By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

STARRY AFTERNOON. A big crowd follows the 49th Metro Manila Film Festival parade in Caloocan City on Dec. 16, 2023. The ten movies being shown at the TCL Chinese Theaters on Hollywood Boulevard in California are the same that premiered during the most recent MMFF. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)

MANILA – The Manila International Film Festival on Tuesday began its screening of ten Filipino films at the TCL Chinese Theaters on Hollywood Boulevard in California.

In a statement, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) said the ten movies being shown are the same that premiered during the most recent MMFF.

“These films will likewise be given awards that are separate and independent from the MMFF awards given last December 2023. Filipino Americans who are accomplished in the film industry will serve as jury members and will decide the winners in nine categories,” the MMFF said.

The awards will be given during a gala at the Directors Guild of America on Sunset Boulevard and include a Best Picture award that will come with up to USD100,000 worth of camera rental equipment plus support from other vendors in the film industry.

“The package is valued overall at USD200,000 with the support of industry partners, Atlas Lens Co., BlackOps Studios Asia, CMB Film Services, Inc., and Myriad Entertainment USA,” it said.

In addition, the winners of Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay will each receive the latest version of Final Draft film editing software valued at USD250 through Birns & Sawyer.

“The two other MIFF recognitions are the Audience Award to be voted on by the MIFF moviegoers at the screenings which will run through February 1, and the Monty Manibog Lifetime Achievement Award which is set to be given to actress Hilda Koronel,” it said.

The remaining awards are the Special Jury Prize, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Cinematography.

The MIFF jurors are Marie Jamora, one of the first Filipinos in the Directors Guild of America (DGA); Mari Acevedo, CEO of Birns & Sawyer; Leah Anova, a director of photography; Reggie Lee, a TV, film, and Broadway actor; David Maquiling, academic and artistic director of the School of Cinematic Arts Summer Program at the University of Southern California; and Sumalee Montano, a television and film actress.

MMFF overall chair and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) acting chair Don Artes said the MIFF would be vital in uplifting Filipino films and a testament to their “exceptional and world-class” quality.

“I am confident that the success of the MMFF in Manila last December can be replicated through the support of our Filipino community in LA and the international audience,” Artes said.

The 10 films to be screened at MIFF are Becky and Badette, Broken Heart’s Trip, Family of Two (A Mother and Son Story), Firefly, GomBurZa, (K)Ampon, Mallari, Penduko, Rewind, and When I Met You in Tokyo. (PNA)