MMFF Parade of Stars toned down but geared up for change | Inquirer News

MMFF Parade of Stars toned down but geared up for change

By: - Reporter / @InqEnt
/ 12:20 AM December 24, 2016

There was no Vic Sotto, Kris Aquino, Vice Ganda or wildly popular love teams. The floats were smaller; the route, shorter and plotted on narrower roads.

But although Friday’s Parade of Stars of the 42nd Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) appeared to be modest compared to past motorcades, its purpose remained the same: Giving show biz idols and their fans the rare chance to see each other in the flesh, even if only from afar.


“My participation in past parades gave me some of the happiest moments in my career. I always get excited seeing children follow the floats. This is really about the people, about giving joy to those who support us,” said “Kabisera” lead star Nora Aunor, who holds the record for most MMFF Best Actress wins, with eight under her belt.

The decision to scale down the event was made in consideration of the films put out by independent producers, whose limited budget would rather be spent on other things.


“As it is right now, they are spending a lot of money for marketing and some of them would rather allocate it for more promotional activities than making a big float,” said Liza Diño-Seguerra, chair of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, which coordinated with the MMFF organizers in mounting the event.

Fans never fail

But despite the relative simplicity of the parade, the atmosphere was not any less loud and festive. Still, hordes of selfie-seeking fans trooped to Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila, the parade’s starting point, as early as 11 a.m. or three hours before the motorcade started to inch forward. They shrieked and cheered as their favorite stars emerged, waving and blowing kisses.

Though not as grand, the floats representing the eight competing entries—which will be shown in theaters from Dec. 25 to Jan. 3—were still eye-catching and creatively put together.

Eugene Domingo, Jericho Rosales, Kean Cipriano and Khalil Ramos, stars of the comedy movie “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: #ForeverIsNotEnough,” rode a truck made to look like, well, a service vehicle for septic tank siphoning.

Tokyo International Film Festival 2016 Best Actor Paolo Ballesteros, who arrived dressed as his transgender character Trisha Echeverria in the comedy “Die Beautiful,” was on an intricately decorated pink-and-purple vessel that resembled a beauty contest stage.

The family drama “Kabisera’’ rolled out an ancestral house-like float, with Aunor, Ricky Davao and Jason Abalos as artists in residence.


Political thriller

Toting yellow umbrellas, Irma Adlawan, Mercedes Cabral and Joem Bascon led of the cast of “Oro,” whose float reflected the political thriller’s rural setting in Caramoan, Camarines Sur.

The truck of “Saving Sally,” which features Rhian Ramos, TJ Trinidad and Enzo Marcos, was covered with the highly stylized illustrations of the live-action animated film’s characters and environment.

“Seklusyon,” a horror-thriller about a group of seminarians who underwent a spooky ritual at a church, showcased a float with orange drapery, faux stained-glass windows and a crucifix. Onboard were actors Phoebe Walker, Neil Ryan Sese and Dominic Roque.

Despite the searing heat, Mylyn Jacobo and Hazel Perdido looked regal in their Filipiniana attire on the crown-shaped float of “Sunday Beauty Queen,” a documentary about a group of expatriate domestic helpers in Hong Kong who enter an annual pageant.

The float of “Vince and  Kath and James,” headlined by young stars Julia Barretto, Joshua Garcia and Ronnie Alonte, was replete with heart cutouts and mobile phones—a nod to the romantic comedy’s plot that tells a love story through text messages.

The toned-down parade reflected one of the changes the MMFF underwent this year as part of a major overhaul aimed at revitalizing the festival.

New committee’s priority

With the new selection committee bent on prioritizing cinematic excellence over commercial appeal, many of the usual blockbuster fare did not make it into the final lineup. This gave rise to criticism that the festival would not be able to equal last year’s P1.2-billion gross.

And so the stars came out encouraging the public to prove the skeptics wrong and support Philippine cinema by lining up to see MMFF’s 2016 entries.

“Let us be positive. The festival has not even started yet, so we cannot say that it would not earn well. I trust and believe in the quality of the films in the lineup, its actors and the moviegoers,” Ballesteros said.

Alonte added: “Everyone will have something to say, good or bad. But let us all give the movies in this festival a chance.”

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