5 Movies to Watch at Metro Manila Film Festival 2022


'Balik Saya' With Metro Manila Film Festival 2022: Five Flicks to Watch

Christmas is not the only thing Filipinos look forward to during December. In fact, the festive season begins months before, the moment the Ber months hit. For cinephiles and those who want to get their feet wet in local films, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) is one of the events to look forward to every year. 

The annual MMFF, which has been around since 1975, which usually runs from Christmas Day (Dec. 25) until the first week of the new year, is known for screening local notable films but also its fair share of controversial flicks and having its own dramas (hello MMFF 1994 scandal).

This 2022, the 48th MMFF returns with the theme "Balik Saya" and kicked off the fun yesterday, Dec. 21, at its Parade of Stars in Quezon City. As you gear up for the MMFF's eight official entries this coming Sunday, which will screen in cinemas nationwide, here are five films you can choose to watch solo or with your loved ones! MMFF 2022 will run from Dec. 25-Jan. 7, 2023.


Filmmaker Mikhail Red, known for films like "Birdshot," "Eerie," and "Block Z," to name a few, has got Filipino cinema lovers on their toes with his latest techno-horror and psychological thriller "Deleter." Starring our president in the next life Nadine Lustre (half kidding), "Deleter" centers on Lyra (Lustre), who works as an online content moderator tasked to delete and filter disturbing images and videos before these can reach social media. Although seemingly a hardboiled person on the surface, Lyra's coworkers are unaware that she has her own demons and traumas to deal with.

'Family Matters'

In Tolstoy's novel "Anna Karenina," he wrote, "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" – and this saying seems to ring true in director Nuel Naval's "Family Matters." Produced by Cineko Productions, the film stars veteran actors Nonie Buencamino and Mylene Dizon as siblings Kiko and Fortune, along with other siblings Ellen (Nikki Valdez) and Enrico (JC Santos). As Ellen leaves the country for the United States in search of romance, the three siblings are left behind to care for their elderly parents Francisco (Noel Trinidad) and Eleanor (Liza Lorena). Many Filipinos will probably be able to relate to this family drama, as being family-oriented and having strong, familial ties are traditional Filipino values.

'Labyu With An Accent' 

Are you in the mood for a romantic comedy this festive season? Check out "Labyu With An Accent," which stars Coco Martin of "Ang Probinsyano" fame, Jodi Sta. Maria, John Estrada, and Rochelle Pangilinan, to name a few. This rom-com was written by Patrick Valencia and is directed by Martin himself and follows the story of Gabo (Martin) and expatriate Tricia (Jodi), who returns to the Philippines. The two become entangled when they begin a fake relationship so she could heal from her heartbreak. You know where this is going, right?

Although formulaic, "Labyu With An Accent" will surely get your kilig and good vibes on. But more than just kilig, the film also takes inspiration from Sta. Maria and Martin's experiences working abroad. As per The Philippine Star on Dec. 20, Martin shared he was inspired by his time in Canada where he used to work in the making of the film. Sta. Maria, on the other hand, lived and worked for a time in Los Angeles, California.

'Partners In Crime'

Comedian-talk show host Vice Ganda and actress-YouTuber Ivana Alawi team up in director Cathy Garcia-Molina's action-adventure comedy "Partners in Crime." Produced by Star Cinema and Viva Films, "Partners in Crime" follows the story of Jack (Vice Ganda) and Barbara (Ivana), two ex-lovers who cross paths anew and are both caught up in a crime. As they find themselves with each other again, Barbara and Jack must work together to get themselves out of their pickle. The animated Vice Ganda sports a kachupoy look in this film with his hair parted down the middle, while the mestiza Alawi has her skin darkened and her hair in ringlets for the role.

'Nanahimik Ang Gabi' 

Erotic suspense thriller "Nanahimik Ang Gabi," which stars the 23-year-old Heaven Peralejo as Me-Ann and 47-year-old Ian Veneracion as Chief, is bound to raise some eyebrows, but that seems to be the point. Directed by Shugo Praico and produced by Lino Cayetano for Rein Entertainment, "Nanahimik Ang Gabi" centers on the corrupt police officer Chief and his secret relationship with his "sugar baby" Me-Ann. But it's more than just a sexy film. 

Cayetano, in a report by the Philippine Entertainment Portal on Dec. 18, shared that although the themes are risqué and sexual, it is likewise a film that tackles and questions our morality as humans. "Nanahimik Ang Gabi" also stars the peerlessly talented method actor Mon Confiado as its antagonist.

The three other films showing this MMFF are Paul Soriano's "My Teacher," starring Toni Gonzaga and Joey De Leon; Joel Lamangan's "My Father, Myself," starring Dimples Romana, Jake Cuenca and Sean de Guzman; and Lester Dimaranan's "Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told," starring Edu Manzano and Aljur Abrenica, among others.

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