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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Dec 29, 2018

Presenting The Eight Final Entries In The Metro-Manila Filmfest 2018 That Opens In Theaters Starting Today, Christmas Day!!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all!!!! It’s the start of the Metro-Manila Filmfest 2018 today and to those who intend to watch the movies in the current festival, here’s a primer as to what the entries are all about. The first four finalists were chosen in June based on their submitted scripts. These are: “Aurora” - A horror drama produced by Viva Films and directed by Yam Laranas. Shot in Batanes, it’s about a ship named Aurora that sank in the high seas. Anne Curtis stars as an island girl who is asked by the families of the victims to help look for the remains of their missing loved ones. Anne then embarks on a scary journey assisted by her former boyfriend, Marco Gumabao, and a boatman, Allan Paule.

“Fantastica” - Co-produced by Star Cinema and Viva Films, directed by Barry Gonzales, this fantasy-comedy stars Vice Ganda whose family owns a perya or carnival that is facing financial problems. He finds help in Richard Gutierrez as a prince from a kingdom in another dimension called Fantastica, who’ll help if he could help locate the missing princesses of Fantastica, played by Loisa Andalio, Maymay Entrata and Kisses Delavin. Also starring Dingdong Dantes, Jaclyn Jose, Ronnie Alonte, Edward Barber and Donny Pangilinan.

“The Girl in the Orange Dress” - A romantic comedy directed by Jay Abello and produced by Quantum Films and MJM Films. Jericho Rosales stars as a big movie star who finds romance in an ordinary girl wearing an orange dress, played by Jessy Mendiola. The nosey press then hounds them to find out the girl’s true identity. Also starring Sheena Halili, Ria Atayde, Hanna Ledesma, with cameo appearances by Luis Manzano, Derek Ramsay and Jennylyn Mercado.

“Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles” - An action comedy produced by MZet, APT and CCM Productions, directed by Mike Tuviera. It stars Coco Martin as Jack, Maine Mendoza as Emily and Vic Sotto as Popoy, dedicated cops who are facing a big crime syndicate. With Ronaldo Valdez, Tirso Cruz III, Paolo Ballesteros, Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo, Mark Lapid and many more.

In October, the final four entries to complete the Magic 8 movies in the festival were chosen, based on completed films. These are: “Rainbow’s Sunset” - A family drama produced by Heaven’s Best Productions, this is written by Eric Ramos and directed by Joel Lamangan. Eddie Garcia stars as a retired senator who decides to come out of the closet when he learns that his long time lover Tony Mabesa is dying. His very patient and understanding wife is played by Gloria Romero. Their three children played by Tirso Cruz III, Aiko Melendez and Sunshine, plus their own families, are all affected by his decision to admit he’s a closet queen. Also starring Max Collins, Tanya Gomez, Jim Pebanco, Sue Prado, Shido Roxas, Ross Pesigan and Marcus Madrigal.

“One Great Love” - Produced by Regal Entertainment, written by Gina Marissa Tagasa and directed by Eric Quizon. This is a romantic drama about a girl, Kim Chiu as Zyra, torn between two lovers, JC De Vera as Carl, her boyfriend who has deep emotional problems, and Dennis Trillo as Ian, her best friend and shoulder to cry on. Supported by Miles Ocampo, Marlo Mortel and Eric Quizon as Kim’s dad.

“Mary, Marry Me” - Produced by Ten17P and Tin Can Productions under the direction of RC de los Reyes, this is a romcom about an unusual love triangle. Real life sisters Toni and Alex Gonzaga portray sisters both named Mary who fall for Sam Milby. So which one will get Sam in the end?

“Otlum” - A horror flick produced by Horseshoe Productions and written and directed by Joven Tan. This stars Buboy Villar as a young man who wants to belong to a barkada composed of Jerome Ponce, Michelle Vito, Vitto Marquez and newcomers Ricci Rivero and Danzel Fernandez. His would be friends convince him to stay overnight in an abandoned orphanage which turns out to be haunted and this starts all their scary experiences in the movie.

Last Sunday, the traditional Parade of Stars to help promote the entries in the annual festival was held at Paranaque, the host city.  It so happened that it was raining all day last Sunday and the grounds where the floats were supposed to start their parade got so drenched and wet that many floats got stuck deeply in the mud and cannot move anymore.

These floats include “Mary, Marry Me”, “Rainbow’s Sunset”, “Aurora”, “Jack Em Popoy” and “Otlum”. How sad as they spent so much for their floats but they weren’t able to join the parade at all. Only the floats for “Fantastica”, “The Girl in the Orange Dress” and “One Great Love” were able to continue with the parade’s designated route. Next year, the host city will be Taguig and we hope that they’ll put the floats on concrete and not on muddy grounds like what happened this year.