Last year’s box office surprise Heneral Luna won big in this year’s FAP (Film Academy of the Philippines) Luna Awards.
The movie swept Best Picture, Best Director for Jerrold Tarog and Best Actor for John Arcilla—this time, hardly a surprise for local movie denizens and aficionados.
Earning more than P200 million in its run due largely to word-of-mouth promotion and social media, the historical movie was a breath of fresh air for an industry bombarded with melodramas and slapstick comedies for so long.
Heneral Luna is General Antonio Luna’s biopic set against the Filipino-American War; the film shows how it is believed he was assassinated by Emilio Aguinaldo’s men.
Incidentally, the FAP Awards is not only named after the “moon”—“luna” in Spanish—but General Luna’s brother, the great painter Juan Luna as well.
Besides seizing the major categories, the independent film project also won Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Editing, Best Musical Scoring and Best Sound.
Meanwhile, Bea Alonzo was named Best Actress for The Love Affair produced by Star Cinema, the movie arm of her home studio ABS-CBN.
Vilma Santos was given the Golden Reel Award, while Jaclyn Jose received a Plaque of Recognition for her Cannes Film Festival win as Best Actress for Brilliante Mendoza’s Ma’Rosa.
The roundup of the 34th Luna Awards are as follows: Best Picture – Heneral Luna (Artikulo Uno); Best Director – Jerrold Tarog (Heneral Luna); Best Screenplay – Henry Francia, E. A. Rocha and Jerrold Tarog (Heneral Luna); Best Actor – John Arcilla (Heneral Luna); Best Actress – Bea Alonzo (The Love Affair); Best Supporting Actor – Nonie Buencamino (Heneral Luna); Best Supporting Actress – Ana Abad Santos (Apocalypse Child); Best Cinematography – Pong Ignacio (Heneral Luna); Best Production Design – Benjamin Padero and Carlo Tabije (Heneral Luna); Best Editing – Jerrold Tarog (Heneral Luna); Best Sound – Mikko Quizon (Heneral Luna); Best Musical Scoring – Jerrold Tarog (Heneral Luna); Golden Reel Award – Vilma Santos; Plaque of Recognition – Jaclyn Jose; Fernando Poe Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award – Emmanuel Borlaza; Manuel De Leon for Exemplary Achievements – Herminio “Butch” Bautista; Lamberto Avellana Memorial Award – Azucena “Nena” Vera Perez.
The 2016 Luna Awards were held in a low-key event on September 18 at the Quezon City Sports Club.