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‘Cinematic Revolution’

‘CINEMATIC REVOLUTION’ – That’s how the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) is described and billed: “Cinematic Revolution” or “#Reelvolution.” The description and billing refer to the changes in the Metro filmfest, the emphasis on artistic excellence instead of commercial viability.

To further emphasize the changes, there will be contests for a new logo, design and theme song of MMFF. Artists are invited to join the contests. Submission of entries is from July 15 to Aug. 15. Winners will be announced on Sept. 15. Judges are Jimmy Bondoc, Jerrold Tarog, and Robert Rivera.

The best child performer is being scrapped to give way to the MMFF Children’s Choice Awards. This is to encourage filmmakers to create works geared for young audiences, with children of ages 9 to 12 selecting the winners.

By the way, awards night is set for Jan. 8 instead of the ususal Dec. 27.

Oh, there’s also a People’s Choice Award, presumably going to the box-office topgrosser.

NOT REALLY NEW – As much earlier announced, the eight official entries will be chosen from finished films submitted on Oct. 31. The deadline was originally set for last week of September, but upon requests of producers it was extended, as also suggested by this column. Then only scripts and cast were required.

The finished-films requirement is not really new as during the early years of MMFF, that was the practice.

For example, in 1977 excellent entries were shown during the MMFF.

Consider:

Celso Castillo’s “Burlesk Queen,” topbilled by Vilma Santos, winning most of the awards.

Lino Brocka’s “Inay,” Mike de Leon’s “Kung Mangarap ka at Magising,” Gil Portes’ “Sugapa,” Ishmael Bernal’s “Walang katapusang Tag-araw,” Totoy Buenaventura’s “Bakya Mo Neneng,” Eddie Romero’s “Banta ng Kahapon.”

The awards night saw Brocka and Rolando Tinio (head juror) nearly engaging in a fight after Brocka praised “Burlesk Queen” at the expense of the other entries.

But that is history. Hopefully, this year’s Metro filmfest will have outstanding entries.

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