Newbies steal acting vets’ thunder at QCinema

Scene from best picture winner “Balangiga”

Mikhail Red’s “Neomanila,” Audience Choice Award—PHOTOS BY ALEC CORPUZ

Filmmaker Khavn dela Cruz, whose controversial entry in the 2017 QCinema International Film Festival bagged the best picture trophy at the awards ceremony on Thursday night, said he was willing to compromise with the local ratings board “just so the film would be seen by as many kids as possible.”

Dela Cruz earlier accused QCinema organizers of changing the rating of his film, “Balangiga: Howling Wilderness,” from General Patronage (GP) to R-13 without “due process.”

In a statement, QCinema said that the festival deemed it necessary to change the rating “due to the film’s mature theme and several scenes depicting nudity, violence, gore and frequent use of expletives.”

Too tired

“We already gave up [the fight] last night. We’re filmmakers. We haven’t had enough sleep in days and are too tired to still deal with this kind of politics—if that’s what we can call it,” Dela Cruz told the Inquirer shortly after the awards ceremony held at the Novotel Hotel Araneta Center in Quezon City.

“During its commercial run, we will do our best to cooperate with the MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board) for the film to get a GP rating, or if not, a PG (Parental Guidance),” Dela Cruz declared.

“I made this film for kids. I want the Waray kids, my children and their classmates to see it. If the child psychologist says this is too much—if the preschool teacher thinks the same—then I’m willing to compromise,” the director added.

“Balangiga,” an elegy to the tragic history of the Philippines as seen through the eyes of 8-year-old Kulas, also won for Dela Cruz the best director award.

Khavn dela Cruz, best director

The film also copped best actor and best supporting actor trophies for Justine Samson and Pio del Rio, respectively.


Jally Nae Gilbaliga was hailed best actress for her performance in James Robin Mayo’s “The Chanters,” which shows how love bridges the generational gap within a family.

Meanwhile, Sheenly Gener won best supporting actress for “Dormitoryo.”

QCinema also honored the international films included this year with four special awards: Naoko Ogigami’s “Close-Knit,” Rainbow QC best picture award; Eliza Hittman’s “Beach Rats,” Rainbow QC jury prize; Mouly Surya’s “Marlina the Murderer in

Four Acts,” Asian Next Wave best film; and Kiki Sugino’s “Snow Woman,” Asian Next Wave jury prize.

Other winners

QCinema audience choice award: “Kun’ di Man” by Phyllis Grande

Kiki Sugino’s “Snow Woman,” Asian Next Wave Jury Prize winner

Circle competition: “Neomanila” by Mikhail Red

Gender sensitivity award: “Dormitoryo (Mga Walang Katapusang Kwarto)”

Best screenplay: Adrian Legaspi, John Bedia (“The Chanters”)

Best artistic achievement (Cinematography): Mycko David (“Neomanila”)

Netpac jury prize (QC Shorts): “Gikan sa Ngitngit Nga Kinailadman” by Kiri Dalena

Best film (QC shorts): “Babylon” by Keith Deligero

Netpac jury prize (Circle Competition): “Dapol Tan Payawar Na Tayug 1931 (The Ashes and Ghosts of Tayug 1931)” by Christopher Gozum.


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