Digitally yours, MMFF 2020

"Is there any MMFF film product that even comes near the Korean film gem that was Parasite?"

With streaming giants such as Netflix. HBO Prime, Iflix, the many movies and other entertainment content for free on YouTube, does the annual Metro Manila Film Festival, trumpeted to go digital this holiday season, stand a chance to get the chunk, love, and support of the online watching public?

The yearly tradition of Filipino films going digital is a decision that is similar to the dolomite beach that now is being eaten slowly by the Manila Bay.

Cinemas inside established malls are already open in some parts of the metropolis and are strict in implementing all the public viewing protocols. All it needs now is a major movie to bring back the flock of viewers.

It is imperative that the MMFF entries be shown at the cinemas because the majority not only crave but want “normalcy” and the “happy chaos” during the holidays.

The annual film festival could have been the litmus test if the audiences are ready to go out from the safety of their cocoons and embrace once more the movie house going experience, with popcorn and sodas, of course, for Filipino movies.

Now that the MMFF films are for online streaming, does this mean that in the eventuality that there will be major Hollywood and other international movie releases with a Christmas day opening date, they will be accorded a green light and allowed to be screened in cinemas? Does the current ruling body of the MMFF has the mandate to stop movie theater owners from opening their doors to motion pictures that are making box office wonders? It will be disastrous for their business not to show these films knowing how much they have already suffered financially with economic onslaught brought by the pandemic and they can cry that you chose to show it online so we have every right to present movies during Christmas day so that majority can have a grand time?

Has the MMDA even considered the fact that internet access is available to those who can only afford it? The speed and connectivity of laptops, desktops, and mobile gadgets are constant concerns in Mega Manila where most of the MMFF audiences reside, how do you entice this demographic when the basic issue of strong internet connection has yet to find a solution?

Also, what is with this drama that the festival being streamed online opens the MMFF entries in competition to global audiences? The cinematic aesthetics and tastes of the international audiences you so aspire are far more discerning and there are many choices that are available. 

For the longest time, the powers that be that run the Philippine festival equates mammoth box office returns as their premium measurement of its resounding success. That is why in terms of plot, story development, and telling and production values, the entries in the MMFF are always found wanting and not of world-class caliber.

Several decades under the rule and leadership of the MMDA can you enumerate at least five movie titles from the MMFF entries that received acclaim? The dream of a Filipino movie nominee in the best foreign film category in the Oscar's or Golden Globes continues to be an impossible dream. The honors we reap in the cinematic global arena are mostly directorial and acting and never for a film. Is there any MMFF film product that even comes near the Korean film gem that was Parasite?

Topics: Netflix. HBO Prime , Iflix , Metro Manila Film Festival , Filipino Movie
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