Metro Manila Film Festival
Stylized jeepney in red and blue
LocationMetro Manila
PredecessorManila Film Festival
AwardsGabi ng Parangal
(lit.'Awards Night')
No. of films8 (per edition)
LanguagePrimarily Filipino

The Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) is an annual film festival organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority[1] and held nationwide in the Philippines. The festival, which runs from Christmas Day through New Year's Day and into first weekend of January in the following year, focuses on Filipino produced films. During the course of the festival, movie theaters show only films that are approved by its jurors and exclude foreign films except in 3D theaters and IMAX theaters. It is one of the two Filipino major film festivals to exclude foreign films in a week-long period, the other being the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino happening during August.

The annual event began with the 1975 Metro Manila Film Festival, during which Diligin Mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa ("Water the Thirsty Earth with Dew") directed by Augusto Buenaventura won the best film award.[2] For the 28th edition in 2002, the festival was expanded to be nationwide in scope instead of simply being held in Metro Manila.[3]

One of the festival highlights is the parade of floats at the opening of the festival. The floats, each one representing a movie entry with their respective stars, parade down usually Roxas Boulevard, as was the case in many of the previous awards. Beginning in 2017, however, the float parade is now usually hosted by each of the 17 local governments of the capital region. On the awards night, a Best Float award is also announced along with the major acting awards.

A sister festival which is a spin-off of the MMFF, the Summer Metro Manila Film Festival, was supposed to have its first edition in April 2020. but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic;[4] its inaugural edition was instead launched in April 2023.[5]


Mayor of Manila Antonio Villegas in 1970, founder of the "Manila Film Festival".
The logo of Metro Manila Film Festival from 2010 to 2016

A precursor of the current festival began in 1966. Then-mayor of Manila Antonio Villegas inaugurated the "Manila Film Festival" ("Manila Tagalog Film Festival").[6] It was set up in order to get Philippine films screened in "first-run" theaters which at that time only screened American films.[7] It was a 12-day event from June 14 through June 24, Manila's birthday, during which only locally produced films could be shown in theaters. The festival featured a parade in downtown Manila of actors and the featured films.[8] Most of the first batch of the festival films came up with English titles.[9] Despite the lack of support, there were different changes in making the festival flourish.[10]

The best films of Manila Film Festival included Daigdig ng mga Api (1966), Dahil sa Isang Bulaklak (1967), Manila, Open City (1968), Patria Adorada (1969), Dimasalang (1970), Cadena de Amor (1971), Elias, Basilio at Sisa (1972), Nueva Vizcaya (1973) and Alaala mo Daigdig Ko (1974).

In 1973, the Manila Film Festival was discontinued as Martial Law was imposed in September the year before. On September 21, 1975, during the Marcos Presidency, the filmfest was expanded to include all the other cities and towns in the newly formed Metro Manila and began under the name "1975 Metropolitan Film Festival" (MFF). In 1977, name was changed to "Metro Manila Film Festival".

After Villegas' death in 1984, a special award in the Metro Manila Film Festival, the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award, was created in his honor and is given to the best film that best portrays Philippine culture and Filipino people to the world.[11] MRN Film International's Andrea, Paano Ba ang Maging Isang Ina? was the first one to receive the lifetime achievement award in 1990.[12] Since then, it has been awarding prestigious films that deserves the honors.

In 2010, the film festival underwent some changes. First, the commercial viability criterion (box-office performance of the entries) was removed. As of 2010, the criteria for the selection of Best Picture(s) are: artistry; creativity and technical excellence; innovation; and thematic value. Entries are also judged for global appeal (70 percent) and Filipino cultural and/or historical value (30 percent). In addition, the festival format gave a tribute to independent "indie" films. Lastly, the established board of jurors was expanded to include housewives, drivers, students, teachers, etc. The festival logo was changed to feature a map of the Metropolis of Manila, based on the old seal of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority with seventeen stars on it symbolizing the 17 cities and municipality of Metro Manila. The logo for the first 35 festivals featured a torch.[13]

In September 2011, Atty. Francis Tolentino, then-chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) changed the category name of "indie" films to "New Wave" films to make it sound better and more attractive to hear, as well as including "Student Short Film Category" for the first time.[14] Consequently, the next year, the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival held in 2012 became the highest earning MMFF to date with 767 million pesos, 21% higher than that of 2011.[15]

