Best Director Mendoza laments pullout of `Thy Womb’ from some theaters



MANILA, Philippines–“I hope this award will get more people curious about the movie. This way, we don’t get pulled out of the cinemas,” said Brillante Ma Mendoza, winner of the best director honor for “Thy Womb,” an entry to the ongoing 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

Mendoza was reacting to the decision of a number of theater-owners to pull out his movie due to poor box-office returns. The film, which already won various awards for Mendoza and lead actress Nora Aunor in film festivals abroad, stood last in the box-office rankings and was the only film that failed to reach the P1-million mark when the MMFF opened on Christmas Day.

“Thy Womb,” which tells the story of a Badjao midwife wishing to have a child of her own, also won for Aunor the best festival actress award.

“I always tell people that as a singer, I continue to sing even if only five people are listening, As an actor, I promise to keep making meaningful films, even if I have to produce them myself, as long as there are even a few people watching,” Aunor said in Filipino during her acceptance speech at the awards ceremony held at the Meralco Theater in Pasig City on Thursday night.

“Thy Womb” also bagged the Gatpuno Villegas Memorial and the Most Gender-Sensitive Film awards. It likewise brought home the trophies for best production design for Mendoza, best cinematography for Odyssey Flores and best story for Henry Burgos.

“I wish to see changes, even for just a little, in the way we Filipinos tell our stories,” said Burgos. “Let’s continue to support movies that aim to teach and enlighten us.”

In a statement sent to the Inquirer on Friday, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Francis Tolentino and MMFF executive chair Jesse Ejercito said “the assignment of theaters to the eight official entries (was) done fairly.”

They explained that in Metro Manila, theater assignments were determined by drawing lots. However, in the provinces “it’s up to the theater-owners to decide” which films to show.

The MMDA is the organizer of the annual fete.

Emilio Aguinaldo bioepic film “El Presidente”  won the most number of awards that night, starting off with second best picture.

“For me, to be nominated for an award is already a big deal,” said its director Mark Meily. “Everyone knows I wasn’t the first choice to direct and write this project. I’m grateful to those who turned it down, if not for them I wouldn’t be part of this film.”

Cesar Montano, who plays Andres Bonifacio in the movie, copped the best supporting actor trophy. Jamir Garcia and won the best theme song award while Jesse Lasaten bagged the best musical score honor.

This film likewise bagged the best float and the Youth Choice awards. The best make-up award was bestowed upon Warren Munar, Benny Batoctoy and Virginia Apolinario. The best sound trophy was handed to Albert Michael Idioma.

The Ruel Bayani drama “One More Try” won for Dingdong Dantes his second best festival actor award. Last year, his performance in another Star Cinema production, titled “Segunda Mano,” earned for him the same honor.

The film, which also features Angel Locsin and Angelica Panganiban, was heralded this year’s best picture. It also won the trophies for best editing for Vito Kahili and best screenplay for Anna Karenina Ramos, Kriz Gazmen and Jay Fernando.

“One More Try” was also the recipient of the first Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award. It likewise won for Miguel Vergara the best child performer award.

The Wenn Deramas comedy “Sisterakas” was heralded third best picture this year. Wilma Doesnt bagged the best supporting actress award for her performance in this movie that features Ai-Ai delas Alas, Vice Ganda and Kris Aquino in the lead roles.

“Sisterakas” topped this year’s box-office race, earning P39.1 million on its first screening day. It was closely followed by Tony Y. Reyes’ “Si Agimat, Si Enteng at Si Ako,” which earned P29.4 million. The fantasy-adventure flick failed to win any award this year.

However, the Chito Roño horror film “Shake Rattle and Roll 14: The Invasion” took one home—the best visual effects award for Imaginary Friends and Black Burst.

The Most Gender Sensitive Film award was also given to Will Fredo’s “In Nomine Matris” under the New Wave category and Roberto Pagotan’s “Manibela” under Shorts.

This year’s New Wave best actor is Alan Paule for his performance in Ronaldo Bertubin’s “Gayak,” while Liza Dino was heralded New Wave best actress for “In Nomine Matris.”

The winner of the New Wave best director is Tyrone Acierto for his work on “The Grave Bandits.” The Special Jury Prize was handed to Armando “Bing” Lao for “Ad Ignorantiam.”

The winners of best shorts are “Promdi” and “Monthsary” for Luzon; “License to Drive” for Visayas; “Bulgaran sa Daan” and “The Boy the Girl and the Traffic Light” for Mindanao.

The winners of special prizes are the following: Former president Joseph Estrada and Aunor, Male and Female Stars of the Night; Zanjoe Marudo and Bianca King, SMDC Male and Female Celebrity of the night.

The 2012 MMFF ends on Jan. 8.

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  • adscity_info

    Suggestion ko lang kay Nora Aunor, gumawa sya ng horror movie next MMFF. Baka sakaling tangkilikin ng tao. Or pwede ring comedy – Si Agimat, Si Enteng at si Guy.


