LOOK: 10 official entries for the MMFF 2023

MANILA, Philippines – Every time Christmas is approaching, one of the things people look forward to is the films participating in the annual Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

10 official entries for the MMFF 2023
Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera star in Star Cinema's "Rewind"; Piolo Pascual takes the role of Pampanga parish priest in "Mallari".

This is because it typically becomes a bonding moment for families, relatives, friends, co-workers, or lovers during this season.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has already announced the participating films for the upcoming MMFF 2023 on their official Facebook page on Tuesday, October 17.

This 2023, viewers will reportedly have 10 films to choose from, a departure from the usual 8 entries per MMFF.

After thorough deliberation, here are six more films out of the 30 submitted that will complete the said film festival:


The film is helmed by Conrado Peru, Rommel Peneza, and Christopher De Leon, who also stars alongside the Star For All Seasons, Vilma Santos-Recto. This marks their reunion on screen after their last collaboration in "Dekada '70" in 2002. This romantic film explores themes of unwavering love, selflessness, adversity, the passage of time, and the challenges of aging.

BECKY AND BADETTE by The IdeaFirst Company and Octoberian Film

This heartwarming comedy, directed by Jun Robles Lana, features two esteemed comedy veterans in the industry, Eugene Domingo and Pokwang. It revolves around themes of friendship and the opportunity for a fresh start.

MALLARI by Mentorque Productions

Partly fictional and drawing inspiration from the true biography of Fr. Juan Severino Malarri, a 19th-century parish priest who committed 57 murders before his capture, this film tells a captivating true-to-life story. Fr. Malarri stands as the sole documented Filipino serial killer in history. The movie will be spearheaded by the acclaimed "Ultimate Heartthrob" Piolo Pascual, alongside Janella Salvador, and directed by Derick Cabrido.

FIREFLY by GMA Pictures

Alessandra de Rossi and Euwenn Mikaell will take the lead roles in the movie, under the direction of Zig Dulay. This enchanting adventure, suitable for audiences of all ages, delves into a child's journey through grief and how he eventually realizes that love can embolden the heart.

BROKEN HEART’S TRIP by Smart Films Productions, OPC in cooperation with BMC Films

This comedy-drama tells the story of five LGBTQIA+ individuals who, after enduring numerous heartaches, frustrations, and seemingly unending grief, will finally experience the time of their lives. The plot revolves around a competition where the last remaining gay man or transwoman will have the chance to win one million pesos. The film stars Christian Bables and is directed by Lemuel C. Lorca.

GOMBURZA by Jesuit Communications Foundation, Inc.

This film with a historical backdrop narrates the tale of three martyr priests, deemed national heroes in the Philippines, who were unjustly accused of sedition and treason and executed by the Spaniards in 1872. The term "GomBurZa" represents Fr. Mariano Gomez, Fr. Jose Burgos, and Fr. Jacinto Zamora. Under the direction of Pepe Diokno, the movie features Enchong Dee, Cedrick Juan, and Dante Rivero in leading roles.

The first four films officially announced as participants in the MMFF are “Penduko,” “A Family of 2,” “Kampon,” and “Rewind.”


This is the new version of the classic “Pedro Penduko” story, an attempt to expand the comic’s universe and introduce the story to the current generation, directed by Jason Paul Laxamana and featuring Matteo Guidicelli and Kylie Verzosa.

A FAMILY OF 2 (A MOTHER AND SON’S STORY) by Cineko Productions, Inc.

The story is about a mother and a son with heartwarming plot twists, starring Megastar Sharon Cuneta and Asia’s Multimedia Star Alden Richards in the direction of Nuel Naval. This is the first time that Sharon and Alden worked together in a movie project.

KAMPON by Quantum Films

The horror movie takes a dark twist when both Beauty Gonzales’ and Derek Ramsay’s characters appear to be dealing with a child who ushers in sinister tidings. This is under the tutelage of King Palisoc. By the way, this is the comeback movie of Derek after years of hiatus in television.

REWIND by Star Cinema

A family drama with a touch of magic realism, it revolves around the idea of having “two timelines” and “two realities.” This is very historic because the lead stars Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes, reel and real couple and hailed as the Kapuso Primetime King and Primetime Queen, will be doing a project with ABS-CBN Kapamilya’s movie outlet. This is also their comeback movie project together, directed by Mae Cruz-Alviar.

On the other hand, some films were not fortunate enough to make it into the final entry. Some of the well-known films that were submitted as entries but didn't make it to the Top 10 include "Pieta" (starring Nora Aunor), "Shake, Rattle, and Roll EXTREME" (featuring an all-star cast), and "In His Mother's Eyes" (with Maricel Soriano, Roderick Paulate, and LA Santos). Nadine Lustre’s “Nokturno” was also not in the list.

After the announcement, the MMDA stated that production can now commence their promotional campaigns for the 49th MMFF, scheduled to run from December 25, 2023, to January 7, 2024, in theaters across the country.

The Parade of Stars in the sponsor cities of CaMaNaVa (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela) is set for December 16 or 17, 2023, and the “Gabi ng Parangal” will take place on December 27.

— Richard, The Summit Express

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