SIARGAO, LARAWAN Dominate MMFF Awards

SIARGAO team from left: Social Media Mgr Patti Lapus, Screenwriter Anjeli Pessumal, Suzette Ranillo (Diego’s Mom), Director / Producer Paul Soriano, Jasmine Curits Smith (Abi) and Producer/ Editor Mark Victor. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Jericho Rosales, Erich Gonzales, Jasmine Curtis starrer about a rock star escaping his conflicts by going to his hometown of SIARGAO and a movie musical with a combination of the roaring 20’s and operettas about pre war Manila in ANG LARAWAN with Joanna Ampil, Rachel Alejandro, Celeste Legaspi reaped a majority of the awards in the Metro Manila Film Festival’s Gabi Ng Parangal at the KIA Theater last December 27, 2017.

LARAWAN cast from left: Exec. Producer Girlie Rodis, Dulce (Doña Upeng), Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (Pepang), Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng), Joanna Ampil (Candida), Rachel Alejandro (Paula), The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

SIARGAO had a total of 8 while ANG LARAWAN had 5 awards. Both ALL OF YOU and ANG PANDAY had 4 awards, followed by DEADMA WALKING with 2.

SIARGAO with 8 Awards – 2nd Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Jasmine Curtis Smith), Best Director (Paul Soriano), Best Cinematography (Odyssey Flores and team), Best Sound (Jason Conanan, Mark Locsin, Mikko Quizon, Kathrine Ariane Salinas), Best Editor (Mark Victor), Best Looking Couple of the Night (Erich Gonzales) and Best Original Theme Song (ALON by Hale)

Best Looking Couple of the Night: Erich Gonzales (SIARGAO) and Derek Ramsay (ALL OF YOU). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

ANG LARAWAN with 5 awards – Best Actress (Joanna Ampil), Best Picture, Special Jury Prize to Nick Joaquin for Portrait of a Filipino, Gatpuno Villegas Cultural Award, Best Production Design (Gino Gonzales)

ALL OF YOU with 4 awards – Best Actor (Derek Ramsay), 3rd Best Picture, Best Screenplay (Dan Villegas, Paul Sta. Ana, Carl Chavez and Melissa Mae Chua), Best Looking Couple of the Night (Derek Ramsay)

standing from left: Win Gonzales (Short Film People’s Choice – NOEL), SIARGAO Team: Screenwriter Anjeli Pessumal, Supervising Prod RC Delos Reyes, Suzette Ranillo, Paul Soriano (Best Director), Jasmine Curtis Smith (Best Supporting Actress), Derek Ramsay (Best Actor- ALL OF YOU), LARAWAN Team: Dulce, Menchu Lauchengco Yulo, Joanna Ampil (Best Actress), Rachel Alejandro, Celeste Legaspi, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, ?, LARAWAN Exec Prod. Girlie Rodis and Producer Alemberg Ang. Bottom Row from left: SIARGAO’s Patti Lapus, ALL OF YOU Screenwriter Carl Chavez (Best Screenplay), Dan Vilegas (3rd Best Film) and Edgar Allan Cruz (Best Supporting Actor- DEADMA WALKING). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

ANG PANDAY with 4 awards – Children’s Choice, Best Visual Effects (John David Hukom, Blackburst Team), Special Jury Award- Rodel Nacianceno a.k.a Coco Martin and Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award

DEADMA WALKING with 2 awards – Best Supporting Actor (Edgar Allan Guzman) and Best Float.

Gaga for LARAWAN from left: Aicelle Santos (Violet), Bernardo Bernardo (Don Alvaro), Publicist Toots Tolentino and Cris Villonco (Susan). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

This year there was a very clear delineation between more popular commercial films and more creative material. This is a marked improvement unlike previous years when even the box office top grossers were the ones given the awards with their earnings as basis. So there didn’t seem to be space for themes and movies that enlighten and educate the movie going public’s palate.

