Metro Manila Film Festival or MMFF is a yearly tradition in Metro Manila where MMDA will host a festival of amazing Filipino Movies. Did I get that right? I hope so. Well technically it is a celebration of amazing Filipino talent, where families gather to celebrate the holiday season and watch these films. Normally, mainstream movies are shown, this year, they decided to feature quality indie films, as I’ve heard, missing the likes of Vice Ganda, Vic Sotto, Ai-Ai De Las Alas and Kris Aquino.
First of all, yes I am not a fan of Indie Films. Not that I don’t like them, but I’m just a mainstream person. I just like to watch feel good films, and every time I watch Indie, it leaves a lot of questions unanswered and feelings of hurt or confusion. Yep, they’re very good in story-telling and playing with emotions, but it’s a lot to handle. But yeah, why not give them a chance, right? It’s been a long time since my last Indie experience.
One of my friends has this MMFF movie pass or complimentary pass, or whatever you call it, and invited me to watch some of the films. I don’t have all the time in the world so we decided we will be watching two films. I really wanted to see Vince & Kath & James, but my friend isn’t a fan. We agreed to see Seklusyon, because of course, it’s horror! It should be in the list. I’ve also been amazed by the concept of Saving Sally since seeing its trailer online. We also agreed on seeing that first. We came to TriNoma by lunch time, good thing because there’s no much people watching yet, and the lines were short. So we got the chance to start our “movie marathon” seamlessly. It’s so cool to pay P5.00 for the films instead of P220.00, that’s a real relief, but I’m confused if I’m helping the industry with this. But hey, an opportunity is an opportunity, so I just grabbed it. :p
So we started with Saving Sally. I was so excited! I was like a kid waiting for the Avengers film to start. The movie theater wasn’t full. Again, it was noon, so there’s not much people watching. It’s already a lot of people for me for this timeslot. So the movie was fine, the animation was superb and the flow of the story is very solid. I just find it awkward that the actors are speaking in English. I also don’t like Rhian Ramos playing the lead, they could’ve gotten some other new actress. However, the protagonist, Enzo Marcos, was very charming and did a good job, he was very relatable. Well they’re just small bumps on the road, but other than that, it was a feel good movie, something I did not expect from an Indie film. There was no roller coaster of emotions for me, I was just witnessing how this “teen” experienced heartbreak and how he used it for his advantage, and in the end, he got what he wanted, and this is real life, less the sci-fi stuff. I felt like it was a Disney short film, but in this case it was full length. I am amazed at how far Pinoy Animation has gone. I sincerely love and appreciate this film, and I hope we get more of this in the future. Screw what haters say, but this is really a great effort! ❤
Then off we go for a quick snack, and headed straight to the next movie theater for Seklusyon. Now this is what I came for, no pun intended. My MMFF experience wouldn’t be complete without a horror film! Well, Kris Aquino’s time is done, so it’s time for new comers. This time, the movie house is full, it got me more excited. As the movie started I had this feeling to focus properly, because, you know, horror films need to be deciphered, and in this case, it is also an Indie film, so a lot of understanding has to be done, or else I’m screwed. I love the setting, I am impressed with the 1940s effects, the costume is SO on point, the actors were great! Ronnie Alonte did great, but Red Bustamante was a revelation. Her expressions and gestures were just flawless! The combination of all the actors were perfect. I was really impressed. I was thinking, this film will definitely bag awards! I got thrilled, scared and surprised all at the same time. This movie served it’s purpose. The movie feeds off from your fear from evil and uses it to scare you, very clever and effective. It got me all curious and as expected, a lot of questions were left unanswered. The beginning was creepy, up until the ending, it was wickedly satisfying! But one thing I can tell you, after this film, I won’t let images of saints stay my house anymore, I better have them removed, haha. Two of the casts, Dominic Roque and J.R. Versales also made appearances in the theater to thank us after the film, which a bonus actually. I hope they felt how the audience appreciated their performances.
I wasn’t disappointed. The movies I’ve seen were impressive, and yes, I would be excited to see more. I’ll be looking forward for Vince & Kath & James, and maybe Oro. There were also amazing short films before the movie started. They were a bit cheesy, but this is still talent. I’m impressed at where the movie industry is heading, and there’s no turning back. I just hate it when people show hate for our emerging industry. Why not just support and be proud of what we can do and achieve? Why not just be excited of what our movie industry can do in the near future? I still have hope that someday, we can be at par with international standards when it comes to movie making. And how can we help? By supporting our own films, buying them instead of supporting piracy. Always remember that there is a thin line between criticizing and shaming, so we better be responsible with what we say. There’s nothing bad that I can say about my experience with the two films, but one thing’s for sure, I will continue to support and look forward. Mainstream or Indie, they’re all the same, they’re purpose is to bring entertainment to people. As long as they serve they’re purpose, the industry will continue to grow.