The Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) held annually during Christmas season has been a festival of commercial films for the family and children but the Summer MMFF is the answer to requests for a festival of artistic and quality films.
Unravel is a testimony to its serious intent to be the game player to contend in producing worthwhile motion pictures.
As one of the eight SMMFF entries, Mavx’s Unravel dazzles, as it signals the Rennaissance of the Golden Age of Philippine Cinemas (the years when now classics Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?, and Insiang, to name a few, were shown).
In recent years, MMFF through Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), has pre-chosen Top 4 slots based on script submission. Later, the Top 4 has been based on the commercial viability of the project/box office bankability of the stars.
In an advance screening of Unravel at Ayala North Vertis Cinema 3, (and another celebrity screening in nearby Trinoma) on March 29, it’s clear why Mavx is a serious game-player in film productions: the story on mental health was a brainchild of one of its prime movers.
The script was from an awarded and seasoned film and television writer, Senedy Que. The lead actors have been acknowledged to be serious in their craft.
Gerald Anderson an acknowledged film and TV actor has no mental health issues but professionally prepares for television series, revealing his depth and acting capability, playing Noah, a life-saving Biblical character, this time a guardian angel to Lucy (Kylie Padilla) character who now wants to kill herself, with or without any professional help.
Switzerland fits very well as the film’s main location (where there are facilities for a unique voluntary assisted death or VAD program). It’s an expensive facility but an appropriate choice for a location that exudes hope and desire to live for good reasons.
Scriptwriter Senedy Que said: Unravel is his tribute to a departed scriptwriting mentor Jake Tordesillas.
There are interesting twists in the film that need not elaborate on to avoid spoilers, Unravel is a crystal-clear indication of the rebirth of quality filmmaking.
‘Yung Libro Sa Napanood Ko’
A film written and directed by Bela Padilla, Yung Libro Sa Napanood Ko, is one of the more exciting films to see in the inaugural edition of SMMFF. It’s a fresh take on how a good story read in books can be an inspiration for a romantic tale.
From Viva Films, it asks the question of whether or not you’d let a fairytale love story happen to you in real life.
After learning about a book from a Korean drama that she’s watched, Lisa (Bela Padilla) is inspired to write her book and becomes a published author. At one of her book signing events, a meet-cute moment happens between her and a Korean man named Kim Gun Hoo (Yoo Min-gon) when he asks for an autograph and expresses his admiration for Lisa. This same man makes a way to see her again, and this time he bravely asks Lisa to go with him and visit South Korea. Though reluctant at first, Lisa agrees and takes the offer. Together, they tour around the country and visit the places Lisa only used to read in books and see in her favorite shows and movies.
Will Lisa finally experience the love story she thought existed only on the pages of books and the images on the screen? A romance-drama movie starring Bela Padilla and Kim Gun Hoo, with the special participation of Lorna Tolentino. Also starring Boboy Garrovillo, Hasna Cabral, Lee Suya, Boy Abunda, Malena Leonard, Goda Choi, Carole Dorothy Bowlby, Kim Jin Mok, and Raul Montesa.
‘Love You Long Time’
In Love You Long Time, one of the official entries to the 2023 SMMFF, Carlo Aquino and fresh talent Eisel Serrano give life to two strangers defying time and distance in the name of love. The film is directed by JP Habac, written by Gena Tenaja, and is under Studio Three Sixty.
The film features a young romance screenwriter who suffers her biggest heartbreak causing her to hit a brick wall with her writing until she meets and falls in love with a mysterious guy from the past.
After a terrible breakup that ended with a rejection of a marriage proposal, Ikay (Eisel) packs her stuff and heads over to Baguio. On the way to the province, she mysteriously meets a new guy named Uly (Carlo Aquino) through an old push-to-talk phone. They immediately hit it off as friends. The two explore this friendship turning into love, but of course not without complications as Uly seems to be from the past.