By: Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Déjà vu. Like last year, the country’s top three networks—ABS-CBN, TV 5 and GMA 7—have again fielded entries to this December’s Metro Manila Film Festival, now in its 37th year.
ABS-CBN collaborates with M-Zet and APT for Tony Y. Reyes’ comedy caper “Enteng ng Ina Mo,” which brings together fest crowd-drawers Vic Sotto and Ai-Ai de las Alas.
GMA 7 teams up anew with Imus Productions for Mac Alejandre’s “Ang Panday 2,” sequel to the 2009 action-fantasy top-grosser starring Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Phillip Salvador and Iza Calzado.
TV 5’s Studio 5 joins forces with Regal Entertainment for Jun Lana’s “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” top-billed by Dennis Trillo, Heart Evangelista and Carla Abellana.
Regal has two other entries: The comedy “Hototay” and the horror franchise “Shake, Rattle & Roll XIII.”
Regal producer Roselle Monteverde promises that “Shake XIII” will be the last of the popular series. “We want to end it with a bang. We got three young filmmakers—Chris Martinez, Richard Somes and Jerrold Tarog—to direct the episodes.”
“Shake XIII” headlines Eugene Domingo, Kathryn Bernardo and Paulo Avelino.
“Hototay” marks Regal’s first co-production venture with SMDC Films—the movie outfit of mall giant SM. Directed by Joel Lamangan, “Hototay” features Ruffa Gutierrez, Andi Eigenmann, Lovi Poe and Melai Cantiveros.
Ric Camaligan, member of the festival executive committee, describes “Hototay” as a “comic ‘Mano Po.’”
New producers join this year’s fest as well.
Robin Padilla’s RCP Productions offers the action flick “Mr. Wong,” while the thriller “Segunda Mano” is produced by MJM in partnership with producers-lead stars Dingdong Dantes and Kris Aquino.
Also marking a return to the fest are the Agoncillos. Real-life married couple Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo reunite with filmmaker Jose Javier Reyes in the comedy “My House Husband,” under OctoArts. The Agoncillos and Reyes are behind the back-to-back fest blockbusters, “Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo” and “Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo.”
Agoncillo said: “It’s my homecoming to OctoArts, the same company that produced my first MMFF entry (“Kutob”) in 2006.”
According to reports, Cinemedia submitted another Judy Ann Santos-starrer, a drama titled “Love Will Lead You Back” which pairs her with Coco Martin.
But rules dictate that a lead actor can have only one fest entry. “I’m happy with the jurors’ choice,” said Santos.
“It’s a good blend of different genres. The final eight have good box-office potential,” said Boots Anson-Roa, executive committee member.