Heads up, movie buffs! HOOQ, Asia's largest video-on-demand service will be screening a selection of official Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entries on the app! It is the exclusive presenter for the 41st MMFF and its New Wave Category, a partnership geared towards promoting quality Philippine entertainment.
This is the first time in the film fest's 41-year history where selected films will be simultaneously available in theaters and online, exclusively through HOOQ. And since the films can be viewed via the HOOQ app, you can watch them wherever you are, anytime you want!
The MMFF New Wave category began in 2010 to give independent filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their entries and have a chance to take home prize money, which they could use to fund future projects.
Jane Walker, HOOQ Philippines Country Manager, acknowledged that everyone has to start somewhere. "And for many directors, that happened while they were [still students]. Young filmmakers from schools like Ateneo de Naga University and DLSU-CSB made it as finalists in this year's MMFF. It is very encouraging that their animated films were chosen among hundreds of entries to take part in this festival."
This year’s finalists were selected by a jury out of hundreds of national submissions which was then trimmed down to five finalists each. The entries for animation include:
The Seed by Joven Maniaol shows the relationship of a man and his wife’s dog, with whom he does not favor, and how this relationship develops when the dog irrevocably ruins an anniversary surprise prepared by the husband. The film was inspired by the Pixar animated film UP and French film “Floating in my Mind.”
Buttons was created by Marvel Obemio, Francis Ramirez, and Jared Garcia of De La Salle College of St. Benilde. It is a story about two voodoo dolls living in a world where others seem to not notice their existence until one day, a mysterious voodoo doll shows up. The taboo nature of voodoo is one of the pulls that attracted the creators to animating this story.
Geo, written and directed by John Aurthur Mercader of Puppeteer Animation Studio, has previously won the grand prize for Animahenasyon, the biggest animation film festival in the country. His team also won best in technical quality, Best Animation in Category B (6-30 mins.), and the Hero TV Choice Award in Animahenasyon. The short is about young Geo with a wild imagination, whose mother must always come to his rescue whenever he takes it a step too far.
Little Lights was written and directed by Rivelle Mallari, the only finalist submission that claims no affiliation to a school or studio. It is a touching story about a physically weak yet strong-willed firefly named Charlie who struggles with his fear of darkness and finding his place within the firefly community.
Alamat ng Giraffe, directed by Alyssandra Kyle Mallari and written by Karl Marlo Gonzales and Mel Jeffrey Jabido of De La Salle College of St. Benilde, tells a made-up legend on how the giraffe came to be.
"Some of the most inventive techniques are shown in short films," affirmed Walker. "We’re very proud to showcase this and the creativity and talent of Filipino filmmakers." Thanks to HOOQ and MMFF, movie aficionados can now consume content at their own time; through streaming and download of the finalists’ entries. The entries for short film include:
Daisy, a story about a wife and mother Barbara who orders a Proxy Daisy robot to take care of household duties, only for Barbara to have a growing realization that there may be something very wrong with the robot that she has let into her families’ lives. Written and directed by Bryan Reyes of Colegio de San Lorenzo, this is his first film competition that he joined on a whim and shot two days prior to the contest deadline.
Ding Mangasyas (Tough Guys) centers on two brothers who have had a lifelong love-hate relationship filled with violence. They’re faced with the emotional reality of separation as one of them packs up to work in the US. The film was directed by Justine Emmanuel Dizon and written by Jason Paul Laxamana of Kayumanggi Pictures, who was initially discouraged by the rejection of this same film in another competition. This is his first national competition, and he is proud to show off the “homegrown” talents of his team who are from Pampanga like him.
Lapis follows the career shift of a pencil artist in his 50s as he applies for a job as a graphic artist only to be confronted by the realization that his medium of expertise is defunct in a modern world. This moving film that addresses the conflict of analog vs. digital artistry was inspired by real stories of unemployment in the country. Written and directed by Maricel Cariaga of Center Stage Productions, this is her third competition after UP POV 11 and Sinkwento International Film Festival, wherein she placed top three for both.
Momento features an ageing couple, Teresita and Ronaldo, as they celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary -- despite Teresita having made a terrible discovery earlier in the film that "marks the darkest hour of their relationship." Written and directed by Jan-Kyle Nieva of the UP Film Institute, Nieva states that he enjoys disturbing films and made this film to challenge himself into delving into a genre that he has not previously explored.
Mumu is about a fresh grad named Kara who resists pursuing a nursing career despite her nagging mother and pressure from witnessing the success of her friends. She also finds herself being haunted by a ghost – a character she had played in a blockbuster horror film. Mumu is directed by Cheryl Tagyamon from UP Diliman, who also wrote the film. Mumu has thus far won 3rd place in the National Digital Arts Awards 2014 Motion Graphics Category for Students, and in the UP Film Institute’s Black Beret Film Festival it won the Audience Choice Award, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Performance.
Each film is under 10 minutes and will be screened from December 17 to 24 at Glorietta 4, Robinsons Movie World Ermita, and SM Megamall. All ten entries will be available on HOOQ starting December 18.
HOOQ has the largest collection of Pinoy movies and TV series, which includes close to a hundred winners and finalists of the Metro Manila Film Festival such as "Baler," "Tanging Yaman," "Mulawin the Movie," "Pedro Penduko," and many more made available for streaming and download on multiple devices.
New users can enjoy a 30-day trial by signing up at www.HOOQ.tv. Monthly subscription is available at only P149 and can be charged on your Globe mobile bill or via credit card, or it comes free with Globe Home Broadband plans P1,299 and up.
Join the conversation! Include #GetHOOQdOnMMFF in your social media posts. Happy watching!