1.First of all, MMFF's usual favorites were absent this year and replaced by fresher, unconventional picks, most of which were produced independently.
2.Saving Sally, one of the entries, is a live-action/animated film—a rare gem in terms of Philippine cinema.
3.The film was 12 years in the making and has survived re-castings and several reshoots.
4.Saving Sally almost didn't make it due to budget constraints in post-production.
5.Another entry, Die Beautiful, tells the story about the life (and death) of a transgender woman. Most mainstream film productions rarely touch such a story, and when they do, they're often just accessories to straight protagonists.
6.Paolo Ballesteros plays the main character, Trisha. Her best friend, Barbs, is played by Christian Bables, who won Best Supporting Actor during the awards night.
7.Ballesteros also bagged the Best Actor award that night, apart from winning the same title at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
8.Sunday Beauty Queen, on the other hand, is a revolution on its own as the first documentary to become an official entry to the MMFF.
9.It follows the story of OFWs in Hong Kong, their life as domestic helpers, and how they find solace in joining an annual beauty pageant.
10.The documentary won Best Picture.
11.Kabisera is a family drama about extra-judicial killings in the country.
12.For this year's horror/thriller fix, there's Seklusyon, which isn't only about jump scares, but also a commentary on religion and one's inner demons. And hot deacons.
13.Oro, though a bit controversial*, tells the story of an armed group's exploitation of a previously undisturbed gold mining community. It is inspired by true events that happened in Camarines Sur in 2014.
14.The film's lead, Irma Adlawan won Best Actress and spoke about the rift between the Philippine indie and mainstream film productions.
15.Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank 2 is a smart and comedic account on the production of mainstream romantic films in the Philippines, which was like, so meta.