2010, the criteria for the selection of Best Picture(s) are: artistry; creativity and technical excellence; innovation; and thematic value. Entries are also judged for global appeal (70 percent) and Filipino cultural and/or historical value (30 percent). In addition, the festival format will give a tribute to independent "indie" films. Lastly, the established board of jurors was expanded to include housewives, drivers, students, teachers, etc. As for the festival logo, it was changed to feature a map of the Metropolis of Manila, based on the old seal of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority with seventeen stars on it symbolizing the 17 cities and municipality of Metro Manila. The logo for the first 35 festivals featured a torch.[8]

In September 2011, Atty. Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) changed the category name of "indie" films to "New Wave" films to make it sound better and more attractive to hear, as well as including "Student Short Film Category" for the first time.[9] Consequently the next year, the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival held in 2012 became the highest earning MMFF to date with 767 million pesos, 21% higher than that of 2011.[10]


Festival Year Awards Night Venue Date
1st Metro Manila Film Festival 1975
2nd Metro Manila Film Festival 1976
3rd Metro Manila Film Festival 1977
4th Metro Manila Film Festival 1978
5th Metro Manila Film Festival 1979
6th Metro Manila Film Festival 1980
7th Metro Manila Film Festival 1981
8th Metro Manila Film Festival 1982
9th Metro Manila Film Festival 1983
10th Metro Manila Film Festival 1984
11th Metro Manila Film Festival 1985
12th Metro Manila Film Festival 1986
13th Metro Manila Film Festival 1987
14th Metro Manila Film Festival 1988
15th Metro Manila Film Festival 1989
16th Metro Manila Film Festival 1990
17th Metro Manila Film Festival 1991
18th Metro Manila Film Festival 1992
19th Metro Manila Film Festival 1993
20th Metro Manila Film Festival 1994
21st Metro Manila Film Festival 1995
22nd Metro Manila Film Festival 1996
23rd Metro Manila Film Festival 1997
24th Metro Manila Film Festival 1998
25th Metro Manila Film Festival 1999
26th Metro Manila Film Festival 2000
27th Metro Manila Film Festival 2001
28th Metro Manila Film Festival 2002
29th Metro Manila Film Festival 2003
30th Metro Manila Film Festival 2004
31st Metro Manila Film Festival 2005
32nd Metro Manila Film Festival 2006
33rd Metro Manila Film Festival 2007
34th Metro Manila Film Festival 2008 Harbor Garden Tent, Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila, Philippines December 27
35th Metro Manila Film Festival 2009 SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay December 28
36th Metro Manila Film Festival 2010 Meralco Theater December 26
37th Metro Manila Film Festival 2011 Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila, Pasay City December 28
38th Metro Manila Film Festival 2012 Meralco Theater, Ortigas Center, Pasig City December 27
39th Metro Manila Film Festival 2013 Meralco Theater, Ortigas Center, Pasig City December 27

Merit Categories[edit]

Current categories[edit]

Special categories[edit]


In a January 2013 review, writer Jessica Zafra complained, "Speaking of standards, why do we bother to review the festival entries when most of them are rubbish? Because they're not supposed to be rubbish! Contrary to what you’ve been led to believe, 'entertainment' and 'commercial appeal' are not synonyms for 'garbage'. There are good commercial movies, and there are bad commercial movies. The bad outnumber the good because the studios think the viewers are idiots."[11]


Note: The controversies were collected by Business World Online.[12]

  • 1977: Director Lino Brocka walked out of the MMFF awarding ceremonies at the Metropolitan Theater when Celso Ad. Castillo’s Burlesk Queen starring Vilma Santos won eight of the 10 awards that year including Best Picture. Mr. Brocka reportedly threw invectives at National Artist for Theater Rolando Tinio who was the chairman of the panel of judges that year. It was also reported that organizers asked the winners to return their medals (the MMFF handed out medals that year) due to the controversy.
  • 1978: The board of jurors decided that it would not award honors for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. Instead, the jurors gave Nora Aunor a "Best Performer" award for her role in the movie Atsay. Ms. Aunor beat Ms. Santos, whom fortune-tellers on the talk show of Inday Badiday had predicted would win the award for her role in the movie Rubia Servios. Confident that she would win, Ms. Santos reportedly went to the awards night at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in an expensive couture gown. After the awards ceremonies, Ms. Santos reportedly got so drunk she passed out.
  • 1983: Many were surprised after Coney Reyes-Mumar won the Best Actress award for the movie Bago Kumalat ang Dugo and Anthony Alonzo bagged the Best Actor award for the same movie, besting acting greats Charito Solis and Vic Silayan who were both in the movie Karnal.
  • 1986: The MMFF jurors decided not to hand out the Best Story and Best Screenplay awards "since no one of the seven entries deserved the awards."
  • 1988: Stuntman Baldo Marro won Best Director for the movie Patrolman, beating Chito Roño who directed Itanong Mo sa Buwan. Mr. Marro also won Best Actor for the same movie.
  • 1994: No Best Picture and Best Director Awards were handed out during the awards night, as jury members again felt no entries were deserving of the honors.
  • 2001: Cesar Montano accepted the award for Best Actor for the movie Bagong Buwan, but expressed his disappointment that the movie failed to win as Best Picture. He then went on to say that trophies could be bought anytime in Recto anyway.
  • 2002: The cast of the movie Dekada ’70 walked out of the award ceremonies after Lualhati Bautista failed to win the Best Story and Best Screenplay awards. Even more controversial was the decision of the judges to name Ara Mina Best Actress for her role in Mano Po. Ms. Mina beat Vilma Santos, who was in Dekada ’70.
  • 2005: Director Joel Lamangan walked out after he lost to Jose Javier Reyes. Mr. Lamangan failed to win for his movie Blue Moon. Mr. Reyes won for Kutob.
  • 2007: The awards night ended in less than an hour after festival organizers decided to just announce the winners without fanfare. The awards night had to be rushed because a concert, featuring singer Lani Misalucha, was scheduled right after the awards ceremonies.
  • 2011: Amable "Tikoy" Aguiluz declined to accept the award for Best Director for the movie Manila Kingpin after he claimed that the movie "was edited without his consent beyond his recognition."

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Subsidize movie industry – Lito Atienza". 2010-02-04. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  2. ^ a b Villegas, Antonio Jr. YEBA: Young, Executive, Brilliant Administrator. unpublished. 
  3. ^ Macabeta, Greg (June 2006). Filipinas Magazine. Filipinas Magazine. pp. 44–46. 
  4. ^ "Film Academy of the Philippines". Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  5. ^ Hawkins, Michael Gary (2008). Co-producing the Postcolonial: U.S.-Philippine Cinematic Relations, 1946--1986.
  6. ^ "Metro Manila Film Festival". Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  7. ^ "Metro Manila Film Festival: Awards for 1990". Internet Movie Database. 
  8. ^ "Changes in 2010 MMFF introduced". Yahoo. Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  9. ^ "‘Indie’ out, ‘New Wave’ in". Tempo. Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  10. ^ Marfori, MJ. "38th MMFF posts record P767-M gross, says festival head". InterAksyon. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  11. ^ Zafra, Jessica (2013-01-02). "Metro Manila Film Festival 2012 Moviethon Day 6: The battle for Dingdong's dingdong". Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  12. ^ "Through the years: Controversies in the MMFF". Business World Online. Retrieved 2014-04-09.