Vice Ganda, Vic Sotto return in MMFF 2017 roster

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 30) — The Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) on Friday revealed the first four entries to this year's lineup, which saw the return of annual staples in the showcase.

Comedian Vice Ganda returns to the festival through "The Revengers," directed by Joyce Bernal, under Star Cinema and Viva Films.

The "It's Showtime" host will be starring with actor Daniel Padilla and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.

Meanwhile, Vic Sotto makes his comeback with the film "Love Traps #Family Goals," directed by Antonio Reyes.

Sotto stars opposite seasoned actress Dawn Zulueta, with the film produced by Octo Arts Films.

Actor and model Coco Martin also makes an entry with a remake of the classic film, "Ang Panday," this time directed by Rodel Nacianceno.

In the film, Martin will once again portray a character originated by Filipino icon Fernando Poe, Jr., following his stint in the television show "Ang Probinsyano."

Completing the first half of the lineup is Dan Villegas' "Almost is Not Enough," produced by Quantum and MJM Productions.

The film stars Jennylyn Mercado and Jericho Rosales, who also headlined the 2015 MMFF Best Picture winner #WalangForever, similarly directed by Villegas.

In its Facebook post, MMFF revealed the selection committee based the first four entries on the scripts they submitted.

"Our selection committee had a difficult time choosing given the quality of films. We have to thank them for their exhaustive and thorough deliberations," MMFF Executive Committee Chairman Tim Orbos said through the post.

Orbos said the rules committee applied a new vetting scheme for this year's festival to assure that there is no discrimination among commercial and independent film entries.

According to the post, "The film entries this year were evaluated based on the following criteria: 40% artistic excellence; 40% commercial appeal; 10% promotion of Filipino cultural and historical values & 10% global appeal."

Four more full-length feature films will be announced on November 17, which will be selected based on the finished outputs. Deadline for submission is on October 2 for early birds and October 30 for regulars.

For the short film category, the deadline of submission will be on September 1, with the eight official entries to be announced on September 29.

READ: MMFF releases box-office rankings of entries