Organizers MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, MMDA GM & MMFF Exec Committee Chairman Tim Orbos made the right decision by putting National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera as head of the screening committee for the MMFF entries. Lumbera is very well respected in the realm of Filipino film criticism as one of the founding members of the Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

from right: National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim and MMDA GM & MMFF Exec Committee Chairman Tim Orbos The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Lumbera was given an award of recognition in the middle of the ceremonies. And in his speech he essentially admonished the movie going public to patronize the award winning films and not just the more popular commercial comedies, action flicks that Filipinos flock to.

LARAWAN Cast Paulo Avelino (Tony Javier) and Rachel Alejandro (Paula). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

The irony is that a film like LARAWAN is actually incredibly entertaining; the award for Musical Direction – Ryan Cayabyab is testament to this. More popularly known as Ryan C, who is probably one of the most celebrated composers, musical directors of our time. In Japan where LARAWAN premiered in the Tokyo International Film Festival, they garnered the audience choice award.

LARAWAN Cast from left: Best Musical Director winner Ryan Cayabyab, Nanette Inventor (Doña Irene), Director Loy Arceñas and National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes. The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

IF only our kababayan would open their hearts and minds to the creative triumph that is LARAWAN, they will realize how rich our own Filipino culture and history while being moved and yes entertained. From the trailer Zsa Zsa Padilla, Nanette Inventor and Dulce are all in a hilarious mambo line, which should definitely be enough of a draw.

Jasmine Curtis Smith of SIARGAO earned Best Supporting Actress nod. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista (10)

SIARGAO on the other hand is a movie that highlights the scenic beauty of what is considered to be the surfing capital of the Philippines. There’s a chance at a new relationship for both Diego (Jericho Rosales) and Laura (Erich Gonzales) who meet on the plane. While an old flame in Abi (Jasmine Curtis Smith) still has feelings for Diego. We see a lot of the local culture, at the same time young characters who show a lot of their lives on line.

Nowhere is the gap between quality of films and quantity of audiences more apparent than in SIARGAO director Paul Soriano’s speech. He gave a glowing endorsement to their competitor, which is practically unheard of in the MMFF.

Nar Cabico sang ALL OF YOU theme with Raflesia Bravo, Phi Palmos and Joshua Cabilados. The talented performers can be seen in HIMALA THE MUSICAL this Feb 2018 with LARAWAN cast member Aicelle Santos as lead star for Sandbox Collective. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Soriano credited his cast and producer Mark Victor. But he made note of the underwater cinematography of Gaps Abuero and Max Abasolo as well as Odyssey Flores who employed drones to get picturesque aerial shots of Surigao Del Norte.

Paul Soriano of SIARGAO won Best Director; The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Paul Soriano in his speech continued, “Yesterday a film touched my heart. I know what they’re going through. You guys, I watched it yesterday in a full house in Rockwell. I know what it is you’re going through. I hope you get the opportunity to see such a beautiful film; Against the World. That’s kinda what we do. It just really hit me. To the team ANG LARAWAN I share this with you guys.”

Days before Soriano caused a stir on line when he lamented publicly when cinemas decided to pull out LARAWAN and other entries early in the MMFF run.

LARAWAN’s young ladies from left: Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (Pepang), Cris Villonco (Susan), Cara Manglapus (Patsy) and Aicelle Santos (Violet). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

LARAWAN Producer Alemberg Ang, in an interview, clarified that there was coordination with cinema owners and management who requested to prioritize the more popular family oriented films in the opening MMFF weekend (December 23 to Christmas). This is to maximize the greater portion of the movie going public who went with kids and their families.

LARAWAN cast Best Actress Joanna Ampil (Candida) and Producer Alemberg Ang . The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

And immediately after that show titles like ANG LARAWAN, DEADMA WALKING, SIARGAO and ALL OF YOU, especially now after awards night. Alem has confirmed that LARAWAN and the others have now been released to even more theaters around the metro. Please check listings on newspapers and online to find out which cinemas are running the awardees.

