Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, a staunch supporter of the local film industry, underscored the importance of promoting Filipino culture and heritage as well as creative talents through cinema. For this reason, the senator encouraged Filipinos to support the first-ever Metro Manila Summer Film Festival which will run from April 8 to 18.
It can be recalled that Go, who is part of the MMFF Executive Committee, proposed in 2019 for the festival to be held twice every year to provide more venues for Filipino filmmakers to showcase more quality movies and to boost the film industry in the country, but unfortunately had to postpone it in 2020 due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 health crisis.
“Ang 2023 Summer Metro Manila Film Festival ay isang mahalagang pagkakataon upang ipamalas ng ating mga direktor, artista, manunulat, at lahat ng mga nagta-trabaho sa pagbuo ng isang pelikula ang kanilang galing at talento sa buong mundo,” highlighted Go.
“Kaya naman hinihikayat ko po ang lahat ng ating mga kababayan na suportahan ang mga pelikulang Pilipino sa Summer MMFF ngayong taon. Mapa-bata man o matanda, sigurado ako na may pelikulang para sa inyo sa festival na ito,” he continued.
The eight official entries to the 2023 Summer MMFF are the following: Apag, Singlebells, About Us But Not About Us, Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko, Unravel: A Swiss Side Love Story, Here Comes The Groom, Yung Libro Sa Napanood Ko, and Love You Long Time.
The MMFF, which was first held in 1975, is an annual film festival that showcases Filipino films during the Christmas season. Over the years, the festival has become a tradition for many Filipinos, who eagerly anticipate the screening of new and exciting films during the holiday season.
Continuing his message, Go then thanked all of the filmmakers, actors, and other professionals who worked tirelessly to craft their films. For this reason, the senator expressed that he will continue to raise awareness about the festival and its importance not only in the local film industry, but to the economy as well.
“The MMFF is an opportunity for us to showcase our country’s diverse and rich culture through the medium of film. It is also a chance for us to support our local filmmakers and actors who work hard to create entertaining and meaningful movies for us to enjoy,” said Go.
“Huwag din po nating kalimutan na ang pag-suporta natin sa mga lokal na pelikula ay pagbibigay din ng suporta sa ating ekonomiya at sa kabuhayan ng mga ordinaryong manggagawa sa industriya. Kaya naman, let us all show our love for Philippine cinema by watching the films of MMFF,” he encouraged.
For his part, Go has proposed Senate Bill No. 1183, otherwise known as the “Media and Entertainment Workers’ Welfare Act”, which shall provide enhanced protection, security and incentives for media workers through additional health insurance package, overtime and night differential pay, and other benefits.
In the explanatory note of his proposed bill, Go stated that media and entertainment workers, as part of the labor force, play a vital role in society and the economy.
“They provide news, entertainment and other essential contents we need to keep us posted on all the current events happening around us. In recognition of their invaluable contribution in the society and the hazardous circumstances they are exposed to during crises, it is right and proper to commensurate their hard work with just emoluments and added labor protection under the law,” Go cited.
“Bilang mambabatas, asahan ninyo na patuloy kong isusulong ang mga panukalang batas at susuportahan ang mga programa upang mas lalong maprotektahan ang inyong mga karapatan at mas mapabuti ang inyong kapakanan,” he reassured.
To make certain that the entertainment sector is well-supported, especially during the height of the pandemic, the senator also had several relief activities for displaced media workers nationwide.