GOOD NEWS: Probably the best piece of news yet to emerge from the entertainment scene of late is a suggestion to stage a midyear Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) in summer, around April or May.

The suggestion came from an industry ally, Sen. Bong Go, who shares the opinion of many that an extra 10 days to showcase Filipino movies exclusively can provide much needed boost to the local film industry.

MMFF, held every December, is by far the biggest money-making event in the industry.

While the MMFF is billed as metro-wide, it is actually nationwide in scope. All eight film entries are simultaneously shown in theaters all over the country.

nora - MOVIEGOER: An MMFF in summer, yes!

NORA AUNOR with Philip Salvador and Joel Lamangan

During its entire 10-day run, Filipino films hog the limelight as foreign films take the backseat. The Christmas-New Year playdate is considered the most lucrative as Filipinos associate Christmas season with merriment, in this case, watching movies.

MMFF 2018 is said to be the “highest grossing” MMFF ever, hitting the P1.060 billion mark. The amount, says MMDA, is P10 million higher compared to the 2015 edition, which grossed P1.050 billion.

A second edition of the MMFF can certainly do wonders for the movie industry.

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SEVEN OTHER FILMFESTS – For sure, there are other film festivals, at least seven of them annually, highlighting locally made films.

They are: Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP), run by the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

Like the MMFF, PPP films are shown nationwide. This year, it will run from Sept. 13 to 19.

Cinemalaya, headed by Laurice Guillen, in cooperation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Cinema One Originals of ABS-CBN.

QCinema of the Quezon City government. Former Mayor Herbert Bautista has promised to keep it going.

Sinag Maynila, a joint project between Wilson Tieng and Brillante Mendoza.

The number rounds up to seven more festivals outside MMFF if we include TOFARM and Cine Filipino. But then, they have not announced their plans this year.

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MORE GOOD NEWS: Eight-year old Prince Jared of Bohol, an honor student, didn’t look forward to the opening of classes last June.

His parents had not bought him his school supplies due to lack of finances.

Jared also felt guilty that with school in place, he wouldn’t anymore have time to help his parents earn whatever livelihood they could afford.

The boy is the eldest among five children.

An unexpected gift from ABS-CBN Foundation, however, lifted Jared’s spirit. The second-grader is among 50,000 school children from all over the country who received a school bag filled with a complete set of school supplies.

The gift-giving is part of the foundation’s Gusto Kong Mag-aral Project (GKM).

Launched in 2017, GKM has provided bags and school supplies to students in 27 provinces throughout the country.
Each school bag contains notebooks, pencils, ballpens, crayons, sharpeners, erasers, and even a whistle that students can use to call for help during emergency situations.

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