Shang Cineplex is already running LARAWAN, SIARGAO and DEADMA WALKING.

Click on link for full schedule.

TANDUAY, one of the BEST and most awarded brands in the country, is also a long time supporter of the MMFF and Philippine cinema.

Of the glowing endorsement from Paul Soriano in his acceptance speech Alem added, “Paul already posted on facebook and tweeted tagging all of us in twitter and fb. I’ve worked with him on TRANSIT. He’s really such a gentleman. He’s such a sincere person, such a great guy. And I guess the concept of Contra Mundum of art versus commercialism (translates to Defy the World). Which is what (MMDA Chairman) General Danilo Lim mentioned in his speech. That really blew us away. It’s our battle cry and continually we’re living it. Even all my indie films its like that. So right now we have a very good product and we’re glad people are responding.”

LARAWAN Cast standing from left: Producer Alemberg Ang, Musical Dir. Ryan Cayabyab, Bernardo Bernardo (Don Alvaro), Director Loy Arceñas, Rayver Cruz (Charlie Dacanay), Mid row seated from left: Executive Producer Girlie Rodis, Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng), Nanette Inventor (Doña Irene), Dulce (Doña Upeng), Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (Pepang), Cara Manglapus (Patsy), Bottom row from left: Aicelle Santos (Violet), Rachel Alejandro (Paula), Paulo Avelino (Tony Javier) and Cris Villonco (Susan). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Full MMFF 2017 Awards list

Best Actress

Joanna Ampil – ANG LARAWAN

Best Actress Joanna Ampil (Candida)- LARAWAN; The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Actor

Derek Ramsay – ALL OF YOU

Tanduay endorser Derek Ramsay (ALL OF YOU) won Best Actor. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Picture

ANG LARAWAN

LARAWAN sings acceptance speech from left: Producer Girlie Rodis, Joanna Ampil (Candida), Rachel Alejandro (Paula), Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng), Dulce (Doña Upeng) and Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (Pepang). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

2nd Best Picture

SIARGAO

SIARGAO team from right: Jericho Rosales (Diego), Director / Producer Paul Soriano, Jasmine Curits Smith (Abi), Producer/ Editor Mark Victor, Supervising Producer RC Delos Reyes and Suzette Ranillo (Diego’s Mom), The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista (20)

3rd Best Picture

ALL OF YOU

ALL OF YOU team from right: Producer Atty Joji Alonzo, director Dan Villegas; The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

LARAWAN Cast from left: Bernardo Bernardo (Don Alvaro), Aicelle Santos (Violet), Paulo Avelino (Tony Javier) and Rachel Alejandro (Paula). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Special Jury Prize (tie)

ANG LARAWAN posthumously to Nick Joaquin

ANG PANDAY – Rodel Nacianceno

PANDAY’s Jake Cuenca; The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

People’s Choice Award

GANDARRAPIDDO: THE REVENGER SQUAD

Best Supporting Actress

Jasmine Curtis Smith – SIARGAO

Jasmine Curtis Smith of SIARGAO earned Best Supporting Actress nod. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista 

Best Supporting Actor

Edgar Allan Guzman – DEADMA WALKING

Edgar Allan Cruz is Best Supporting Actor-DEADMA WALKING. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

TANDUAY, one of the BEST and most awarded brands in the country, is also a long time supporter of the MMFF and Philippine cinema. (27)

Gatpuno Villegas Cultural Award

ANG LARAWAN

LARAWAN Cast Rayver Cruz (Charlie Dacanay) and Cara Manglapus (Patsy). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Director

Paul Soriano – SIARGAO

Paul Soriano of SIARGAO won Best Director; The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Child Performer

Baby Baste

Baeby Baste (Sebastian Benedict Granfon Arumpac) won Best Child Performer (MEANT TO BEH). He also charmed audiences by giving his acceptance speech completely in Cebuano. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista (30)

Children’s Choice

ANG PANDAY

(31)

