The Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) is still a month away but it has already started recognizing excellent work particularly in the first ever Cine-Phone Film Festival.
On Nov. 12, MMFF named the winners of the nationwide movie-making competition that caters to movies completely made by high school and college students through the use of mobile phones. The theme this year is ''Restoring Road Courtesy Among Motorists and Pedestrians.''
All entrants come from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with entries falling under either of two divisions. The winners are: from Luzon, ''Promdi'' (Lea Villasper/Don Bosco Youth Center) and ''Monthsary'' (Roni Benaid/Polytehcnic University of the Philippines); from Visayas, ''License To Drive'' (Bea Ivanica Mocorro/Christian Academy of Bacolod) and ''Two Minutes'' (Andrei Karoly Hernandez/University of San Carlos); and from Mindanao, ''Bulgaran sa Daan'' (Jodelyn Nayre/Philippine Nikkie Jin Kai International High school) and ''The Boy, The Girl, The Traffic Man'' (Anju De Vera/Ateneo de Davao University).
The six students will receive digital cameras and phones, as well as R25,000 each during the 38th MMFF Awards Night on Dec. 27. Their films will also be shown during the run of MMFF's New Wave Section-Full Length happening from Dec. 18 and 22 at Glorietta Cinema.
Incidentally, there are only five finalists in the MMFF New Wave Section. These are ''Ad Ignorantiam,'' ''Gayak,'' ''In Nomine Matris,'' ''Paglaya sa Tanikala,'' and ''The Grave Bandits.''
It is said that the MMFF is bent on going out of the box in coming up with ways to enjoin even young and amateur filmmakers to showcase their work and even get apprenticeship should they win.
The MMFF press conference also served to announce the eight finalists in the mainstream section. These are ''The Strangers,'' ''Thy Womb,'' ''Sisteraka,'' ''One More Try,'' ''Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote at Ako,'' ''Sosy Problems,'' and ''Shake, Rattle and Roll 14.'' Some of the stars in attendance were Nora Aunor, Ai Ai de las Alas, Oyo Boy Sotto, Matteo Guidicelli, and Sef Cadayona.