Best director is Erik Matti for “Seklusyon”. He also won last year for “Honor Thy Father”. “Seklusyon” won a total of 8 awards, including best screenplay and it took home most of the technical awards, including best cinematography, production design, sound design and best theme song for “Domini Miserere”. It also won a special jury prize for child actress Rhed Bustamante who really ran circles around the other members of the movie’s cast and who’ll never see her own performance in “Seklusyon” because its rating is R-13, meaning kids like her are not allowed to watch it.
“Saving Sally” won the best musical score award.
For the special awards, “Die Beautiful” won the best float award and my favorite movie or audience award. “Oro” won the best ensemble acting award and the FPJ Memorial Award for Excellence. The Children’s Choice awards went to “Saving Sally”, “Sunday Beauty Queen” and “Vince & Kath & James”.
In the acting categories, Christian Bables won as best supporting actor as the loyal best friend of Paolo Ballesteros in “Die Beautiful” while Phoebe Walker won as best supporting actress as the nun with a big diabolical secret in “Seklusyon”. Both of them are newcomers. Christian became very emotional in his acceptance speech, crying unabashedly as he thanked Rahyan Carlos’ Star Magic workshops that honed his acting and his own mom who obviously was against his being an actor. Phoebe
was at the backstage when her name was called as she’ll be performing next in a dance number. She was more composed and didn’t forget to thank God, who she was fighting against in the movie.
The best actor award went to Paolo Ballesteros as the transgender Trisha Echevarria of the Bahamas in “Die Beautiful”, but he was not there to personally accept his prize. Director Jun Lana got his trophy for him and said Paolo is sick.
The best actress award went to Irma Adlawan as the helpless barangay captain in a mining island where a massacre happens in “Oro”. Irma was present and thanked the MMFF execom and
screening committee for bringing change to the festival, then she called the real person she portrayed in the movie, Kapitana Mercy Sueno, who thanked the producers for filming the tragedy that happened in their barangay.
Will the trophies won by “Oro”, “Saving Sally” and “Sunday Beauty Queens” help to attract more crowds to these filmfest entries that are cellar dwellers? That remains to be seen but let’s keep our fingers crossed for them.