“GomBurZa,” the most-awarded film of the 2023 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), is set to grace Hollywood’s stage at the inaugural Manila International Film Festival (MIFF).
Fresh from its stellar success at the 49th MMFF, where it clinched seven awards, including Second Best Picture and the Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award, “GomBurZa” now aims to captivate international audiences at the MIFF, scheduled from January 29 to February 2. The event, which will be at the prestigious TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood and the Directors Guild of America (DGA) on Sunset Boulevard, promises to be a star-studded affair with the presence of renowned actors and filmmakers.
All ten MMFF entries, spanning various genres from comedy to romance, and from fantasy to horror, will be showcased three times throughout the five-day festival. Joining “GomBurZa” in Los Angeles are comedies like “Broken Hearts Trip” and “Becky and Badette,” romance dramas including “When I Met You In Tokyo” and “Rewind,” the family drama “Family of Two,” horror films “Mallari” and “(K)Ampon,” action-fantasy “Penduko,” and the fantasy-adventure “Firefly,” which secured the Best Picture award.
The mission of MIFF is crystal clear: to showcase, promote, and uplift Filipino films on the global stage. By inviting the talents behind the films, including filmmakers and stars, to walk the red carpet in Hollywood, MIFF seeks to establish a strong connection between the Philippine entertainment industry and the international film arena. According to the event’s website, it aims to “bridge the gap between the two worlds and connect the Philippine entertainment industry with that of Hollywood and the international stage.”
Representing “GomBurZa” in Los Angeles are its lead stars, MMFF Best Actor awardee Cedrick Juan and Enchong Dee, together with MMFF Best Cinematography recipient Carlo Canlas Mendoza and MMFF Best Director winner Pepe Diokno. The group will participate in several MIFF events, including Q&As, and will be present at the screenings.
Produced by JesCom Films and MQuest Ventures of MediaQuest, in cooperation with CMB Film Services, the success of “GomBurZa” at the MMFF was not merely in its accolades but in the overwhelming response from the viewing public. The film’s victory was sweeter as it resonated with audiences, sparking a renewed interest in the story of the three martyred priests—Mariano Gomes, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora—who were unjustly executed in 1872.
After a heartfelt campaign to expand its screening, “GomBurZa” commanded a top-three spot at the MMFF 2023 box-office rankings. Now on its remarkable fifth week, the film has been shown in over 120 cinemas nationwide with multiple block screenings being arranged—a testament to its cultural impact and the public’s eagerness to delve into the patriotic narrative it presents.
As “GomBurZa” prepares to grace the MIFF red carpet, it carries more than just a triumph for Philippine cinema but also a cultural exchange that transcends borders. The film’s journey to Hollywood underscores the global resonance of Filipino stories and the rich historical legacy that the nation has to offer. As the Philippines prepares to make its mark at the MIFF, the world eagerly awaits the cinematic brilliance of “GomBurZa”, and the rest of the MMFF entries, as they unfold on the Hollywood stage.
Below is the screening schedule of “GomBurZa” at the TCL Chinese Theaters:
- Tuesday, January 30
3:00pm – 4:44pm
- Wednesday, January 31
7:25pm – 9:29pm
- Friday, February 2 – Closing day
4:00pm – 5:44pm
More details are available on the MIFF official website: www.manilainternationalfilmfest.com.