Why Cinemalaya win ‘a big deal’ for Dolly de Leon | Inquirer Entertainment

Why Cinemalaya win ‘a big deal’ for Dolly de Leon

/ 12:20 AM August 16, 2023

Dolly de Leon (second from left) with the cast of “Ang Duyan ng Magiting”

Dolly de Leon (second from left) with the cast of “Ang Duyan ng Magiting”

It felt so good,” said Dolly de Leon, who, after personally accepting trophies she has won in different parts of the globe, admitted that it was her first time ever on Sunday night to ascend a local stage for an award. Dolly bagged the best supporting actress honor for Carl Joseph Papa’s “Iti Mapukpukaw” at the recently concluded 19th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.

She has already brought home five trophies for her performance in Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s “Triangle of Sadness” from award-giving bodies in Sweden, Portugal and the United States.


“It’s my first time delivering a speech in front of a local audience while accepting an award. I’ve won [in 2020], but the trophy was just delivered to my house,” Dolly said of her best supporting actress recognition for Raymund Ribay Gutierrez’s “Verdict” from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences.


“I have not had this experience before. I’m so happy, especially because Cinemalaya is a big deal to me,” added Dolly, who also appeared in another full-length finalist, Dustin Celestino’s “Ang Duyan ng Magiting.”

In “Iti Mapukpukaw,” Dolly plays a mother to a mute portrayed by Carlo Aquino. “The message of the film is that if you have been dealing with trauma for quite a while now, it’s OK, you have someone who will listen to you; and if you are too afraid to talk, that’s OK, too. We will give you all the space to heal. Just know that we’re here for you,” she pointed out.

Meanwhile, Mikoy Morales was heralded best actor for his performance in Gian Arre’s “Tether.” Mikoy said he felt “shocked” upon hearing the good news. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m just on ‘function mode’ right now until I get home, where I imagine I’ll most likely break down,” he told Inquirer Entertainment after the awards show held at Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Sunday night. “This community really means a lot to me. My first film ever was also a Cinemalaya finalist [Adolfo Alix Jr’s ‘4 Days’]. Almost a decade later, this happened. It’s too much for me right now.”

Bon Andrew Lentejas, best supporting actor for “Huling Palabas”

Bon Andrew Lentejas, best supporting actor for “Huling Palabas”

Talking about what he hoped the audience would learn from the experience of James, his character in “Tether,” Mikoy said: “Be aware of toxic relationships. It’s hard to distinguish one when you’re in it. ‘Tether’ is also based on the concept of empathy, which is important in order to get to know your partner. Also, you have to be sensitive enough so you won’t end up hurting each other.”

Newcomer Pat Tingjuy won best actress for Samantha Lee’s “Rookie,” which follows the queer romance between two volleyball stars, her character Ace and Aya Fernandez’s Jana.

Just like Mikoy, Pat said, “I still can’t believe that this happened to me. To think that I haven’t gotten used to the fact that I played Ace. I hope to continue acting. Sayang naman since I’m already here.”



Pat said she felt thrilled to have witnessed the support that the LGBTQIA+ community gave to the project. “I guess they all felt and understood what the two characters are going through. I’m happy that they’ve embraced the movie. For people who are like Ace, just accept yourself for who you are and be brave. It’s as simple as that,” she said.

Bon Andrew Lentajan is this year’s best supporting actor for Ryan Machado’s “Huling Palabas.” The movie also bagged the best director prize for Machado.

Bon, who grew up in Bulacan, said it was a challenge for him to speak Bisaya for the movie, which was shot entirely in Romblon.

“It was really all about how to deliver my lines naturally. I also had to deliver it in a specific tone. We had to make sure to do it right because whatever error we commit would reflect on the image of Romblon,” he pointed out. “We studied the language for two to three weeks. While we had a language coach on the set, we also tried to talk with the locals in Bisaya.”

Director Carl Joseph Papa (center) accepts best picture award for “Iti Mapukpukaw.”

Director Carl Joseph Papa (center) accepts best picture award for “Iti Mapukpukaw.”

Bon dedicated his award to fellow actor JM Canlas, who passed away a few days before the festival concluded. “We attended acting workshops together. We also saw each other at auditions. His brother, Jerom, is part of the movie as the assistant director. His other brother, Elijah, as well as their parents, also helped when we were raising funds for this film,” said Bon.

Meanwhile, Carl described the best picture victory of “Iti Mapukpukaw” as “bittersweet.” The film, which is Cinemalaya’s first animated full-length feature, also won the Netpac (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award.

“I’m happy because any form of recognition is a validation of the work of everyone in the production team. The experience is quite bittersweet because, in a perfect world, this kind of story wouldn’t exist. But here we are, convinced that this story needs to be told. Hopefully, Cinemalaya will become a vehicle to get its message across,” he said.

A showcase

“I’m happy for the animation team. We rarely get to see original animated content from the Philippines, so this is a showcase for them. This shows that there are good animators here who could also do Filipino stories,” he declared.

“Ang Duyan ng Magiting” won the award for best ensemble, as well as the Special Jury Prize. “Tether” was also awarded best sound design for Gian Arre.

Mikoy Morales, best actor for “Tether”

Mikoy Morales, best actor for “Tether”

Kevin Mayuga’s “When This is All Over” won the best original music score for Kindred Music Productions, best production design for Kaye Banaag, and best cinematography for Martika Escobar.

“Gitling” won best screenplay for Jopy Arnaldo, while “Rookie” won best editing for Ilsa Malsi, as well as the Audience Choice award.

Kim Timan and Sam Villareal’s “Hm Hm Mhm” won the Special Jury Prize for short feature, while Mike Cabarles copped the best director for the short film “Makoko sa Baybay.”

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Januar Yap’s “Sibuyas ni Perfecto” is this year’s best short film, while “Hinakdal” won the Netpac Award for shorts, as well as best screenplay for Arvin Belarmino and Kyla Romero. INQ

Pat Tingjuy, best actress for“Rookie”

Pat Tingjuy, best actress for “Rookie”

TAGS: Cinemalaya, Entertainment

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