Best Screenplay

Dan Villegas, Paul Sta. Ana, Carl Chavez and Melissa Mae Chua- ALL OF YOU

ALL OF YOU team from left: Director Dan Villegas, Atty Joji Alonzo and Screenwriter Carl Chavez show their 3rd Best Picture, Best Screenplay (Dan Villegas, Paul Sta. Ana, Carl Chavez and Melissa Mae Chua) awards. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Cinematography

Odyssey Flores, Gaps Abuero and Max Abasolo– SIARGAO

Best Sound

Jason Conanan, Mark Locsin, Mikko Quizon, Kathrine Ariane Salinas – SIARGAO

Best Editor

Mark Victor – SIARGAO

Producer / Editor Mark Victor picks up Best Editing award for SIARGAO. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista (33)

Best Looking Couple of the Night

Erich Gonzales – SIARGAO

Derek Ramsay – ALL OF YOU

Best Looking Couple of the Night: Erich Gonzales (SIARGAO) and Derek Ramsay (ALL OF YOU). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Production Design

Gino Gonzales – ANG LARAWAN

LARAWAN cast from left: Dulce (Doña Upeng), Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (Pepang), Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng), Exec. Producer Girlie Rodis, Joanna Ampil (Candida), Rachel Alejandro (Paula). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista (35)

Best Visual Effects

John David Hukom, Blackburst Team – ANG PANDAY

David Hukom and Blackburst Team took home Best Visual Effects award for PANDAY. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Original Theme Song

Alon by Hale – SIARGAO

Best Musical Score

Ryan Cayabyab – ANG LARAWAN

LARAWAN Cast from left: Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng), Director Loy Arceñas, Musical Director Ryan Cayabyab and Bernardo Bernardo (Don Alvaro). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Short Film People’s Choice Award

NOEL

Short Film People’s Choice winner NOEL by Win Gonzales of Go motion productions. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Short Film Best Picture

ANONG NANGYARI KAY NICANOR DANTE?

Short Film Best Picture winner ANONG NANGYARI KAY NICANOR DANTE? by Brian Spencer Reyes of EMJEI Films and Photographs. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Float

DEADMA WALKING

DEADMA WALKING co stars from left: Edgar Allan Cruz and Joross Gamboa. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista (40)

TANDUAY, one of the BEST and most awarded brands in the country, is also a long time supporter of the MMFF and Philippine cinema.

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Baeby Baste (Sebastian Benedict Granfon Arumpac) won Best Child Performer (MEANT TO BEH). He also charmed audiences by giving his acceptance speech completely in Cebuano. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

LARAWAN cast from left: Best Actress Joanna Ampil (Candida), Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng) and Rachel Alejandro (Paula). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Presenters Lance Raymudo and Regine Tolentino. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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DEADMA WALKING co stars from left: Edgar Allan Cruz and Joross Gamboa. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Nar Cabico (center) sang ALL OF YOU theme with Raflesia Bravo, Phi Palmos and Joshua Cabilados. The talented performers can be seen in HIMALA THE MUSICAL this Feb 2018 with LARAWAN cast member Aicelle Santos as lead star for Sandbox Collective. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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TANDUAY, one of the BEST and most awarded brands in the country, is also a long time supporter of the MMFF and Philippine cinema.

LARAWAN cast from left: Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng), Rachel Alejandro (Paula), Joanna Ampil (Candida), Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (Pepang) and Producer Alemberg Ang. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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standing from left: Jasmine Curtis Smith (Best Supporting Actress-SIARGAO), Derek Ramsay (Best Actor- ALL OF YOU), LARAWAN Team: Dulce, Menchu Lauchengco Yulo, Joanna Ampil (Best Actress), Rachel Alejandro, Celeste Legaspi, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, Bottom Row from left: ALL OF YOU Screenwriter Carl Chavez (Best Screenplay), Dan Vilegas (3rd Best Film) and Edgar Allan Cruz (Best Supporting Actor-DEADMA WALKING). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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