Charo Santos, John Arcilla, Daniel Padilla lead Metro Manila film festival awardees

Charo Santos-Concio, Daniel Padilla, and Rans Rifol in a scene from 'Kun Maupay Man It Panahon'

The movie “Big Night!” won big at the 47th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Gabi ng Parangal, taking home eight awards, including coveted Best Picture, Best Director (Jun Lana), Best Actor (Christian Bables), Best Supporting Actor (John Arcilla), Best Cinematography and Best Musical Score.

A humorous take on the Philippines’ drug war, “Big Night!” is about Dharna, a beautician who learns his name is on the drug list that will be turned over to the police the next day.

Carlo Francisco Manatad’s “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon” which stars Charo Santos and Daniel Padilla also grabbed  seven awards at the festival, including the second best picture.

“Big Night” Director Jun Robles Lana was named Best Director, while the film’s star Christian Bables won Best Actor in a Lead Role. Bables played the character of Dharna, a gay beautician who found out he was included in a drug watch list.

John Arcilla, meanwhile, took home the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance in the same film.

“Big Night!” was also recognized with the Gender Sensitivity award.

The second Best Picture awardee “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether the Weather is Fine),” won for its lead actress Charo Santos-Concio the Best Actress award for her performance as Norma, a mother struggling in the aftermath of a devastating typhoon.

Rans Rifol won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the same movie, while Daniel Padilla was given the Jury Prize.

Kun Maupay Man It Panahon also took home the awards for Best Visual Effects and Best Production Design, as well as the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural award.

There were eight official entries in the 47th edition of the film festival. The others are “A Hard Day,” “Love at First Stream,” “Nelia,” “Huwag Kang Lalabas,” “The Exorsis,” and “Huling Ulan sa Tag-araw.”

Here is the full list of winners:

  • Best Picture: “Big Night!”
  • 2nd Best Picture: “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”
  • 3rd Best Picture: “A Hard Day”
  • Best Actor: Christian Bables (“Big Night!”)
  • Best Actress: Charo Santos (“Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”)
  • Best Supporting Actor: John Arcilla (“Big Night!”)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Rans Rifol (“Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”)
  • Special Jury Prize award: Daniel Padilla (“Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”)
  • Best Director: Jun Robles Lana (“Big Night!”)
  • Best Screenplay: “Big Night!”
  • Best Cinematography: “Big Night!”
    Best Original Theme Song: “Umulan Man o Umaraw” by Louie Ignacio (“Huling Ulan sa Tag-araw”)
  • Best Editing: “A Hard Day”
  • Best Sound: “A Hard Day”
  • Best Musical Score: “Big Night!”
  • Best Visual Effect: “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”
  • Best Production Design: “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”
  • Best Float: “Huwag Kang Lalabas”
  • Gender Sensitivity Award: “Big Night!”
  • MMFF Creator Jury’s Choice Award: “Kandado”
  • Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award: “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”
  • FPJ Memorial Award: “A Hard Day”
  • Marichu Vera Perez Maceda Memorial Award: Rosa Rosal


Meanwhile, filmmakers and other concerned Filipinos called on fellow Filipinos to support the Metro Manila Film Festival amid reports of low turnout of moviegoers.

Noel Ferrer, MMFF spokesman, said this year’s filmfest is relatively faring well despite reports of a low turnout in the theaaters on opening day.

Ferrer said in an ABS-CBN report it was the cinema operators themselves who stated that the December 25 opening of the MMFF has been their highest grossing day so far since they re-opened amid the pandemic.

“Not even the big Hollywood films (like ‘Eternals’) are able to approximate the gross that MMFF 2021 has generated so far,” Ferrer said.

“In fact, the first day gross alone this year covered 1/3 of the total MMFF online gross (in its entire run) last year. With more people going to the cinemas by the day, sa first 3-4 days pa lang, puwede nang malampasan ang total gross last year. Wala pang major sakit ng ulong problema sa piracy,” he continued.

Ferrer said the fact that there is a film festival this year is already an achievement in itself, and that it is a great step towards the revival of the local movie industry after being non-operational for almost two years.

“Sobrang appreciated ng mga producers ang efforts ng MMFF na buhayin at bigyang sigla ang pelikulang Pilipino,” he said.

Actor Dingdong Dantes, at the same time, more than worrying about the box-office returns of his Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) hard-action entry, “A Hard Day,” expressed more concerned about when cinema viewing will return to normal.

“The answer is here,” Dantes told ABS-CBN News. “We are coming back, although slowly, not totally yet. And at least, we started here at MMFF this year. I guess because of so many opportunities later on. ”

The actor acknowledged the local producers who are willing to risk and still produce films as he remains optimistic that the glory days of local cinema will be back soon.

“Gradually, we can bring that back, because we really love this industry,” Dantes said. “We will do everything to make it come alive again and many more Filipinos will have the confidence to watch the movie again.”

Dantes said he is grateful to the MMFF organizers and especially the producers who are brave enough to bring back the annual film fest to cinemas.

A decade ago, Dantes bagged his first MMFF best actor trophy for Joyce Bernal’s horror film, “Segunda Mano” (2011), with Kris Aquino and Angelica Panganiban.

The following year, Dantes was proclaimed best actor again for the MMFF entry, Ruel S. Bayani’s romantic-drama, “One More Try” (2012), with Panganiban, Angel Locsin and Zanjoe Marudo.

“More than anything, I’m more worried that we won’t be able to return,” lamented the two-time MMFF best actor. “We got to start somewhere and now is a very good opportunity because everything is opening up. Thank God, those are dropping [COVID] cases.

Dantes added: “We have learned more on how to really manage this pandemic. It is impossible not to go back to what we used to do. We need to live and tell stories. We need to show this kind of film. ”