For the first time, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) will go digital this year due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and MMFF concurrent Chairman Danilo Lim announced on Friday (October 23).

Lim said the MMFF has partnered with Globe Telecom and Upstream to keep the annual film festival very much alive in December.

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Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and concurrent Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Chairman Danilo “Danny” Lim (FACEBOOK/ MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“The film industry continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19 but it should not dampen the Filipinos’ spirit of watching Filipino movies during the Christmas season. This year, we are bringing the MMFF tradition in every Filipino home not just here in the country but all over the world via digital screening for the first time,” he said during a virtual press briefing.

With this, the agency said the global audience can access eight entries to this year’s MMFF in digital form through Upstream while in the comfort of their homes.

“We are very excited about the annual film festival that will take place on a new platform. Filipinos abroad and those who cannot go home for the holidays can enjoy the MMFF tradition by watching MMFF movies on digital platform,” said Lim.

According to Lim, the MMDA has chosen Globe and Upstream to be its official partner for the MMFF, celebrating its 46th year. The MMFF will open on December 25, Christmas Day.

“Out of the five proposals the MMDA received, we have chosen Globe which presented the best offer to be our partner,” said Lim.

The MMFF chairman urged the public to patronize the annual film festival organized primarily to help promote and enhance the preservation, growth, and development of the local film industry.

The Parade of Stars and Awards Night will also be done virtually and streamed online in compliance with the health and safety protocols to avoid COVID-19 transmission, lawyer Romando Artes, MMFF co-Executive Chairman, said.

Globe Telecom CEO Ernest Cu said that the undertaking seeks to keep the holiday Filipino tradition of watching movies as families and bring cheer to the Filipinos.

Since August, Metro Manila has been under general community quarantine.

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