Moviegoers are encouraged to watch all eight entries of the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) on opening day December 25, to share reviews on social media and to ask more theaters to show these films. This call was voiced by filmmakers behind “Sunday Beauty Queen”, “Saving Sally”, “Oro” and “Kabisera”—joined by MMFF leaders Boots Anson Roa-Rodrigo, Prof. Ed Cabagnot, Moira Lee, MMFF Selection Committee’s Prof. Nic Tiongson, Krip Yuson and Mae Paner, Quezon City Congressman Alfred Vargas’ representative Noel Ferrer—at two sessions of the “Pandesal Forum” with media at 77-year-old, artisanal Kamuning Bakery Café in Quezon City.
Apart from the support of Kamuning Bakery Café for the 2016 MMFF, the senior citizens association of Quezon City’s oldest Barangay Kamuningoffered a “surprise Christmas gift” to express support for the film “Sunday Beauty Queen”, for all OFWs worldwide and for the 2016 MMFF by singing Christmas carols wearing traditional Filipiniana attire at the December 20 Pandesal Forum attended by MMFF Executive Committee’s Prof. Ed Cabagnot, MMFF Screening Committee member Mae Paner, “Sunday Beauty Queen” film director Babyruth Villarama, OFW domestic helper from Hong Kong Mylyn Jacobo & TBA producer Vincent Nebrida, and others. Villarama became teary-eyed and OFW Jacobo turned emotional during the senior citizens’ medley of Filipino and Western songs.
“Sunday Beauty Queen” is the first ever documentary film to have qualified to join the MMFF in its history. Rated G for general patronage by the MTRCB, it was also graded “A” by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) unanimously by all 10 CEB reviewers, although it is one of the underdog film entries in the 2016 MMFF since it has no movie actress or actor.
Venice & Singapore film festival officials join John Lloyd as jurors, Vilma begged off as juror
For the first time, the 2016 MMFF jurors shall include two officials of prestigious international film festivals—film critic and producer Paolo Bertolin of the Venice International Film Festival, and film critic Philip Cheah of the Singapore International Film Festival. They shall join other jurors like actor John Lloyd Cruz. MMFF’s Ed Cabagnot said that Batangas Congresswoman Vilma Santos Recto had declined to be a juror.
Heneral Luna had weak box office for first week, but became hit by the third week
Vincent Nebrida of TBA, producers of the indie film “Heneral Luna”, asked at the Pandesal Forum that 2016 MMFF films like their “Sunday Beauty Queen” be shown at least one week and and not just the two days earlier promised, he also asked for more theaters to accommodate their film. Nebrida pointed out that “General Luna” had weak box office during its first week but it became “the record all-time highest grossing third-week movie in the Philippines.” Nebrida recounted “Heneral Luna” started out with 80 theaters, but after weak box office in the first week, there were only 40 theaters showing it, but after favorable word-of-mouth and social media reviews, “Heneral Luna” became a box office success.
Also at the December 8 Pandesal Forum of Kamuning Bakery Café, Boots Anson Roa Rodrigo, Moira Lang, Prof. Nic Tiongson, Krip Yuson, Noel Ferrer, filmmakers and actors of “Oro”, “Saving Sally” and “Kabisera” films led by directors Alvin Yapan and Avid Liongoren, actors Ricky Davao and Acey Aguilar and scriptwriter Charlene Rodriguez, all of them invited the public to watch the eight diverse genre films of the 2016 MMFF which will showcase fun, excellent movies.
The 2016 MMFF’s two Pandesal Forum sessions at Kamuning Bakery Café were sponsored by bakery customer Joeben Tai of J & T Plasticware, and also by Pandesal Forum moderator and Ricky Lee scriptwriting workshop graduate Wilson Lee Flores.
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Ever since writer and realty entrepreneur Wilson Lee Flores bought and revived Kamuning Bakery Cafe in 2014, it has been featured on TV by numerous local and even international TV shows such as those hosted by Anne Curtis, Kris Aquino, Marian Rivera, Jessica Soho and others. The old cafe was restored and re-opened on March 20, 2015 with actress Anne Curtis as its first guest.
Among many showbiz, arts, literary, political, media and other celebrities who have patronized Kamuning Bakery Cafe for the past 77 years included TV5 founder and the late newspaper publisher Joaquin “Chino” Roces and his father the pre-war media tycoon Don Alejandro Roces. In fact, it was the elder Roces who had invited Kamuning Bakery Cafe founder Atty. Leticia “Letty” Bonifacio Javier to open Quezon City’s first bakery in 1939. Among its many other clients included President Cory C. Aquino, food critic Dr. Doreen G. Fernandez and Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Flores said that among the numerous Kamuning Bakery Cafe customers included many literary, political, media and showbiz celebrities for 77 years. For Kamuning Bakery Cafe’s unique annual October 16 celebration of “World Pandesal Day” of giving away free pugon-baked pandesal breads, this project was publicly supported by President Rody Duterte, ex-actor and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Metro Manila Film Festival primemover and now Ilocos Norte Cong. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, Senator Sonny Angara, GMA 7 Chairman Atty. Felipe Gozon and actor Dingdong Dantes.
The ambassadors of China, Russia, Britain and the U.S.—Zhao Jianhua, Igor Khovaev, Asif Ahmad and Philip Goldberg—also spoke at rare sessions of the Pandesal Forum with media and intellectuals at Kamuning Bakery Café this 2016.