This Christmas, you’ll watch mostly the usual suspects in theaters nationwide.
Two longtime fixtures of the Metro Manila Film Festival–the “Enteng Kabisote” and “Shake, Rattle & Roll” franchises–will lead the 38th staging of the Metro Manila Film Festival in December.
The list of eight official entries released by the festival selection committee on Saturday contains the traditional children’s fare of fantasy, horror, and comedy films, with two token dramas in the mix.
After their 2010 MMFF blockbuster “Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote” Vic Sotto and Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. will team up once again in the latest “Enteng Kabisote” vehicle.
This time, Judy Ann Santos adds her own star power into the potential festival top grosser, which will be financed by no less than five production companies.
Meanwhile, the “Shake, Rattle & Roll” series rolls on with its 14th iteration, despite its producer Regal Films’ declaration last year that “Shake, Rattle & Roll 13″ was the last one.
Perhaps, the only surprise was the selection committee’s snub of director Brillante Mendoza’s entry, “Sa ‘Yo Ang Sinapupunan (Thy Womb)”, starring superstar Nora Aunor as a Badjao midwife.
Below are the eight films selected, with their producer, principal actors, and director:
1. “One More Try”, romance-drama from Star Cinema. Cast: Dingdong Dantes, Angel Locsin, Zanjoe Marudo, and Angelica Panganiban. Director: Ruel Bayani
2. “Mga Kuwento Ni Lola Basyang”, fantasy-comedy twinbill from Unitel Pictures. Cast: Richard Gomez, Paolo Contis, Sam Concepcion, Iza Calzado, Rufa Mae Quinto, Empress Shuck and Zsa Zsa Padilla. Directors: Mark Meily and Chris Martinez
3. “Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote and Me”, action-fantasy from Octo Arts Films, M-Zet Productions, Imus Productions, APT Entertainment, and GMA Films. Cast: Vic Sotto, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. and Judy Ann Santos. Director: Tony Y. Reyes
4. “El Presidente”, historical action-drama from Scenema Concepts. Cast: Jeorge “ER” Estregan, Cristine Reyes, and Nora Aunor. Director: Mark Meily
5. “Shake, Rattle & Roll 14”, horror trilogy from Regal Entertainment. Cast: Lovi Poe, Dennis Trillo, and Iza Calzado. Director: Chito S. Rono
6. “Sisteraka”, comedy from Star Cinema and Viva Films. Cast: Vice Ganda and Kris Aquino. Director: Wenn Deramas
7. “The Strangers”, horror from Quantum Films. Cast: Julia Montes, Enrique Gil, Enchong Dee, Jaime Fabregas, and Cherry Pie Picache. Director: Lawrence Fajardo
8. “Coño Problems”, comedy from GMA Films: Aljur Abrenica, Solenn Heussaf, Maxene Magalona, Isabelle Diaz, Mikael Daez, and Bianca King. Director: Andoy Ranay.
“We’re very excited about the movies this year. A lot of thought has been put into the scripts, and most of our big stars today are included in the projects,” MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino, who is the overall chairman of the MMFF Executive Committee, said after the June 7 extended deadline for the submission of entries.
“What we want is for the entries to be worthy of international audience, and I believe that we can make it happen this year,” Tolentino added.
Aside from Centerstage Productions’ “Sa ‘Yo Ang Sinapupunan (Thy Womb)”, five other entries failed to make the cut:
“Ben Tumbling” (Scenema Concepts, starring Jericho Ejercito and Kris Bernal; directed by Adolfo Alix, Jr.), “Tuhog” (Quantum Films and Star Cinema, starring Eugene Domingo, Robert Arevalo, and Enchong Dee; directed by Veronica Velasco); “My Prince Charming” (Deus Lux Mea Films, starring Iza Calzado and Mario Maurer; directed by Adolfo Alix, Jr.);
Deus Lux Mea Films’ “Death March” (starring Cesar Montano, Zanjoe Marudo, and Jason Abalos; directed by Adolfo Alix, Jr.); and Cinemedia Films’ “Juan de la Cruz” (starring Coco Martin, Jake Cuenca, Albert Martinez and Maja Salcador; directed by Richard Somes).