MMDA launches 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival

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Tolentino announces final year in MMFF; reveals plans to run in 2016
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) formally launched the annual Metro Manila Film Festival Philippines (MMFFP) on March 5, coupled with an appreciation dinner to honor the winners of 2013’s run.

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Held at the Club Filipino in San Juan City, the event was highlighted by the awarding of cash incentives to the winners as well as the first turnover of funds to MMFFP’s beneficiary organizations.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, concurrent head of the MMFF, said he is optimistic that this year’s festival will be more exceptional as it marks its 40th year since its conceptualization in 1974.

“I am inviting all local producers, directors and independent filmmakers to participate and come up with high quality movies that we can all be proud of and at the same time offer entertainment to the movie-going public during Christmas season,” Tolentino said. “The deadline for submission of entries for the mainstream category is on June 14.”

Tolentino further thanked the Metro Manila Mayors, cinema operators, film producers, directors, writers, actors and other industry workers for supporting his leadership of the MMFFP. He had been the festival’s chair since 2009, and revealed that 2014 may well be his fifth and last year in the position, since he has plans to run for mayor of Tagaytay City in 2016.

Returning to the business at hand, Tolentino then reported that 2013’s MMFFP raked in close to P1 billion in revenues making it the most successful and highest-earning festival in its 39-year history.

Together with the MMFFP executive committee, he expressed gratitude to the moviegoers for their unwavering support and patronage to the local movie industry, particularly during the annual festival.

Apart from inspiring and motivating Filipino production outfits to create more films in
spite of stiff competition from foreign movies, the cash incentives will also enable the MMFFP beneficiary-organizations to undertake training for socio-cultural and development programs for its members, which will provide more livelihood and employment to Filipino artists, technical and other creative workers of the movie and entertainment sector.

Over the years, the earnings from the amusement tax collections during the festival, which has become a tradition during Christmastime, are donated by the local government units of Metro Manila to MMFFP beneficiaries, such as the Movie Workers Welfare Fund, Film Academy of the Philippines, Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council, Film Development Council of the Philippines, and the Optical Media Board.

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