THE Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), which has been part of the Filipinos’ Christmas tradition over the years, is going digital for the first time due to the coronavirus disease.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and MMFF concurrent Chairman Danilo Lim announced that the MMFF partnered with Globe Telecom and Upstream to keep the annual film festival very much alive in December amid the challenging times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The film industry continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19 but it should not dampen the Filipinos’ spirit of watching Filipino movies during the Christmas season. This year, we are bringing the MMFF tradition in every Filipino home not just here in the country but all over the world via digital screening for the first time,” said MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim.
The global audience can access eight entries to this year’s MMFF in digital form through Upstream while in the comfort of their homes.
“We are very excited about the annual film festival that will take place on a new platform. Filipinos abroad and those who cannot go home for the holidays can enjoy the MMFF tradition by watching MMFF movies on digital platform,” Lim added.
According to Lim, the MMDA has chosen Globe and Upstream to be its official partner for the MMFF, celebrating its 46th year. The MMFF will open on December 25, Christmas Day.
“Out of the five proposals the MMDA received, we have chosen Globe which presented the best offer to be our partner,” said Lim.
Lim encouraged the general public to patronize the annual film festival organized primarily to help promote and enhance the preservation, growth and development of the local film industry.
Atty. Romando Artes, MMFF co-Executive Chairman, said regular activities such as Parade of Stars and Awards Night will also be done virtually and streamed online in compliance with the health and safety protocols to avoid COVID-19 transmission.
Meanwhile, Ernest Cu, CEO of Globe Telecom, said the undertaking aims to keep the holiday Filipino tradition of watching movies as families and bring cheer to the Filipinos. It also intends to bring Filipino films to the global audience.
Metro Manila has been under general community quarantine since August and restrictions against mass gatherings remain in place. While the government is gradually reopening the economy, the Metro Manila mayors have recommended keeping the National Capital Region under the GCQ status until the end of the year.