Thespian, indigenous woman bag top plums in Sinag Maynila


A seasoned thespian and a woman from an indigenous community from Mindanao won Best Actor and Best Actress respectively on Sunday night’s Sinag Maynila 2017 Awards at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura.

Best known for his portrayal of M Butterfly on stage, Raymond Francisco bagged the Best Actor award for his sterling performance as a gay thief with a heart in Joel Lamangan’s Bhoy Instik.

In his acceptance speech, Francisco literally cried for happiness as he admitted that after all these years in the acting profession —where his experience also encompasses TV commercial directing as well as supporting roles on TV and movies—the award was his very first as a performer.

Big winners (from left) Best Actress Malona Sulatan, Best Actor Raymond Francisco and Best Director Arbi Barbarona PHOTOS BY DJ DIOSINA

Injecting humor to his emotional speech, Francisco first checked the envelope from which his name was read, and quipped, “Baka mamaya, ma-‘LaLaLand’ ako, na nag-speech na, hindi pala ako ang winner!

“This is a big deal for me since it’s my firs time to win an award. I was already acting since prep in school stage plays,” he continued. “I also dedicate this to my superb director Joel Lamangan, all the hardworking staff of Bhoy Intsik, my staff in Frontrow Entertainment, as well as my tribute to the LGBT community,” he added.

Bhoy Intsik also won the Sinag Box Office Award for being the most watched among the five finalists in the festival, along with Kristo, whose lead actor Kristofer King tied with him for Best Actor; Beyond The Block; Ladyfish; and Tu Pug Imatuy, which in turn was awarded Best Film and yielded festival Best Actress Malona Sulatan.

Sulatan leads the cast of mostly non-professional actors from indigenous communities in Arbi Barbarona’s family drama. Titled The Right To Kill in English, Tu Pug Imatuy follows an indigenous family who goes up to the mountains to grieve and bury its youngest member who died from sickness. But as they make their way back to their village, they are confronted by soldiers, which forces them to turn to their traditional defense called pangayaw to drive off the abusive soldiers in their village.

The rest of Sinag Maynila 2017 Film Festival winners are:

Best Director: Arbi Barbarona, Tu Pug Imatuy
Best Supporting Performance: Julio Diaz, Kristo
Best Screenplay: Arnel Mardoquio, Tu Pug Imatuy
Best Production Design: James Arvin Rosendal, Kristo
Best Cinematography: Bryan Jimenez and Arbi Barbarona, Tu Pug Imatuy
Best Editing: Diego Marx Dobles, Kristo
Best Music: Arbi Barbarona, Tug Pug Imatuy
Best Sound: Albert Michael Idioma, Kristo
Best Documentary: Avelino Balmes Jr, Hango
Short Film: Karl Barit, Aliens Ata
SM People’s Choice: Beyond The Block


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