In January 2013 review, writer Jessica Zafra complained, "Speaking of standards, why do we bother to review the festival entries when most of them are rubbish? Because they're not supposed to be rubbish! Contrary to what you've been led to believe, 'entertainment' and 'commercial appeal' are not synonyms for 'garbage'. There are good commercial movies, and there are bad commercial movies. The bad outnumber the good because the studios think the viewers are idiots."[16]

Notable incidents

There have been numerous notable incidents during the various festivals.[17][18]

In 1977, director Lino Brocka walked out of the awarding ceremonies at the Metropolitan Theater when Celso Ad. Castillo's Burlesk Queen starring Vilma Santos won eight of the ten awards including the Best Picture award during the 3rd Metro Manila Film Festival. Brocka reportedly threw invectives at Rolando Tinio, who was the chairman of the panel of judges of the festival.

In 1978, the board of jurors decided to not award honors for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress on the 4th Metro Manila Film Festival. Instead, the jurors gave Nora Aunor a "Best Performer" award for her role in the movie Atsay.[19] Aunor beat Vilma Santos, whom fortune-tellers on the then-popular talk show of Inday Badiday and many moviegoers predicted would win the award for her role in the movie Rubia Servios. When Nora accepted her award, she cried "Mama, mali ang hula nila" ("Mama, their prediction is wrong") in an apparent reference to the fortune-tellers.

In 1983, during the awards night of the 9th Metro Manila Film Festival, many were surprised after Coney Reyes won the Best Actress award for the movie Bago Kumalat ang Dugo and Anthony Alonzo won the Best Actor award for the same movie, besting acting greats Charito Solis, Phillip Salvador, and Vic Silayan, who were all in the movie Karnal. In addition, the jury's standards of giving Willie Milan the Best Director award against Lino Brocka was questioned.

In 1986, for the first time, the 12th Metro Manila Film Festival did not give out the traditional first and second Best Picture awards as well as the other two categories: Best Story and Best Screenplay. One of the jurors, Tingting Cojuangco stated: "No one of the seven entries deserved these awards..." She added that they: "...would like to express [their] concern over the current state of the Philippine movie industry as reflected in the entries to the year's MMFF...[The entries] failed to reinforce and inculcate positive Filipino values by portraying negative stereotypes, imitating foreign films and perpetuating commercially-oriented movies...".[20]

In 1988 during the award-giving ceremony of the 14th Metro Manila Film Festival, stuntman and character actor-turned-filmmaker Baldo Marro won the Best Actor for the film Patrolman, which also won him the Best Director award. In fact, he was not known before this. He bested prizewinning director Chito Roño of Itanong Mo Sa Buwan in the division, sending uproar from well-meaning critics and regular local film observers. Nevertheless, the announced Best Director award went to Laurice Guillen.[21]

In 1993, during the "Gabi ng Parangal" of the 1993 Metro Manila Film Festival, the list of winners was supposedly leaked.[22]

In 1994, during the "Gabi ng Parangal" of 20th Metro Manila Film Festival held in PICC, the six major awards (Three Best Pictures, Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Awards, Best Director, and Best Screenplay) were not given as Alejandro Roces, chairman of the Board of Jurors announced that "none of the entries was deserving".[23]

On December 27, 2001, during the 27th Metro Manila Film Festival, Cesar Montano, despite receiving the Best Actor award, expressed his disappointment that his film, Bagong Buwan did not receive the Best Picture award. He states: "For me, Bagong Buwan is still the best picture. No offense meant, but for others, Yamashita may be the best picture. Kanya-kanya 'yan. Wala nga lang kaming trophy. Bibili na lang kami ng trophy sa Recto. (To each his own. We just don't have a trophy. We'll just buy one in Recto)." referring to a strip on C.M. Recto Avenue in Manila notorious for manufacturing fake diplomas, certificates and trophies.[23]

In 2002, the cast of the film Dekada '70 walked out of the award ceremonies after Lualhati Bautista failed to win the Best Story and Best Screenplay awards. Even more controversial was the decision of the judges to name first-timer Ara Mina the Best Actress for her role in Mano Po, beating multi-awarded Vilma Santos, who was in Dekada '70. In addition, the producers of the films Spirit Warriors: The Shortcut and Lastikman protested the non-inclusion of the two films as official entries, prompting the Festival committee to extend the annual event. Consequently, the committee extended the film screenings to seven days to accommodate two more films which did not make it to the entries. Chito Roño, director of Second Best Picture Dekada '70, expressed wonder as to why Spirit Warriors was named the Third Best Picture award if the officials disqualified it as an official entry. The production team of Ang Agimat: Antin-Anting ni Lolo was also appalled at the decision of the jurors to give the Best Visual Effects award to Spirit Warriors if they only use "mono", beating their use of the more advanced "Dolby Digital system".[24]

In 2005, director Joel Lamangan walked out after he lost to Jose Javier Reyes. Lamangan failed to win the Best Director for Blue Moon against Reyes' Kutob. In the same year, Regal Films's matriarch Lily Monteverde voiced out her disappointment as she lamented that some winners in the festival were "undeserving".