    The MMFF is a part of the annual film festival in Metro Manila that is being held on the occasion of Christmas. On this occasion, Pinoys go to have fun out of home. Going for leisure such as eating, windows shopping, park and watch movies.
    I agree with Mr. Boy Dalius, nobody can dictates what is pleasurable for them to watch such movies. It does not mean that the film, actors & actresses got various awards from film festival abroad that would be patronized? No way…

    Film producers & directors do films w/c are having elegance, taste or refinement in manners to incite moviegoers…  

    • JanofVA

       EXACTLY…posters here need to get a life if they think you’re supposed to learn a lesson or get moral lessons from movies…it’s ENTERTAINMENT….it’s supposed to be funny…a break away from the everyday doldrums of life…

      • B88C

        janofva, Hindi lahat ng tao kasing babaw mo. So, you will not watch Les Miserables the MOVIE kasi it is not funny and it should not have been made a movie and you will not be entertained by it??? nganga

  • tekateka

    FILIPINOS ARE JUST PLAIN DUMB… 99% are proud to be Dumb!

    • JanofVA

      Yeah, that’s why the movie DUMB and DUMBER from Hollywood made a lot of money…because the rest of the world are so smart…’s’s not suppose to be smart, it’s supposed to be entertaining…get real…

      • tekateka

        Exactly… you don’t make any sense…

      • B88C

        If you would go check the 100 top grossing films of all time in the US, there is not  even 1 slapstick movie on it. (No Jim Carrey movie) In the Philippines, our highest grossing film of all time is a gay slapstick movie. We are a happy and gay nation!

      • Shai

        You are really DUMB and STUPID !!! Kawawa talaga ang bayan ko…mga katulad mo ang nakakarami… kitang-kita sa mga pelikulang pinanonood at mga politikong ibinoboto.

  • Jake Lopez

    Mas gusto ng masang Pilipino yung mga pelikulang nakakabobo. I guess the movies and TV should be more responsible in changing our culture as the mass media appear to be the greatest influencing force. Mass media should lead and be pro-active, instead of being reactive and producing shows based on Pinoy’s current tastes (or distaste).

    • JanofVA

       It’s called ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY for a reason…it is suppose to be light and entertaining…a break away from everyday life so people can forget their problems just for one day….movies are not supposed to teach you a lesson or give  you moral values…that’s what school and church are for….get real…

      • ricardo ricafort

        this person is a clear example of what tekateka is saying…sic.

      • Esttie Radam

         to the dogs where we are heading to with that kind of remarks by JanofVA ….. you can be entertained without insulting your brain.. that is if you have one….

      • dummy person

        “movies are not supposed to teach you a lesson or give  you moral values…that’s what school and church are for….get real” The most stupid thing I’ve ever read kudos to you,  and WTF you relate fun with Entertainment Industry because it has a word “entertainment” in it? complete idiot!

      • B88C

        “Thy Womb” completely entertained me. Watching a culture i’ve never known all my life and so different from mine made me forget my cares for an hour and a half. The last 5 minutes of the film, watching Nora Aunor at work is actually worth more than 200 pesos. I consider Thy Womb one the greatest love stories ever told.

  • JanofVA

    That’s how it is…most Oscar Award winning movies do not do well in the Box Office…so you either put together a movie that makes money but do not win any awards or you make a movie that wins awards but does not do well in the box office….that’s a choice producers or directors have to make.

    • B88C

      Not really. In the USA, films that did not do well in the box office start selling as dvds once they win an Oscar. In the MMFF, it is the shiiitty films that also win best picture kaya talong-talo ang quality films.

  • mynnyx

    kawawang nora aunor……best actress nga eh nilalangaw naman pala ang movie…….sisihin dyan si pinoy condom……………kasi masyadong nang corrupted ang isip ng tao……..mga kabaklaan at kahalayan ng gustong panoorin.

    • B88C

      What have you been taking?

  • Melissa Lumaban

    before everyone forgets, Thy Womb is an indie movie. and indie movies don’t cost much in terms of production. swerte na kung makakuha sila ng 1M production cost. kaya hindi masasabing nalugi ang pelikula kung after 3-4 days ay may 6.9M earnings na ito. it may not be earning as much as the other films, but let’s face it, the critical success of Thy Womb internationally is making all of us Pinoys proud. 

  • kilabot

    snubbing “thy womb” shows that ph moviegoers are not international-caliber in taste. up to now still ignorant, immature and illiterate. just like ph electorates. 
    it figures, ph is servant of the world.

    • kalikasanipagtanggol

      It shows when they patronize movies(snubbing movies with values) and who they vote in election………

  • Platypus09

    This is due to poor promotion among BAKYA talk shows and talk show hosts of world-class movies like Thy Womb.

    Living a good life is not all laughter and kabakyaan, but improving our lives by making quality
    movies our inspiration and by embracing other cultures within our society.

    Bakya movies should never be included in this annual film festival to give all quality movies be seen and embraced by all film watchers. There has to be criteria to follow on what quality
    of movies be accepted.

    If the purpose of this MMFF is to promote kabakyaan movies, I guess this is the way to go.

    I would have to give them a booooo and no respect to this film festival for promoting all of the bakya movies with bakya actors and actresses.

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