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MMFF titles worth checking out while waiting for ‘No Way Home’

A lot of people are looking forward to seeing how Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues with Spider-Man: No Way Home. Unfortunately for us here in the Philippines, the film’s premiere has been pushed to next year, so for now fans will have to be wary of any spoilers online. While we’re waiting for No Way Home to come home to Philippine cinemas, we have the Metro Manila Film Festival.

There’s only about a week left before MMFF draws to a close, so if you want to check out the films that it has to offer you should book your tickets and head to the cinemas. Here are some titles from the MMFF that are worth checking out.

Big Night!

If you’re in the mood for some dark comedy, then you might have fun with Big Night!. Dharna (played by Christian Bables) is a gay beautician who discovers that his name has appeared on a list of suspected drug addicts in his barangay’s watch list, which will be turned over to the Philippine National Police the next day. Fearing for his life, Dharna sets out on a quest to speak with community members in his barangay in an attempt to clear his name from the list.

Written and directed by Jun Robles Lana, Big Night! is a dark comedy film that tackles tokhang. The film has been well-received, bagging a total of eight awards at the MMFF 2021 awards night. Others in the cast members include Eugene Domingo, Soliman Cruz, Ricky Davao, Janice de Belen and John Arcilla.

A Hard Day

If action-thriller films are more your cup of tea, you might like A Hard Day, directed by Lawrence Fajardo. Starring Dingdong Dantes and John Arcilla, the film follows Detective Edmund Villon (Dantes), who is rushing to attend his mother’s wake, but his fellow officers are being questioned by Internal Affairs, so has to be present. On the road, Villon swerves his car to avoid hitting a dog, but instead hits a man, killing him instantly. As Villon makes a big effort to get rid of the body, he learns that the victim was someone involved in the drug case they were investigating. Not long after, Villon starts receiving phone calls from someone who apparently witnessed what he did and is threatening to report him to authorities.

A Hard Day also won a number of awards at the MMFF 2021 awards night, including Third Best Picture (following Big Night! and Kun Maupay It Panahon) and the Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award.

Kun Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether the Weather Is Fine)

Kun Maupay Man It Panahon is Waray for “Whether the Weather Is Fine.” Directed by Carlos Francisco Manatad, this film is about Filipinos’ resiliency amidst disaster. The film is set in 2013, in the aftermath of super-typhoon Yolanda hitting and destroying the city of Tacloban. Miguel (played by Daniel Padilla) reunites with his girlfriend Andrea (Rans Rifol) and his mother Norma (Charo Santos) and the three set out to catch a ship that will take them to Manila before a rumored next typhoon hits Tacloban.

Like Big Night! and A Hard Day, Kun Maupay Man It Panahon also bagged several awards at the MMFF 2021 awards night. It is Manatad’s feature film directorial debut, a passion project that he has been working on for a long time. Manatad is from Tacloban and started working on the film after going home to find his family after the super-typhoon hit the city.


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