In 2006, Octoarts Films and M-Zet Production's Enteng Kabisote 3: Okay Ka, Fairy Ko: The Legend Goes On and On and On was declared the Best Picture after festival organizers changed the criteria for the award by giving more weight to "commercial appeal". As it was the only prize that the film won, the decision to let the film receive it became the subject of yet another controversy at the festival. Movie producer Star Cinema made a protest to the MMDA and wrote to then MMFF chairman Bayani Fernando, claiming that the movie Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo should have won Best Picture because it topped the box office for the first few days.

In 2007, the awards night ended in less than an hour after festival organizers decided to just announce the winners without even mentioning the nominees for each category. The organizers explained that it had to be rushed and had to end at exactly 9pm because a concert, featuring singer Lani Misalucha, was scheduled right after the awards ceremonies.

In 2011, Amable "Tikoy" Aguiluz declined to accept the award for Best Director for the movie Manila Kingpin: The Asyong Salonga Story after he claimed that the movie "was edited without his consent beyond his recognition."

In 2014, Rina Navarro, one of the producers of Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo questioned the result of the panel's judgement in the awards night. The movie won the most coveted Best Picture award but failed to win the other major categories such as the Best Director award, the Best Actor and Best Actress awards, the Best Screenplay award, and the Best Original Story award all of which went to Dan Villegas' English Only, Please.

In 2015, a day before the awards night, Erik Matti's Honor Thy Father was disqualified for the Best Picture award after being screened at the Cinema One Originals. Dondon Monteverde, the film's producer, revealed that they did disclose this information beforehand. He attested that its premiere at the Cinema One festival did not generate revenue which complies by the rules. He also questioned the timing of this decision and demanded an investigation.[25]

In 2016, the festival gained attention after its EXECOM {Executive Committee} announced the top 8 entries for the 2016 edition. Different from past years, the movies of certified box-office drawers Vice Ganda & Coco Martin's The Super Parental Guardians, Vic Sotto's Enteng Kabisote 10 and the Abangers, Regal Entertainment's Mano Po 7: Tsinoy and Vhong Navarro's Mang Kepweng Returns were rejected in that edition. This was the first edition of the festival that showed only independent films. But despite good reviews about the 8 entries, the film festival only grossed ₱373 million, or a ₱667 million drop from 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival's ₱1.040 billion. This led to commercial films returning to the festival the following year.[26]


Patrons lining up for tickets for the 2022 Metro Manila Film Festival.

As the name suggest, the Metro Manila Film Festival ran by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority covers cinemas within Metro Manila. The initial allocation of cinema slots for the film festival's entry films are determined through lottery.[27] This allocation system had only been applied for cinemas in Metro Manila in the past,[27] but this now utilized for cinemas outside the metropolis as well.[28] However cinemas are free to drop or continue to screen certain entry films after the first day.[29] Cinemas outside Metro Manila are also free to screen non-entries, as was the case during the run of the 2016 edition, where non-entry mainstream films The Super Parental Guardians and Enteng Kabisote 10 and the Abangers were screened by select provincial theaters during the festival's run.[30]


Festival Year Awards Night
Venue City
1st 1975 Metropolitan Theater Manila
2nd 1976
3rd 1977
4th 1978 Cultural Center of the Philippines
5th 1979 Metropolitan Theater
6th 1980
7th 1981 Cultural Center of the Philippines
8th 1982
9th 1983
10th 1984 Metropolitan Theater
11th 1985 Rizal Theater Makati
12th 1986 University of Life Theater and Recreational Arena Pasig
13th 1987
14th 1988 Philippine International Convention Center Pasay
15th 1989 University of Life Theater and Recreational Arena Pasig
16th 1990
17th 1991
18th 1992 Philippine International Convention Center Pasay
19th 1993
20th 1994
21st 1995 Metropolitan Theater Manila
22nd 1996
23rd 1997
24th 1998
25th 1999
26th 2000 Philippine International Convention Center Pasay
27th 2001
28th 2002
29th 2003
30th 2004 Aliw Theater
31st 2005
32nd 2006
33rd 2007 SMX Convention Center
34th 2008 Sofitel Philippine Plaza
35th 2009 SMX Convention Center
36th 2010 Meralco Theater Pasig
37th 2011 Newport Performing Arts Theater Pasay
38th 2012 Meralco Theater Pasig
39th 2013
40th 2014 Philippine International Convention Center Pasay
41st 2015 Kia Theatre Quezon City
42nd 2016
43rd 2017
44th 2018 The Theater at Solaire Parañaque
45th 2019 New Frontier Theater Quezon City
46th 2020 Project Space[a] Makati
47th 2021 SM Aura Premier Taguig
48th 2022 New Frontier Theater Quezon City
49th 2023


