The City Council of Manila passed an amendatory ordinance last Thursday, 15 June 2023, exempting cinemas in Manila from paying amusement taxes for the screening of official entries to the new Manila Film Festival (MFF). Authored by Third District Councilor Ernesto “Jong” C. Isip, Jr., the ordinance aims to lower ticket prices for the films to be shown at the Festival slated for 15 to 24 June.
Organized in partnership with FST ARTCORE Productions, Inc., this year’s MFF features film enthusiasts from various schools throughout the country, under the guidance of seasoned mentors in the industry. Out of dozens of screenplays submitted, five were chosen by a panel of judges and turned into full-length films to be shown during the nine-day event.
“The revived Manila Film Festival aims to showcase indie films made by young students, and create a new generation of filmmakers in the country”, said Vice Mayor John Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto, who himself had an acting role in one of the movies.
The five official entries came from Arellano University-Pasig, Adamson University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, University of Makati, and University of the Philippines. A premiere night was held last Thursday, 15 June, at SM Manila, with Mayor Maria Sheilah “Honey” Lacuna-Pangan, Vice Mayor John Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto, and the films’ main casts gracing the red carpet .
Regular showing will be held from 16 to 24 June at SM Manila, while the awarding ceremony will be on 19 June 2023 at the newly-renovated Metropolitan Theater.
The MFF was started in 1966 by the late Manila Mayor Antonio Villegas. Considered the precursor to the present-day Metro Manila Film Festival, the MFF had a decades-long hiatus, before being revived this year by the city government as part of the month-long celebration of the Araw ng Maynila.