Paul Soriano’s win as Best Director for “Siargao” in the 43rd Metro Manila Film Festival held at the Kia Theater in Cubao, Quezon City has opened the floodgates to mainstream moviemaking, so to speak. It is his first MMFF entry in his entire career.
Expressing his gratitude to the staff, crew and cast of his opus which was awarded 2nd Best Picture, the young director—known for “A Journey Home” (2009), “Thelma” (2011), “Kid Kulafu” (2015) and “Dukot” (2016) which were produced by his own company, Ten17P—said that he wanted to continue making films, whether indie or mainstream.
Asked if he’s now ready to involve wife Toni Gonzaga in his projects, he told The Manila Times that Gonzaga has, in fact, been involved in his undertakings.
But as cast or lead, he said he prefers not to direct his wife, as his working style may not be ideal for Gonzaga who is heavily involved in the operations of the outfit.
“As a producer, yes, I can have her in my project. But as her director, I prefer to have one who I think could handle her best, like Dan [Villegas of ‘All Of You’] who is very good at handling romantic stories,” he said.
He also revealed that he had been “courting” Jericho Rosales to do Siargao for a long time and he could not contain his happiness when the actor accepted the project. With Erich Gonzales and Jasmine Curtis, the cast became as perfect as he wanted it to be.
Siargao also won Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Theme Song (“Alon” by Hale) and Best Supporting Actress for Jasmine Curtis. Lead actress Erich Gonzales also won Female Star of the Night during the Gabi Ng Parangal.
Meanwhile, as news broke that “Ang Larawan” was pulled out from theaters on the second or third day due to weak box-office sales, Soriano was one of those who appealed to the public to support the movie for its excellent cinematic value. He said he watched the film the night before and he believes that moviegoers should support it.
One of the producers of Ang Larawan, Celeste Legaspi, acknowledged Soriano’s endorsement. With its win as Best Picture, Soriano and the rest of industry denizens, including the media, hope that the accolade could turn the tide in favor of the movie adaptation of the work of National Artist for Literature, Nick Joaquin until the last day of the festival on January 7.