‘Fan Girl’ rules Metro film fest, loses to online piracy | Inquirer Entertainment
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‘Fan Girl’ rules Metro film fest, loses to online piracy

/ 05:32 AM December 29, 2020

RUNAWAY WINNER “Fan Girl” sizzles with most of the awards in Sunday night’s virtual edition of the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival, including best actor for
Paulo Avelino, best actress for costar Charlie Dizon, best director for Antoinette Jadaone (inset), and best picture. —SCREENGRAB

Antoinette Jadaone’s “Fan Girl,” a film about an obsessed teenage girl who spent an unforgettable night with her idol, was declared winner of nine awards, including best picture, during the virtual edition of the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival’s (MMFF) “Gabi ng Parangal” on Sunday night.

While the film won most of the awards, it was also the most affected by online piracy, Jadaone said during a media conference on Monday afternoon.

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“We are talking with the producers of the nine other film fest entries, as well as the organizers of the MMFF and Upstream (the festival’s official livestreaming partner). This week, we will be very busy with the filing of criminal cases against these pirates,” she said.

“There will be ‘real’ consequences for these online pirates and those who will patronize them,” she added.

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Dolly Dulu’s romantic-comedy “The Boy Foretold by the Stars” placed second in the best picture award, while McArthur Alejandre’s dramatic piece “Tagpuan” was third.

Jadaone, who bagged the best director and best screenplay awards, coproduced “Fan Girl” under Project 8 San Joaquin with Epicmedia, Black Sheep Productions, Globe Studios and Crossword Productions.

The film premiered at the 2020 Tokyo International Film Festival in Japan and competed at the 2020 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia.

Film collaboration

In her speech, Jadaone thanked the people who collaborated with her on the project. “A director is only as good as the people who worked behind the camera with her,” she said.

“I hope that after we’ve all seen ‘Fan Girl,’ we will remember to raise our children in a Philippines that is liberal; we will remember to leave our youth with a country that is worth their love and care,” she added.

Paulo Avelino, who plays the celebrity in “Fan Girl,” won the best actor award, while his costar, newcomer Charlie Dizon, snatched the best actress trophy from her more experienced opponents, namely Nora Aunor (“Isa Pang Bahaghari”), Sylvia Sanchez (“Coming Home”), Iza Calzado (“Tagpuan”), and Ritz Azul (“The Missing”).

“I used to just dream of being an actress. I never thought I’d get this far. I hope my parents are proud of me,” Dizon said.

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“I know that life is difficult for most of us these days. I pray that things would get better soon. Let’s just hang in there. I’m sure that in the near future, better days will be upon us; that our lives will improve,” Avelino said in his “thank you” note.

“Fan Girl” also won the best cinematography honor for Neil Daza, best editing for Benjamin Tolentino, and best sound for Vincent Villa.

Other winners

“Tagpuan” won for Shaina Magdayao the award for best actress in a supporting role, while Michael de Mesa copped the best actor in a supporting role for his performance in Joel Lamangan’s drama “Isa Pang Bahaghari.”

Japanese child actor Seiyo Masunaga was declared best child actor for his work in Easy Ferrer’s horror-thriller “The Missing.”

“Tagpuan” lead actor Alfred Vargas, who also produced the film under his Alternative Vision Cinema, said: “Ours is but a small company but we plan to keep making worthwhile films because we believe that cinema and entertainment are art forms that contribute to a nation’s identity.”

Vargas, who is also Quezon City’s fifth district representative, called on young and aspiring filmmakers to collaborate with him.

“A film is a reflection of the times. This 2020 has been a struggle with the pandemic; because of this, we want to continue to produce films that will touch the hearts of Filipinos. AV Cinema is open to all. I hope to work with you soon,” he said.

Christian Acuna’s “Magikland” won the awards for best production design for Ericson Navarro; best visual effects for Richard Francia and Ryan Grimarez (Central Digital Lab); and best musical score for Emerzon Texon.

“Ulan,” written by Jhay Cura and Pau Protacio for “Boy Foretold by the Stars,” was declared best original theme song.

Also participating in the two-week-long festival are comedy films by Al Tantay, titled “Pakboys: Takusa,” and Topel Lee, titled “Mang Kepweng: Ang Lihim ng Bandanang Itim.”

Special awards

Special awards were handed out during the virtual ceremony that was streamed on Facebook and YouTube on Sunday night.

The GatPuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award went to “Suarez: The Healing Priest”; Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award to “Magikland”; Manay Ichu Vera Perez Memorial Award to Gloria Romero; Gender Sensitivity Award to “The Boy Foretold by the Stars”; and Special Jury Prize to the late filmmaker Peque Gallaga, who was coproducer of “Magikland.”

Winners of the best float awards are “Magikland” (first place), “Isa Pang Bahaghari” (second), and “Fan Girl” (third).

This year’s winner of the best student short film honor is “Paano Maging Babae” by students of De La Salle College of St. Benilde.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s edition of the MMFF features 10 entries that are streamed exclusively via upstream.ph for P250. The festival will run until Jan. 7, 2021.

Jadaone pointed out that even as the country battled the pandemic, pirates continued to find ways to record films without permission.

“Anyone can screen grab and record through Upstream just like in Netflix. Piracy is always illegal. It’s bad, but its worse when it’s happening during the pandemic. Now that we are hanging on for dear life, all the more we are being stepped on,” she said.

Producers, Jadaone said, had been teaming up to fight piracy. “We’ve always spoken against it but it’s now time that we take serious actions to help curb it,” she said.

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