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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 17, 2021



WE ARE HOPING for the best for all the entries in the coming Metro-Manila Filmfest that opens this Christmas Day. 

But honestly, we are worried with reports that only a few people have returned back to the theaters. Even Hollywood blockbusters like “Dune”, “Eternals”, “Venom”, and the new James Bond flick are not pulling in the expected crowds. 

We think one of the reasons why people still feel reluctant to go to theaters is there are so many restrictions. 

And then, they cannot do what they usually do when they watched movies before: eat! Food is now prohibited inside movie houses.  

But local producers who have entries in the coming filmfest do not seem to care that much. For one thing, their playdate is just a few days away but they don’t see to be promoting their movies diligently.

So far, the only presscons we have attended are those of “The Exorsis” starring Toni and Alex Gonzaga, “Huling Ulan sa Tag-araw” with Rita Daniela and Ken Chan, “Big Night” with Christian Bables in a political comedy that is definitely of best picture quality. 

The last two films also had press previews. 

Before, entries in past Metro film festivals will have their first presscon one month before Christmas Day. Then they will have a press preview or another presscon a week before the playdate. 

Now, we’ve asked ordinary people what among the entries in the coming filmfest would they care to watch and the answer we usually get is: “Ha? Meron ba?” They don’t even know what the entries are. 

The lack of proper promotions will usually be detrimental to the box office performance of all the entries. 

For all intents and purposes, aside from the aforementioned “The Exorsis”, “Huling Ulan sa Tag-araw” and “Big Night”, here are the other five entries: 

“A Hard Day” an action drama starring Dingdong Dantes & John Arcilla; “Huwag Kang Lalabas” a horror trilogy with Kim Chiu & Beauty Gonzales; “Nelia” a suspense thriller with Winwyn Marquez & Raymond Bagatsing; “

Love at First Stream” a romcom starring four nameless newcomers; and the film that have been shown in international filmfests that will probably vie for awards: “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon” (Whether the Weather is Fine) about Typhoon Yolanda starring Charo Santos and Daniel Padilla.