2022 MMFF’s surprises and takeaways | Inquirer Entertainment

2022 MMFF’s surprises and takeaways

/ 12:30 AM January 04, 2023
Nadine Lustre STORY: 2022 MMFF’s surprises and takeaways

Nadine Lustre (Photo by ALLAN SANCON)

The viewing habits of Filipinos are definitely changing,” according to filmmaker Mikhail Red whose techno-horror film, titled “Deleter,” bagged the best picture trophy at the recent 48th Metro Manila Film Festival’s (MMFF) Gabi ng Parangal.

The film, which features Nadine Lustre as lead and which tackles the shadowy world of online content moderators, won seven awards, including best director for Red, during the ceremony held at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City.


“I am shocked. I still can’t understand what’s going on. I’m happy because genre cinema is suddenly very much alive. As an effect of the pandemic, the viewing habits of Filipinos have changed. This is largely because of streaming apps like Netflix. Also, it turned out that the Gen Z audience is our biggest market,” he told Inquirer Entertainment.

“This is totally unexpected. Traditionally, horror films don’t win first best picture at the MMFF, and it’s always on the third or fourth spot in the box-office race,” he pointed out. “I really hope that the recognition ‘Deleter’ has received will help boost the promotion of the movie.”


Red dedicated the award to what he referred to as “internet frontliners” or those who work as “cleaners of the internet.”

He explained: “I’ve long been intrigued and fascinated with their work. The fact that social media exploded made me ask, ‘Who censors everything? Who filters it? Someone has to do it.’ Through research and watching documentaries, I stumbled upon their secretive world. We seldom put a spotlight on them except through documentaries. I feel like with this fiction film, with its horror genre, more audience will be reached. Hopefully, this will spark debate and interest in people.”

Greatest reward

With the success of “Deleter,” Red said he and Viva Films (producer) have started brainstorming for their follow-up project. As for Red, his next will be a sports genre series, “much like ‘The Mighty Ducks.’ Wala munang patayan,” he declared.

Meanwhile, best actress award-winner Nadine Lustre dedicated her trophy to her boyfriend Christophe Bariou, who she said is very supportive of the project. “He would visit me on our set or would drive me there sometimes. He understands how tiring and taxing this is because it’s a horror movie. Usually, we would shoot late at night. He’s just there to support me and inspire me. He would always tell me to be in my 110 percent, even during days when I felt really frustrated.”

More than winning an award, Nadine said her “greatest reward” was the fact that the Filipino audience loved “Deleter.” She added: “The award is simply a bonus. I’m proud of the movie. We have put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I’m happy to have been part of this project.”

Ian Veneracion

Ian Veneracion

She then likened her 2022 to an exciting roller-coaster ride. “A lot has happened to me this year, but all good things. I can say that 2022 is a year of growth for me in terms of my craft and personality,” she said.

Ian Veneracion, who has been part of the industry for 40 years now, bagged his first best actor award for his performance in Shugo Praico’s “Nanahimik ang Gabi.” He noted that “the movie may be fictional but it has so many layers of truth underneath.”


Ian then thanked his costars Heaven Peralejo and Mon Confiado, “with whom I was able to form a unique partnership. It’s like we’re in a dance. It felt really good sharing the floor with them,” he said.

Good news

Just like Ian, who said winning the award came as a surprise, “Family Matters” director Nuel Naval said he also didn’t expect the good performance of the dramatic film in terms of ticket sales. The film reportedly placed fourth on the box-office race on Christmas Day.

“This is good news considering the fact that we have no superstars in our film. I hope this will give way to character actors, who are really talented, to share the limelight with the stars. I also hope they will be given good projects. That’s one of my goals when I decided to fight for the actors in my cast,” Nuel told Inquirer Entertainment shortly before the awards ceremony.


Mikhail Red (Photo by ALLAN SANCON)

Nuel later walked out of the event venue after the winner of the best supporting actress category was announced. He was visibly disappointed that none of the film’s actresses, particularly Agot Isidro, Mylene Dizon, and Nikki Valdez, were nominated. Liza Lorena, who is lead actress in the movie, also failed to get a nomination.

“They all deserve to be nominated, especially Liza Lorena. She’s a natural. That’s also what I liked about my ensemble cast. For me, acting is no acting,” he explained.

On Wednesday, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), festival organizer, announced that a Special Jury Prize for ensemble acting was given to Lester Dimaranan’s action film, “Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told.”

MMDA chief Don Artes predicted a P500-million gross this year. He is also confident that the films that won awards can expect a higher gross and more screening slots in cinemas nationwide. The 2022 MMFF will run until Jan. 7.


Thriller ‘Deleter’ bags 7 MMFF trophies

MMFF Parade of Stars restores semblance of normalcy

LOOK: Celebrities who attended the 48th MMFF Gabi ng Parangal

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