The Unreel guide to the 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival

MMFF 2021 happens from December 25, 2021 to January 7, 2022.

The 47th Metro Manila Film Festival is happening, comic book fanboy tantrums notwithstanding. Kicking off with a parade with actual ‘floats’ along Pasig River in Guadalupe, MMFF 2021 is set, like QCinema, to help PH cinemas bounce back after two years of shutdown.

The film festival happens from December 25, 2021 to January 7, 2022.

To this end, the festival created a lineup of eight films. Though it isn’t free of typical MMFF fodder, there are some interesting titles Filipinos can enjoy in theaters. Carlo Francisco Manatad’s long-awaited award-winning debut, Kun Maupay man it Panahon, starring Daniel Padilla and Charo Santos, will make its Philippine premiere. There’s Jun Lana’s dark comedy, Big Night!, starring Christian Bables, as well as Lawrence Fajardo’s A Hard Day, a Filipino adaptation of the South Korean thriller of the same name.

Here’s the full list of MMFF 2021 entries, complete with synopses, and trailers.

A Hard Day

A Hard Day centers on a detective who accidentally kills a man in a road crash. This further complicates a day involving the funeral of his mother and a quarrel with a fellow cop. Directed by Laurence Fajardo.

Big Night!

Big Night is a dark comedy film about a gay beautician named Dharna who learns that he is part of an Oplan Tokhang watchlist. Fearing for his life, Dharna tries to clear his name, enlisting the help of his community members. Directed by Jun Robles Lana.

Huling Ulan sa Tag-Araw

Huling Ulan sa Tag-Araw stars Ken Chan as a seminarian looking for a sign, while Rita Daniela plays an entertainer who is longing for more time. Their lives take a turn when destiny leads them together in an unexpected romance. Directed by Louie Ignacio.

Huwag Kang Lalabas

Huwag Kang Lalabas is a trilogy film telling three stories of haunting secrets, folklore, and urban legends. Directed by Adolf Alix Jr.

Kun Maupay man it Panahon

Kun Maupay Man it Panahon is set during and after the supertyphoon Yolanda and centers on a mother and her son who struggle for survival after the disaster ravages their entire region. Directed by Carlo Francisco Manatad.

Love at First Stream

Love at First Stream tells the story of a streamer, a student, a breadwinner, and a heartthrob as they escape their realities offline and explore love and friendship online. Directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina.


Nelia follows a nurse whose gut feel are aroused because of the mysterious cases that are happening in the hospital she’s working at. Directed by Lester Dimaranan.

The Exorsis

The Exorsis is a comedy-horror film about two sisters whose relationship gets tested after one of them gets possessed. Directed by Fifth Solomon.

Armando Dela Cruz

Editor-at-large and co-pilot of this crazy project. A self-proclaimed scream queer out of the '90s, I like writing about horror and cinema. Apart from Unreel, I write for Rappler, Screen Anarchy, and other places.

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