After the international success of Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2018 entry “Rainbow’s Sunset” recently, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) urges film producers and directors to submit this year similarly “quality and innovative” film entries.

At the 52nd Annual WorldFest in Houston, Texas, “Rainbow’s Sunset” lead actor Eddie Garcia and Tony Mabesa were hailed Best Actors, while the film itself bagged the Special Jury Remi award.

Director Joel Lamangan won the Special Jury Prize and screenwriter Eric Ramos bagged the Gold Remi Award for Best Story Innovation.

At a recent press briefing, the government office, along with MMDA and concurrent MMFF Chairman Danilo Lim, recognized the team behind the film “Rainbow’s Sunset” for making Filipinos, particularly, the local film industry proud, while posing a challenge to production outfits that will join the film festival this year.

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THE MMDA executives pose with the actors and producers of the film

“I hope this will not be the first and last time we win big in international film festivals,” said Lim, who personally gave plaques to recipients.

“We hope to receive quality and innovative entries to this year’s MMFF – excellent stories that will capture the hearts not only of many Filipinos but also the international audience.”

The deadline for submission of entries on script format for this year’s film fest is on May 31; deadline for Short Film Student Competition entries is on July 15; and entries for finished film format is on September 20.

“The MMDA and the MMFF will continue to back up our local films and filmmakers for the Philippines to have its rightful place in global filmmaking industry,” Lim said.

He revealed the MMFF is gearing up for a “double celebration” this year with the commemoration of its 45th anniversary, which coincides with the centenary of Philippine cinema.

“We have big plans for MMFF, not only during December but all-year-round so we are holding seminars and caravans to develop talents of more students,” said Lim.

The annual WorldFest is the oldest Independent Film & Video Festival in the world and became the third competitive international film festival in North America, following San Francisco and New York, as stated in its website.

“Rainbow’s Sunset” is about an aging man’s admission to his family about his romantic feelings towards his childhood best friend. It also ran away with a number of awards from the MMFF 2018 last December including Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor and Actress among others. Garcia also won the Special Jury Prize, together with co-star Max Collins.

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SCENE FROM ‘Rainbow’s Sunset’

Mabesa recalled the experience of joining the festival. Garcia wasn’t able to attend the ceremony due to prior commitment.

“That is actually my first international film festival as an actor. On the very night ‘Rainbow’s Sunset’ will be shown, they also announced the nominees for best actor… and three of them were Filipino (the other is Raymond Bagatsing for ‘Quezon),” Mabesa said. “We cannot deny the fact that we’re hoping (to win), but when our names were called, we were happy. Eddie and I are partners in crime.”

For Garcia, his third international trophy was a “best birthday gift.” The veteran actor turned 90 last May 2.
Meanwhile, Heaven’s Best Entertainment matriarch Harlene Bautista made clear “this is not the end” for “Rainbow’s Sunset.”

She revealed their plans of bringing the film to foreign cinemas, particularly to festivals which cater to LGBT-themed movies.

“We want this film to inspire many people. From the very beginning, our goal is to let the audience witness how good, how brilliant and how well-crafted this film is. So let’s hope for the best,” she said.

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