The Metro Manila Summer Film Festival — alternatively, Summer MMFF — functions as advertised: it is, by all intents and purposes, another round of the Metro Manila Film Festival, just screened during the summer.
That's no flak at the initiative, which, if it weren't for COVID-19, would have begun in 2020. This year, all systems seemingly go, with the eight entries at the 2023 Summer MMFF revealed Friday, February 24th.
True, another national film festival can only do good, but at a time wasted with inflation, the debuting film fest has its work cut out. It could take a bigger push to sell Filipinos on the idea of watching films in the summer when lavish trips to the beach seem to be more top-of-mind.
Here's the full lineup of the 2023 Summer MMFF. Note that the synopses for these films have been mainly under wraps as of writing.
About Us But Not About Us
Drama, Thriller | dir. Jun Robles Lana
Starring Romnick Sarmenta and Elijah Canlas, About Us But Not About Us tells the story of people wrestling with the truth, where a simple conversation turns into a deadly game that can ruin lives and shatter dreams.
Crime, Drama | dir. Brillante Mendoza
The new film from Brillante Mendoza and Coco Martin. A hit-and-run accident transpires two families. When her husband succumbs to death, Nita files a criminal case. Alfredo is sent to jail after pleading guilty in place of his son Rafael, but Rafael cannot be released from the burden of guilt.
Here Comes the Groom
Comedy | dir. Chris Martinez
Here Comes the Broom is the sequel to Martinez's cult favorite, Here Comes the Bride. It stars Enchong Dee, Keempee De Leon, and Maris Racal.
Kahit Maputi na ang Buhok Ko
Musical | dir. Joven Tan
Joven Tan directs this Rey Valera biopic, featuring music from the OPM icon's music, including the eponymous song. RK Bagatsing (Violator) plays Valera.
Love You Long Time
Romance | dir. JP Habac
A romantic film directed by JP Habac (I'm Drunk, I Love You). It stars Carlo Aquino and Eisel Serrano.
Romance, Comedy | dir. Fifth Solomon
Angeline Quinto and Alex Gonzaga play the leads in director Fith Solomon's latest romantic comedy, Single Bells.
Unravel: A Swiss Side Love Story
Drama | dir. RC Delos Reyes
Starring Gerald Anderson and Kylie Padilla, Unravel: A Swiss Side Love Story is a new drama from director RC Delos Reyes (Without You). The plot is unknown as of press time, but the pun in the title doesn't go unnoticed.
'Yung Libro sa Napanuod Ko
Romance, Drama | dir. Bela Padilla
Marking the directorial debut of actress Bela Padilla, 'Yung Libro sa Napanuod Ko is a romantic drama that she, herself, stars in opposite Yoo Min-Gon, a South Korean actor known for films like Director's Intention and Cafe Midnight.
Curiously, the 2023 Summer MMFF didn't have entries in the action and horror genres. These are two staple baskets that always get filled every Christmas in MMFF's mainline fest.
The first Metro Manila Summer Film Festival will run for eleven days, from April 8th through the 18th, across all cinemas nationwide in partnership with the Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines.