The Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) has become an institution come December, almost synonymous to Christmas in the Philippines, where the MMFF board chooses eight films to compete.
As the MMFF is meant to celebrate the Filipino Film Industry, no foreign films are shown in theaters during the duration of the festival except in 3D and IMAX theaters, and only Filipino films approved by the MMFF board are shown. Several weeks ago, the MMFF announced the first four films that will be competing in the festival, while the remaining four films to complete the Magic 8 have yet to be decided.
“Culion”, a film directed by Alvin Yapan and written by Ricky Lee, is among the hopefuls that are vying for the last four spots at the MMFF and was recently submitted for deliberation.
The film follows the lives of three women afflicted by a disease that hinders them from finding meaning and true happiness in their lives, and recounts stories inspired by historical events that are sadly forgotten and buried in history. One of the goals of the film is to raise awareness about a highly misunderstood disease and shed light on the beautiful story the island has to tell.
Shandii Bacolod, Culion’s producer, describes the film as “… a collection of different stories based from our research. Award-winning writer Sir Ricky Lee made sure na magkaroon ng mukha ang kwento. More than a love story, Culion is a community film. I honestly believe na ang purpose ng film is to make everyone remember a forgotten story. More than a tragedy, Culion is a story of human spirit, resilience and triumph.”
With such a meaningful and relevant objective on its shoulders, what is the best way to deliver the message across than through a festival that entices many moviegoers to watch it?
“MMFF is the biggest festival in the country. The best way to convey our message is through an institution that has a wide network and audience,” added Bacolod.
One of the executive producers of the film, Ms. Gilie Sing also said that it is indeed their goal to reach as many people as possible, “In order to create the most buzz for the film, we plan on submitting it to the MMFF” And now that the film has been submitted, we can only hope that it will get in to serve its important purpose. After all, love and hope are the recurring themes in the film, and Christmas is the best season to celebrate them.