The last few days have indeed been a roller coaster ride for the cast and crew of “Ang Larawan.” Two days into its opening in the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) on Christmas Day, the musical movie adaptation of Nick Joaquin’s “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino” was pulled out of more than 25 theaters nationwide, with consent from its producers, due to under whelming audience turn out.
MMFF 2017 spokesperson Noel Ferrer said on Tuesday in an interview on DZMM that the decision was made after first day box office reports. He related how Larawan’s producers had met with cinema and mall owners and conceded that the movie had little pull in some areas. An agreement was made between both parties, however, screening will resume by January 1.
Come Wednesday, the producers shared the good news that while it is true that Larawan lost some cinemas, a number of locations were “slowly” screening the movie again.
“All thanks to the people who continue to clamor for our film. Your words of encouragement and positive reviews have helped drive more audiences to the cinemas. We are overwhelmed by your love and we continue to hope that more Filipinos will get a chance to watch Ang Larawan,” the producers posted on the movie’s Facebook page.
Finally by night fall the same day, Larawan swept several major awards at MMFF’s Gabi ng Parangal at the Kia Theater, including Best Picture, Best Musical Score (Ryan Cayabyab), Best Production Design (Gino Gonzales), the Gat Puno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award, and a Posthumous Special Jury Prize for Nick Joaquin. Moreover, international musical theatre actress Joanna Ampil who portayed the role of Candida Marasigan won the Best Actress.
“I am ecstatic, of course. Ang daming nagru-root sa amin. I was feeling a bit pressured also because people were so forthcoming with their compliments, with regards to my performance. So medyo napi-pressure din ako. But we got the awards, that’s something,” Ampil said during an interview with morning show “Umagang Kay Ganda” on Thursday.
Besides Ampil, Ang Larawan stars Rachel Alejandro, Paulo Avelino, Robert Arevalo, Nonie Buencamino, and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo with direction from Loy Arcenas, music from Ryan Cayabyab and lyrics from Rolando Tinio.