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People watch the floats of "Ang Babae ng Septic Tank 2: #ForeverIsNotEnough" and "Die Beautiful" pass by during the Metro Manila Film Festival Parade of Stars on December 23. Inset photo shows "Die Beautiful" star Paolo Ballesteros in drag. (Photo: PNA)

MMFF offers 30% discount to students, seniors, PWDs

In an unprecedented promotional move, the 42nd Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) execu­tive committee recently gave producers of the festival’s official entries the option to grant a 30-percent discount on tickets to students, senior citizens, and people with disabilities (PWDs).

In a statement released last week, the Metropoli­tan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said the option to offer the discount was given “in cooperation with cinemas ang other stakeholders of the movie industry” and to help ensure the festival’s success.

The discount shall only be offered beginning on the third day of the MMFF—December 27—until January 3, 2017.

Valid documents, such as a school ID and senior citizen’s card, need to be presented in order to avail of the discount, according to an ABS-CBN News report.

This came amid reports that ABS-CBN Corp.’s film unit, Star Cinema, had de­cided to withdraw its entry Vince & Kath & James from the MMFF because of the discount—something the committee dismissed.

“Just like all the other producers, they [Star Cin­ema] have been supportive of the MMFF initiatives in bringing more people to the festival every year,” MMDA Chairman Thomas “Tim” Orbos said.

This came after the yearend festival—which begins on Christmas Day—found its run reduced from the usual two weeks to the original and law-mandated 10 days, much to the dismay and shock of filmmakers and moviegoers alike.

The discount also came as the actors and directors of the eight entries embarked on a mall tour to drum up support and interest for this year’s MMFF, and amid reports that some theaters in and outside of Metro Manila plan to show only some of the films.

Besides Vince & Kath & James, a teen romantic com­edy starring Julia Barretto, Joshua Garcia, and Ronnie Alonte, the other entries are the transgender dramedy Die Beautiful, which has won lead star Paolo Ballesteros acco­lades from this year’s Tokyo and Kerala international film festivals; sociopolitical drama Kabisera (The Seat), topbilled by Nora Aunor; animated feature Saving Sally, starring Rhian Ra­mos and Enzo Marcos; the 1940s-set horror film Seklus­yon (Seclusion); the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) documentary Sunday Beauty Queens; the mining drama Oro (Gold); and the Eugene Domingo-starrer Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: #ForeverIs­NotEnough (The Woman in the Septic Tank 2), the sequel to the hit indie-film satire. ALVIN I. DACANAY

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