Metro Manila filmfest a success as moviegoers crowd theaters; Nadine Lustre, Ian Veneracion win top acting awards

WINNERS in the filmfest

By Jennifer T. Santos
Movie goers are going back to the cinemas in Metro Manila and other cities outside the metropolis, bouying up producers, actors and others in the industry.
This as the ongoing Metro Manila Film Festival which has also run in the provinces has already raked in almost P400 million since it opened on December 25 and the revenues may exceed the goal of P500 million this year.
Stars of the eight competing films led by Vice Ganda, Coco Martin, Jodi Sta. Maria, Ian Veneracion and Nadine Lustre  and others said they were ecstatic that the filmfest is a success in its return this year with thousands trooping to the cinemas after two years of hiatus due to the pandemic.

Acting Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Atty. Romando “Don” Artes, who is also the MMFF chairman, revealed that the ongoing 2022 Metro Manila Film Festival is a certified box-office hit in terms of box-office sales.

Interviewed by Manila Bulletin editor Robert Requintina at the MMFF 2022 Gabi ng Parangal at the New Frontier Theater in Araneta City, Artes said that he’s happy with the results of box-office sales for the first two days of the annual filmfest. And he believes that the MMFF is on track to reach its target of ₱500 million in gross sales.

“We’re on our way. But we are not there yet.”

Artes looked back at the MMFF’s highs and lows the past few years.

In 2018, MMFF achieved its historic record with more than ₱1 billion in gross sales. In 2019, despite the challenges, the MMFF got ₱900 million in gross sales. But the pandemic got in the way and the MMFF was a victim of film piracy.

Then came 2020 when the movie theaters started to reopen but it wasn’t a success in terms of box office due to Covid-19 restrictions. Artes did not divulge details for 2021.

Following the initial success of the MMFF which will run until Jan. 7, 2023, Artes announced that the MMDA will launch the summer film festival next year. “It will begin on Black Saturday in April 2023 and will end after two Sundays.”

The decision to launch another film festival was based on consultations with industry experts who also believe that we’re ready for another filmfest.

“I expect your full support of this project and I invite you again to join the summer filmfest. Magtulungan tayong lahat at sa ating pagsasama, muling babangon ang pelikulang Pilipino, Artes said. (I expect your full support of this project and I invite you again to join the summer filmfest. Let’s all work together. And together, the Filipino film industry will rise again,” Artes said.

The official eight entries to the MMFF 2022 are: “Deleter” by Viva Communications, Inc.; “Family Matters” by Cineko Productions, Inc.; “Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told” by Borracho Film Production; “My Father, Myself” by 3:16 Media Network and Mentorque Productions; “Nanahimik ang Gabi” by Rein Entertainment Productions; “Partners in Crime” by ABS-CBN Film Productions; “Labyu with an Accent”  by ABS-CBN Film Productions and “My Teacher” by TEN17P.
The movie Deleter was named Best Picture at the 2022 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Gabi ng Parangal held on December 27, at the New Frontier Theater.
The psychological thriller took home the most number of trophies, earning the awards for Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Lead Actress, and Best Picture.

“Nanahimik Ang Gabi” star Ian Veneracion was named Best Actor, while Nadine Lustre of “Deleter” was proclaimed the Best Actress.

Veteran actress Vilma Santos-Recto was honored with the Marichu Vera-Perez Memorial Award, while the film Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told received the Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award.

Here’s the full list of winners:

  • Best Float: My Father, Myself
  • Best Child Performer: Shawn Niño Gabriel, My Father, Myself
  • Best Sound: Deleter
  • Best Musical Score: Greg Rodriguez III, Nanahimik Ang Gabi
  • Best Original Theme Song: “Ang Aking Mahal,” Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told
  • Best Visual Effects: Deleter
  • Best Production Design: Nananahimik Ang Gabi
  • Best Editing: Nikolas Red, Deleter
  • Best Cinematography: Deleter
  • Gender Sensitivity: My Teacher
  • Stars of the Night: Ian Veneracion, Nadine Lustre
  • Marichu Vera-Perez Memorial Award: Vilma Santos-Recto
  • Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award: Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told
  • Best Screenplay: Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told
  • Best Supporting Actress: Dimples Romana, My Father, Myself
  • Best Supporting Actor: Mon Confiado, Nanahimik Ang Gabi
  • Best Director: Mikhail Red, Deleter
  • Best Actor: Ian Veneracion, Nanahimik Ang Gabi
  • Best Actress: Nadine Lustre, Deleter
  • 3rd Best Picture: Nanahimik Ang Gabi
  • 2nd Best Picture: Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told
  • Best Picture: Deleter

The MMFF will run in theaters until January 7, 2023.