MANILA, Philippines?(UPDATE) Film producer Lily Monteverde, whose films ?Mano Po 6: A Mother's Love? and ?Shake, Rattle and Roll 11? were entries to the 35th Metro Manila Film Festival, has questioned festival jurors on their basis for choosing another entry, ?Ang Panday,? to be this year's winner of the Best Picture award.
Ang Panday, about the journey of Flavio, a blacksmith who forges a dagger that he uses to rid the world of evil, brought home the biggest number of honors during the MMFF awards ceremony held Monday night at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
The fantasy-adventure film, which won for Sen. Ramon ?Bong? Revilla the Best Actor trophy, is also this year's top grosser, according to the official box office records released by the MMFF executive committee.
?I love Bong. I'm happy that his film won the award. However, I want the jurors to explain how they came up with their decision,? Monteverde told the INQUIRER shortly after the awards ceremony.
National Artist for Film Eddie Romero is jury chair. The jury is comprised of Cinema Evaluation Board chair Christine Dayrit, Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chair Consoliza Laguardia, MMFF executive director Rolly Josef, film director Bebong Osorio, Film Editors Guild president Jess Navarro, film producer Simon Ongpin, composer Dero Pedero, Metro Manila Development Authority AGM Planning head Cora Cruz, Manila Bulletin Entertainment editor Crispina Belen and Marikina center of excellence head Julie Borje.
The judging for the Best Picture should be based in the following criteria: Artistry, creativity and technical excellence, innovativeness and global appeal (40 percent); Box-Office earning on the first three days (Dec. 25-27) (50 percent); and Filipino, Cultural and/or Historical Value (10 percent).
Monteverde pointed out that last year's Best Picture winner, Mark Meily's "Baler," did not figure well in the box office standings but still won. ?I don't wish to be accused of merely wanting to be controversial. It's just that everybody wants to know what set of guidelines the jurors followed to come up with this year's set of winners,? she said.
Laurice Guillen's drama movie ?I Love You, Goodbye? was given the Second Best Picture award and a cash prize of P500,000. Tony Reyes' horror-comedy flick ?Ang Darling Kong Aswang? got the Third Best Picture trophy and P250,000. Mac Alejandre's Ang Panday also brought home P800,000.
According to Laguardia, the jurors were unanimous in their decision to grant the Best Picture award to Ang Panday because of the film's "state of the art" special effects.
?We didn't change the criteria nor the guidelines. It was obvious in Panday that great effort was exerted in making it. Ginatusan talaga. (They really spent money). Personally, I liked that all the cast members performed well,? she explained.
Laguardia added that the historical film Baler was given the same award because of its ?redeeming social value.? She pointed out: ?All the important elements are in Baler. It's possible that the high score it got from the jurors prevailed over the low score it got in the box-office earning criterion.?
Ang Panday also won for Phillip Salvador the Best Supporting Actor trophy for his portrayal of the villain Lizardo. Last year, Salvador won the same award for his work on Baler. Young actor Robert ?Buboy? Villar, who plays Flavio's sidekick Bugoy, brought home the Best Child Actor honor.
Ang Panday" which takes pride in its special effects, flying creatures and medieval fortresses, also bagged most of the technical awards.
Sharon Cuneta was a shoo-in for the Best Actress award, which she won for her role as the strong-willed mother Melinda in ?Mano Po 6: A Mother's Love.? Like Revilla, she also brought home a cash prize of P800,000. In 2003, Cuneta received the People's Choice for Best Actress award for the filmfest entry ?Crying Ladies.?
Heart Evangelista received the Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Stephanie, Melinda's wayward daughter. ?After the very long search for the right actress to play Stephanie, God gave [Evangelista] to us,? Cuneta said.
Joel Lamangan, who described Mano Po 6 as his ?most important film? so far, is this year's recipient of the Best Director award. The film's writer, Roy Iglesias, is the winner of the Best Screenplay award.
Mano Po 6 was also awarded the Most Gender Sensitive Film award, which goes to the movie that deals with equality among men and women and tackles gender issues with fairness. It is also the recipient of the Gatpuno Villegas Memorial award. Von de Guzman bagged the Best Musical Score award, also for Mano Po 6.
Ang Panday won the Best Production Design and Best Visual Effects trophies for Richard Somes and Ray Jay Santiago, respectively. It also won the Best Original Theme Song award for ?Tanging Ikaw Lamang? sung by Ogie Alcasid.
?I Love You, Goodbye,? starring Gabby Concepcion and Angelica Panganiban and produced by Star Cinema, won the Best Story award for Karen Ramos, Kris Gazmen and Vanessa Valdez, and the Best Cinematography award for Lee Briones Meily.
I Love You, Goodbye also won the Best Editing trophy for Manet Dayrit and Efren Jarlego.
?Ang Darling Kong Aswang? got the Best Sound Recording award for Albert Michael Idioma.
The horror trilogy ?Shake Rattle and Roll 11? went home with a single trophy?the Best Make-Up, for Noel Flores.
Comedy King Dolphy, the lead actor in ?Nobody, Nobody But ... Juan,? received the Lifetime Achievement award for his contribution to the entertainment industry for the past six decades.
In his acceptance speech, Dolphy reminded younger artists to always be humble. ?The most painful thing about being an actor is realizing that you're already a has-been. That's why be humble, always keep your feet planted on the ground,? he said.
A Posthumous Award for Film Service and Excellence was given to producer Espiridion Laxa, founder of the now-defunct Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions. Among those who accepted the award on his behalf was his brother, former actor Tony Ferrer.
Topel Lee's action-fantasy film ?Wapakman,? starring Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, failed to win any award. It also landed on the bottom spot in the box-office race.
Its producer, Solar Entertainment's Wilson Tieng, offers this explanation: ?Manny's schedule was very hectic. We didn't have enough time to do more post-production work. The movie is finished, his fans can still watch it.?
Following are winners of the Metro Manila Film Festival:
Most gender sensitive award: Mano Po 6
Best cinematography: Lee Briones Meily, Ilygb
Orignal theme song: Tanging Ikaw Lamang, by Ogie Alcasid
Make up artist: Noel Flores, Shake
Visual effects: Jay Santiago, Panday
Best sound recording: Albert Michael Idioma, Ang Darling Kong Aswang
Musical score: Von de Guzman, Mano Po 6
Film editor: Manet Dayrit, Efren Jarlego, Ilygb
Production designer: Richard Somes, Panday