Romantic-comedy “Walang Forever” dominated the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) awards night at the Kia Theater in Cubao on Sunday, taking home five major awards, including the coveted Best Picture prize.
Directed by Dan Villegas, “Walang Forever” also took the top acting awards for lead stars Jericho Rosales and Jennylyn Mercado.
The film also bagged the trophies for Best Screenplay and Best Original Story.
Mercado scored a back to back win as Best Actress, having won the same award last year for “English Only Please,” which was also directed by Villegas.
In her acceptance speech, the actress thanked Villegas for including her again in his film, and her son, Jazz, for serving as an inspiration.
“Maraming, maraming salamat po Atty. Joji (Alonso), Quantum Films. Maraming salamat po sa pagkuha sa akin taun-taon. Maraming salamat po direk Dan Villegas sa walang sawang pagtulak sa akin. Para po sa ating lahat ito. Para po sa aking inspirasyong si Jazz, sa nanay ko at sa lanat ng bumubuo ng ‘Walang Forever.’ Napakagandang Christmas gift po nito. Lord, thank you,” said Mercado.
Pedring Lopez’s “Nilalang,” which stars former adult film star Maria Ozawa and Cesar Montano, also took home five awards, including Best Editing and Best Cinematography.
Erik Matti’s “Honor Thy Father,” likewise, bagged five awards, including Best Director.
Randolph Longjas’ “Buy Now, Die Later” took home the 2nd Best Picture award and Best Production Design, while “My Bebe Love” took home the 3rd Best Picture award, the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural award, and the Best Supporting Actress award for Maine Mendoza.
For the New Wave Category, “Ari: My Life with a King” took home majority of the awards, including Best Actor for Francisco Quinto, Full Feature Best Picture and Full Feature Best Screenplay.
This year’s festival has been beset with several controversies, including the disqualification of “Honor Thy Father” from the Best Picture race one day before the awards night, and allegations of “ticket swapping.”
Here are the complete list of winners:
Best Child Performer – Krystal Brimmer (“Honor Thy Father”)
Best Festival Sound – Ditoy Aguila (“Nilalang”)
Best Festival Musical Score – Jessie Lazaten (“Nilalang”)
Best Festival Original Theme Song – “Tao” (“Honor Thy Father”)
Best Festival Make Up Artist – Ryan Panaligan and Ericka Racela (“Honor Thy Father”)
Best Festival Visual Effects – “Nilalang”
Best Festival Production Design – “Buy Now, Die Later”
Best Festival Editing – “Nilalang”
Best Festival Cinematography – “Nilalang”
Best Original Story – Dan Villegas and Antoinette Jadaone (“Walang Forever”)
Best Screenplay – Paul Santa Ana (“Walang Forever”)
Best Director – Erik Matti (“Honor Thy Father”)
Best Supporting Actor -Tirso Cruz III (“Honor Thy Father”)
Best Supporting Actress – Maine Mendoza (“My Bebe Love”)
Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award – “My Bebe Love”
3rd Best Picture: “My Bebe Love”
2nd Best Picture: “Buy Now, Die Later”
Best Picture: “Walang Forever”
Best Actor: Jericho Rosales (“Walang Forever”)
Best Actress: Jennylyn Mercado (“Walang Forever”)
Best Float – “Buy Now, Die Later”
FPJ Memorial Award for Excellence – “Walang Forever”
Male Celebrity of the Night – Cesar Montano
Female Celebrity of the Night – Jennylyn Mercado
New Wave Entries
Full Feature Category:
Best Supporting Actor – Thou Reyes (“Toto”)
Best Supporting Actress – Bibeth Orteza (“Toto”)
Best Actors – JM De Guzman (“Tandem”) and Francisco Quinto (“Ari: My Life with a King”)
Best Screenplay – “Ari: My Life with a King”
Best Director – John Paul Su (“Toto”)
Special Jury – “Toto”
Best Picture – “Ari: My Life with a King”
Manila Bulletin Entertainment Best Full Feature Film – “Ari My Life with a King”
New Wave Animation Special Jury Prize – “Little Lights” (Rivelle Mallari)
New Wave Best Animation Picture – “Buttons” (Marvel Obemio, Francis Ramirez & Jared Garcia)
Manila Bulletin Entertainment Best Animation Film Award – “Momento”
Student Short Film Category:
Special Jury Prize – “Daisy” (Brian Reyes)
Best Short Picture – “Mumu” (Jean Cheryl Tagyamon)