THIS year’s highest-grossing movies failed to get the critics’ nod during the 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) awards night on Saturday at the Philippine International Convention Center.
The MMFF festival opened on December 25.
Festival Chairperson Francis Tolentino reported that Vice Ganda’s The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin, Kris Aquino’s Feng Shui 2 and Vic Sotto’s My Big Bossing were the biggest box office.
But at the MMFF awards night, it was the less commercially viable films that reaped recognition from festival jurors and critics.
The historical biopic Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo garnered most awards, winning nine trophies including Best Picture, Best Theme Song, Best Float, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Engineering, and Best Musical Score.
Last year, another Robin Padilla starrer, 10,000 Hours, won major honors at the filmfest. This time, it was Bonifacio’s turn to shine, taking the FPJ Memorial Award for Excellence as well as the Youth Choice Film Awards and Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Awards.
Upon receiving the FPJ Memorial Awards, Padilla thanked Tolentino and acknowledged the presence of two veteran actors—Eddie Garcia and Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada—whom he credited for raising the quality of Filipino films through their dedication to their craft.
He also cited Fernando Poe Jr. as the modern Andres Bonifacio. “Si FPJ ang Andres Bonifacio ng panahong ito. Naniniwala ako na gagawing pelikula ang istorya ni FPJ balang araw. Hindi man ako ang bida, si Daniel Padilla ang gaganap,” Padilla said, earning laughs from the audience. Daniel, a young actor on the rise, is his nephew.
Another winner was the Dan Villegas romantic-comedy English Only Please starring Jennylyn Mercado and Derek Ramsay, who won Best Actress and Actor, respectively.
Other awards won by the festival’s only rom-com were 2nd Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Original Story, and Best Editor.
Ramsay was not present to accept the award, so his co-star went up the stage twice to accept their awards.
The 3rd Best Picture and another winner for the night was Erik Matti’s sequel, Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2, which stars Dingdong Dantes. The film also won Best Supporting Actress (Lotlot de Leon), Best Supporting Actor (Joey Marquez), Best Make-Up Artist, Best Visual Effects and Best Production Design honors.
Shut out of the awards were ER Ejercito’s Magnum Muslim .357 did not get any award, as well as Feng Shui 2, Shake Rattle and Roll 14 and The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin.
Ryzza Mae Dizon won as Best Child Performer for her role in My Big Bossing.