In Photo: Metro Manila Film Festival logo from the Metro Manila Film Festival official Facebook page

by Audrie Julienne Bernas

The official entries for the Metro Manila Festival are finally revealed, with a fresh take on the lineup—without the formulaic slapstick comedies, the repetitive drama capers and the poorly-animated horror flicks. The film industry in the Philippines finally hit its toll, going full-on alternative and independent.

“Die Beautiful,” directed by Jun Robles Lana, tells the story of Trisha (played by Paolo Ballesteros), a transgender woman who suddenly dies while being crowned in a beauty pageant.

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Online series “Vince and Kath” also gets a spot at the film fest with James Boborols “Vince & Kath & James.” The romance film revolves around Vince, Kath and James and the spouting love triangle that ensues. It stars Julia Barretto, Ronnie Alonte and Joshua Garcia.

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The plot for Erik Matti’s “Seklusyon” is yet to be revealed. The film also stars Ronnie Alonte, a breakout film for the young actor.

Image result for seklusyon official poster mmff 2016

“Kabisera,” which is directed by Arturo San Agustin and Real Florido, is a drama starring Nora Aunor and Ricky Davao.

Image result for kabisera nora aunor official poster mmff 2016

Baby Ruth Villarama’s documentary about foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong going on an annual beauty pageant, “Sunday Beauty Queen” was also selected to be part of the festival.

Image result for sunday beauty queen official poster mmff 2016

Marlon Rivera comes back with a second installment of the 2011 hit starring Eugene Domingo, with “Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank 2.” Septic 2.jpg

“Oro,” directed by Alvin Yapan was also chosen to be part of the festival. It stars Joem Bascon.

Avid Liongoren’s “Saving Sally,” a semi-animated flick wherein Rhian Ramos plays the eponymous Sally, along with Enzo Marcos.

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Nicanor Tiongson of the University of the Philippines Film Institue, head of the MMFF selection committe, insisted on choosing “quality” films over those that would be lucrative for the December festival.

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