Metro Manila Film Festival
Gabi ng Parangal
Current: 2023 Metro Manila Film Festival
Awarded forExcellence in cinematic achievements
LocationMetro Manila
Presented byMetropolitan Manila Development Authority
Manila Broadcasting Company
First awardedDecember 1975
Website Edit this on Wikidata
← 48th ed. · 49th ed. · 50th ed. →

The Gabi ng Parangal (lit.'Awards Night') serves as the awarding ceremony for participating films in the Metro Manila Film Festival.

Merit categories

Festival awards

Special awards

annually awarded
not annually awarded

Other awards

Most received wins

This is a list of superlative Metro Manila Film Festival winners. This list is current as of the 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival "Gabi ng Parangal" (awards ceremony) held on December 27, 2021.

The following are fifteen films which have received ten or more awards in different categories.

Film Record Set Year Production company(s) Notes
José Rizal 17 1998 GMA Films *won all awards except Best Actress
10,000 Hours 14 2013 Philippine Film Studios, N2 Productions and Viva Films
Magic Temple 1996 Star Cinema
Muro-Ami 13 1999 GMA Films
Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story 12 2011 Viva Films and Scenema Concept International
Mano Po 2002 Regal Films
Mindanao 11 2019 Center Stage Productions
Rainbow's Sunset 2018 Heaven's Best Entertainment
Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure 2001 MAQ Productions
Muling Umawit ang Puso 1995 Viva Films
Andrea, Paano Ba ang Maging Isang Ina? 1990 MRN Film International
Imortal 1989 Viva Films
Baler 10 2008 Viva Films
Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo 2006 Star Cinema
Nasaan ang Puso 1997 MAQ Productions
Halimaw sa Banga 1986 NCV Productions *only the third Best Picture is given.[clarification needed]
Kisapmata 1981 Bancom Audiovision

Best Director

Director Record Set First year awarded Recent year awarded
Joel Lamangan 4 1995 2018
Jose Javier Reyes 3 1993 2006
Marilou Diaz-Abaya 1980 1999
Brillante Mendoza 2 2012 2019
Erik Matti 2015 2016
Mark Meily 2003 2008
Chito Roño 1997 2001
Laurice Guillen 1988 2000
Eddie Garcia 1987 1989
Mario O'Hara 1984 1986
Lino Brocka 1979 1985

Best Actor

Actor Record Set First year awarded Recent year awarded
Christopher de Leon 7 1976 2008
Cesar Montano 3 1998 2006
Anthony Alonzo 1983 1987
Derek Ramsay 2 2014 2017
Dingdong Dantes 2011 2012
Dolphy 1990 2010
Eric Quizon 1991 2003
Aga Muhlach 1992 1993

Best Actress

Actress Record Set First year awarded Recent year awarded
Nora Aunor 8 1978 2012
Maricel Soriano 5 1997 2013
Vilma Santos 1977 2023
Amy Austria 3 1980 1996
Judy Ann Santos 2 2006 2019
Gloria Romero 2000 2018
Jennylyn Mercado 2014 2015

Best Supporting Actor

Supporting Actor Record Set First year awarded Recent year awarded
Pen Medina 2 1999 2013
Cesar Montano 1989 2012
Phillip Salvador 2008 2009
Johnny Delgado 1979 2006
Ronaldo Valdez 1993 1997
Dick Israel 1988 1994
John Arcilla 1996 2021

Best Supporting Actress

Supporting Actress Record Set First year awarded Recent year awarded
Eugene Domingo 3 2007 2011
Cherie Gil 1985 2000
Nida Blanca 2 1975 1997

Most combined wins

Most combined awards for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Director.

