‘Iskul Bukol,’ ‘Tanging Ina, ’Shake, Rattle & Roll’ Rule Box Office!

It’s official.

Industry leaders noted that this year’s entries to the Metro Manila Film Festival are of a “higher quality.”

“For the first time, all eight entries were submitted for grading with the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) and all eight merited positive grades,” said Christine Dayrit, CEB chair. “This year, there are three grade-A movies and five B’s. It has upped the ante for future festivals.”

The three A’s are the animated feature “Dayo,” the historical romance “Baler” and the drama “Magkaibigan.” The first batch of B-graded films are the comedy flicks “Iskul Bukol: 20 Years After,” “One Night Only” and “Ang Tanging Ina N’yong Lahat.”

The last two that received a B grade are Regal franchise movies: the adult comedy “Desparadas 2” and the horror trilogy “Shake, Rattle & Roll X.”

This year, even commercial fare like “Iskul Bukol” merited a B grade—unlike in previous years when the “Enteng Kabisote” movies weren’t even submitted for grading.

Said Rolando S. Atienza, chair of the Film Development Council of the Philippines: “This is an unprecedented achievement and underscores the substantial growth of the local film industry.”

Atienza said he hopes the films’ good showing at the CEB will translate into commercial success.

“The industry is alive and kicking,” he said. “With the improvement in the quality of films, I expect box-office returns to improve as well.”

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Bayani Fernando agreed: “I think this year’s festival will make money. These movies are not only commercial, they are also entertaining and of good quality.”

The MMDA spearheads the annual film fest.

Ric Camaligan, member of the MMFF executive committee, told the Inquirer that on the first day of the film fest on Christmas Day, “the initial trend ranked the following entries in this order at the tills: “Iskul Bukol,” “Tanging Ina,” “Shake,” “Desperadas,” “Baler,” “One Night,” “Dayo” and “Magkaibigan.”

~Bayani San Diego Jr.

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