‘Gomburza’ wins big, ‘Firefly’ bags Best Picture at 49th MMFF

MANILA – The 49th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Gabi ng Parangal celebrated the winners and the festival became livelier once more as moviegoers returned to the theaters to watch Filipino films.

Historical movie “Gomburza” took home the most wins with seven trophies: Best Sound, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award, Best Director, Best Actor and Second Best Picture.

Fantasy film “Firefly” emerged as the Best Picture and bagged two other awards: Best Child Performer and Best Screenplay.

Horror film “Mallari” won four awards: Best Musical Score, Best Visual Effects, Best Supporting Actor, and Third Best Picture.

In his opening remarks, MMFF Executive Chairman and MMDA Deputy Chairman, Undersecretary Frisco San Juan Jr., said the awards night served as a celebration of the outstanding achievements and creativity of Filipino talents in the film industry.

“The MMFF has always been committed to promoting and recognizing the remarkable talents and artistry of our filmmakers. We are proud to say that this year’s roster of films has once again showcased the diversity and richness of our cinematic landscape, and I commend each and every one of the filmmakers, producers, crew members, and actors for their hard work and dedication,” San Juan said, as he delivered the message of MMDA acting chairman and overall concurrent MMFF chairman lawyer Don Artes during the awarding ceremony held at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City on Wednesday night.

San Juan also urged everyone to continue supporting and advocating for the growth of the local film industry by showcasing the incredible talent and creativity of Filipino filmmakers and contributing to the overall advancement and expansion of the film industry both in the country and internationally.

The 10 official entries are set to be screened at the Manila International Film Festival (MIFF) in January 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
Here is the full list of winners:
Best Picture: “Firefly”
2nd Best Picture: “Gomburza”
3rd Best Picture: “Mallari”
4th Best Picture: “When I Met You in Tokyo”
Best Actor: Cedrick Juan, “Gomburza”
Best Actress: Vilma Santos, “When I Met You in Tokyo”
Best Supporting Actor: JC Santos, “Mallari”
Best Supporting Actress: Miles Ocampo, “Family of Two”
Best Director: Pepe Diokno, “Gomburza”
Best Screenplay: Angeli Atienza, “Firefly”
Best Child Performer: Euwann Mikaell, “Firefly”
Best Cinematography: Carlo Canlas Mendoza, “Gomburza”
Best Editing: Benjamin Tolentino, “(K)ampon”
Best Production Design: Ericson Navarro, “Gomburza”
Best Original Theme Song: “Finggah Lickin” by Teresa Barrozo, “Becky and Badette”
Best Visual Effects: Gaspar Mangarin, “Mallari”
Best Musical Score: Von de Guzman, “Mallari”
Best Sound: Melvin Q. Rivera and Louie Boy Bauson, “Gomburza”
Gender Sensitivity Award: “Becky and Badette”
Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence: “When I Met You in Tokyo”
Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award: “Gomburza”
Marichu Vera-Perez Maceda Memorial Award: Lily Monteverde
Best Float: “When I Met You in Tokyo”

Some of the awardees, including Best Actress Vilma Santos and Best Director Pepe Diokno, expressed elation that the Filipino tradition of watching cinemas with family and friends for the holidays is very much alive; and that the MMFF has brought back moviegoers to the cinemas, which is a start of a good trend for the local film industry.

The MMFF kicked off on Dec. 25 and will run until Jan. 7, 2024. This year’s edition of the MMFF is presented in partnership with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Organized by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the MMFF is aimed primarily at promoting and enhancing the preservation of Philippine cinema.

Proceeds from the MMFF go to a number of beneficiaries in the film industry, such as the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation (Mowelfund), the Film Academy of the Philippines, the Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council, the Optical Media Board and the Film Development Council of the Philippines. (PR)