Derek Ramsay, Jennylyn Mercado, ‘Bonifacio’ share filmfest top honors
MANILA, Philippines–For his performance in the romantic comedy “English Only, Please,” Derek Ramsay pulled off a surprise win in the Best Actor category of the 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) against crowd favorites Coco Martin and Robin Padilla.
“I’d like to thank our brilliant director for his skilled leadership and the writers for coming up with an amazing script,” Ramsay, told the Inquirer in a text message.
Ramsay failed to attend the 40th Gabi ng Parangal held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City last Saturday.
Ramsay’s costar Jennylyn Mercado was chosen Best Actress.
“The outcome of this movie would not have been this good if not for the people who believed in me and pushed me to work harder,” she said.
Enzo Williams’ “Bonifacio,” the story of the Filipino nationalist and revolutionary leader, was the big winner, bringing home nine awards. These included, among others, Best Picture, Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award and Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award for Film Excellence. It also won the Youth Choice Award, as well as the Best Festival Float honor.
Padilla appealed to moviegoers to watch his film, “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo,” in a bid to recoup the biopic’s P250-million investment. He said it has earned only P10 million since the annual film fest began on Christmas Day.
“I hope that after reading about the results of the awards ceremony, people will all go to the cinemas to see it. Its producers hope to recover what they have invested… to finance yet another historical project, the life story of Gregorio del Pilar,” Padilla said during the ceremony.
Entertain, not insult
Carlo Mendoza was the winner of the Best Cinematography award, while Wild Sound got the Best Sound Engineer trophy. Von de Guzman bagged two trophies—Best Original Theme Song and Best Musical Score, all for “Bonifacio.”
The film “English Only, Please” won the 2nd Best Picture award, as well as the Best Director trophy for Dan Villegas.
“The challenge for us was how to make a film that will entertain and yet will not insult the intelligence of the Filipino audience,” said producer Joji Alonso of Quantum Films.
Villegas and Antoinette Jadaone won the Best Story award, while Jadaone shared the Best Screenplay honor with Anj Pressumal; Marya Ignacio received the Best Editing award.
Erik Matti’s horror-adventure film “Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2” was awarded 3rd Best Picture. It also won for Lotlot de Leon and Joey Marquez the Best Supporting Actress and Actor awards, respectively.
The Best Production Design trophy was given to Ericson Navarro, while Mothership, Inc. bagged the Best Visual Effects award. “Kubot” also won the Best Makeup honor.
Best Child Performer Ryzza Mae Dizon was the lone winner for the adventure trilogy “My Big Bossing’s Adventures” by Joyce Bernal, Marlon Rivera and Tony Reyes.
Other festival entries, such as Chito Rono’s “Feng Shui 2;” Francis “Jun” Posadas’ “Muslim Magnum .357;” Wenn Deramas’ “The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin;” and the horror trilogy “Shake, Rattle and Roll 15” (by Dondon Santos, Jerrold Tarog and Percy Intalan) failed to bring home any award.
Five full-length feature, five student short films, and five animated films competed under the New Wave category. This year’s New Wave Best Picture honor was given to “Magkakabaung” by Jason Paul Laxamana, who also won Best Director. Its lead star, Allen Dizon, was the recipient of the New Wave Best Actor award.
The New Wave Special Jury Prize was given to Zig Dulay’s “M: Mother’s Maiden Name.” The film also won for Zsa Zsa Padilla and Gloria Sevilla the New Wave Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress awards, respectively.
Kristoffer King was New Wave Best Supporting Actor winner for his work in Arlyn dela Cruz’s “Maratabat.” Asia Pacific Institute’s “Kalaw” was declared New Wave Short Film Special Jury Prize winner.
A commemorative award was given to Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito-Estrada and the late Guillermo de Vega for organizing the Metro Manila Film Festival in 1974. Metro Manila Development Authority chair Francis Tolentino was given a special citation for his work as festival head. Young actress Nadine Lustre was proclaimed Face of the Night.
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