Metro film fest irony: Most awarded film still needs to win cinema operators’ nod
The producer of the gay-themed drama “Rainbow’s Sunset,” the best picture winner among the eight finalists in the ongoing Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), has appealed to cinema operators not to pull out the film from movie houses despite its reportedly poor box-office performance.
“It’s a known fact that there aren’t many moviegoers on weekdays and on Christmas Day because most of us are attending family reunions,” said Harlene Bautista of Heaven’s Best Entertainment.
“How can people watch (Rainbow’s Sunset) if it had been pulled out of cinemas on its second day?” she added, referring to the drop in the number of movie houses showing the movie.
From 59 cinemas on Christmas Day, the number dropped to 21 on Dec. 27.
“This is too painful to accept. It’s not as if people do not want to see (the movie). In fact, we’ve gotten inquiries from the provinces. It’s sad to deny (people) the opportunity to see a quality film,” Bautista said.
The producer said she was hoping that the awards reaped by “Rainbow’s Sunset” during the Gabi ng Parangal on Thursday night would pique the audience’s interest enough for them to demand the resumption of its screening in movie theaters.
‘Give us a chance’
“Give us a chance,” pleaded Joel Lamangan, who won his fourth MMFF best director trophy for megging the movie. “We shouldn’t be living for money alone, especially this Christmas season … Christmas has everything to do with enriching the soul, and the best way to do this is by appreciating art.”
He added: “I hope the screening of our film can be extended for a few more days. I’m sure people will finally have the time to watch it during the weekend. Do not deprive them of this opportunity just because you are concerned with money.”
As of Friday evening, however, cinema operators in different parts of the country have pledged 19 additional cinemas for the award-winning movie, starting today, Dec. 29, according to the film’s associate producer, Ferdy Lapuz.
Unofficial box office results placed Barry Gonzales’ comedy movie “Fantastica,” starring Vice Ganda, on the top spot. This was closely followed by Mike Tuviera’s comedy-adventure film “Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles,” which features Coco Martin, Vic Sotto and Maine Mendoza. A far third was Yam Laranas’ horror-thriller “Aurora,” with Anne Curtis in the title role.
But “Rainbow’s Sunset” won the most number of awards, with lead star Gloria Romero named best actress, an honor that was the best Christmas gift she has received, the actress said in her acceptance speech.
“I never expected that at 85, I would still get something like this,” Romero said during the awards ceremony held at The Theater in Solaire in Parañaque City.
The movie also won for Tony Mabesa and Aiko Melendez their best supporting actor and actress trophies, respectively. For their performances in the movie, Eddie Garcia and Max Collins both received special jury prizes.
Second best picture
“Rainbow’s Sunset” received the Gatpuno J. Villegas Cultural award as well, the best original theme song trophy for “Sa’yo Na,” the best screenplay award for Eric Ramos and the best production design honor.
“Aurora,” named second best picture, won the best child performer award for Phoebe Villamor, as well as the best cinematography, best sound design and best visual effects trophies.
Eric Quizon’s romantic drama “One Great Love” won third best picture this year, with screenplay writer Gina Marissa Tagasa reading the acceptance speech of its producer, Regal Entertainment matriarch Lily Monteverde.
Monteverde’s acceptance speech reminded everyone of the true objective of the MMFF: “It is to further the growth of the Philippine industry by producing quality movies with good stories,” she declared.
For his performance in “One Great Love,” Dennis Trillo beat Eddie Garcia, whom everybody thought would win the best actor plum. The movie, which also features Kim Chiu and JC de Vera, likewise bagged the best musical score trophy.
“Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles” received the Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award, and the best editing and best float honors.
The 44th MMFF will run until Jan. 7.
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