It appears the yearly Metro Manila Film Festival is pushing through despite the risks to health of COVID-19.
Earlier today, July 17, the filmfest's official Facebook page released the first four entries this year.
They are the third installment of Vice Ganda’s Praybeyt Benjamin; a horror movie starring Joshua Garcia; a horror-comedy film top-billed by sisters Toni and Alex Gonzaga, and the much-awaited reimagination of Magic Temple.
As it has been in the previous MMFF, these entries are based on script submissions.
Here are the titles of the first four entries:
1. ANG MGA KAIBIGAN NI MAMA SUSAN
Starring: Joshua Garcia, Angie Ferro
Director: Chito Rono
Scriptwriter: Bob Ong
Producer: Regal Films
Starring: Jun Urbano, Migs Cuaderno, Joshua Eugenio, Jamir Zabarte, Dwight Gaston, Bibeth Orteza, Elijah Alejo, Princess Aliyah Rabara, Hailey Mendez, Kenken Duyad
Director: Christian Acuna
Scriptwriters: Antoinette Jadaone, Irene Villamor, Rod C. Marmol, Pat Apura, Dwein Baltazar
Producer: Brightlight Leisure Productions, Inc. / Gallaga Reyes Films
3. PRAYBEYT BENJAMIN 3
Starring: Vice Ganda
Director: To be announced
Scriptwriters: Daisy Cayanan, Dip Mariposque, Jonathan James Albano
Producer: ABS-CBN Film Productions, Inc. / Viva Communications, Inc.
4. THE EXORCISM OF MY SISZUMS (Working title)
Starring: Toni Gonzaga, Alex Gonzaga
Director and Scriptwriter: Fifth Solomon
Among these films, Joshua Garcia’s Ang Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan has already started principal photography before the enhanced community quarantine.
Currently, film outfits are slowly resuming production, which was halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April 2020, MMFF put on hold its first summer film festival called the Metro Manila Summer Film Festival, with eight entries to be shown in cinemas.
There’s no official announcement yet on the next steps.