Name Record Set Categories won
Cesar Montano 6 3 Best Actor, 2 Best Supporting Actor, 1 Best Director
Eddie Garcia 3 2 Best Director, 1 Best Actor
Mario O'Hara 2 Best Director, 1 Best Actor
Johnny Delgado 2 Best Supporting Actor, 1 Best Actor
Dolphy 2 Best Actor, 1 Best Supporting Actor
Vic Silayan 2 1 Best Actor, 1 Best Supporting Actor

Most combined awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.

Name Record Set Categories won
Amy Austria 4 3 Best Actress, 1 Best Supporting Actress
Charito Solis 2 1 Best Actress, 1 Best Supporting Actress
Gina Alajar 1 Best Actress, 1 Best Supporting Actress
Hilda Koronel 1 Best Actress, 1 Best Supporting Actress

Highest-grossing entries

The table shows the highest-grossing Filipino film entries in the Metro Manila Film Festival that hits the hundred million mark.

Rank Year Title Production company Box office
1 2018 Fantastica Star Cinema, Viva Films ₱596 million
2 2017 Gandarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad Star Cinema, Viva Films ₱571 million[31]
3 2019 Miracle in Cell No. 7 Viva Films ₱543 million
4 2015 Beauty and the Bestie Star Cinema, Viva Films ₱529 million[32]
5 2014 The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin Star Cinema, Viva Films ₱455 million[33]
6 2013 Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy Star Cinema, Viva Films ₱421 million[34]
7 2012 Sisterakas Star Cinema, Viva Films ₱393.4 million[35]
8 2015 My Bebe Love: KiligPaMore GMA Pictures, OctoArts Films, M-Zet Productions, APT Entertainment, MEDA Productions ₱385 million[36]
9 2018 Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles M-Zet Productions, APT Entertainment, CCM Film Productions ₱383 million
10 2017 Ang Panday Star Cinema, Viva Films, CCM Film Productions ₱379 million
11 2013 My Little Bossings OctoArts Films, M-Zet Productions, APT Entertainment, K Productions ₱375.9 million
12 2019 The Mall, The Merrier Star Cinema, Viva Films ₱323 million
13 2011 Enteng Ng Ina Mo Star Cinema, OctoArts Films, M-Zet Productions, APT Entertainment ₱272 million
14 2014 Feng Shui 2 Star Cinema, K Productions ₱235 million[33]
15 2008 Ang Tanging Ina N'yong Lahat Star Cinema ₱229.9 million
16 2012 One More Try Star Cinema ₱213 million
17 2010 Ang Tanging Ina Mo (Last na 'To!) Star Cinema ₱210 million
18 2013 Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay Star Cinema, Regal Entertainment ₱188 million[37]
19 2006 Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo Star Cinema ₱187 million
20 2010 Si Agimat at Si Enteng Kabisote GMA Pictures, OctoArts Films, M-Zet Productions, APT Entertainment, Imus Productions ₱171 million
21 2005 Enteng Kabisote 2: Okay Ka, Fairy Ko OctoArts Films, M-Zet Productions ₱158 million
22 2012 Si Agimat, si Enteng Kabisote at si Ako GMA Pictures, OctoArts Films, M-Zet Productions, APT Entertainment, Imus Productions ₱152 million
23 2007 Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo Star Cinema ₱150 million
24 2006 Enteng Kabisote 3: Okay Ka, Fairy Ko OctoArts Films, M-Zet Productions ₱144 million
25 2014 My Big Bossing OctoArts Films, M-Zet Productions, APT Entertainment ₱140 million
26 2011 Segunda Mano Star Cinema, AgostoDos Pictures, MJM Productions ₱138.7 million
27 2014 English Only, Please Quantum Films, MJM Productions, Tuko Film Productions, Buchi Boy Films ₱135 million
28 2004 Enteng Kabisote 1: Okay Ka, Fairy Ko OctoArts Films, M-Zet Productions ₱130 million
29 2015 Haunted Mansion Regal Entertainment ₱128 million
30 2010 Dalaw Star Cinema, CineMedia, MJM Productions ₱125 million

Note: All figures are in Philippine Peso.

Combined box office gross by edition

The following is the combined box office gross for all entry films by edition.

Festival Year Box office Ref.
44th 2018 ₱1.061 billion [38]
45th 2019 ₱955 million [39][40]
46th 2020 Below ₱50 million [41]
47th 2021 At least ₱50 million[b] [42]
48th 2022 ₱500 million [43]
49th 2023 ₱1 billion [44]


  1. ^ The 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival awards night was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was largely recorded in the Project Space studio in Makati.
  2. ^ Earnings reportedly surpassed the previous edition


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