“About Us Not About Us” Big Winner in First Summer MMFF; Trans Woman Wins Best Supporting Actress Trophy


Psychological drama “About Us Not About Us” dominated the inaugural Summer Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Gabi ng Parangal after it bagged 10 awards out of 11 nominations.

The film took home the First Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay for Jun Robles Lana, Best Actor for Romnick Sarmenta. Elijah Canlas was awarded Special Jury Prize. It also won the Best Sound, Best Musical Score, Best Production Design, Best Editing, and Best Cinematography.

Romance flick “Love You Long Time” won the Second Best Picture while comedy film “Here Comes the Groom” snagged the Third Best Picture as well as Special Jury Prize.

“Here Comes the Groom” also brought home a landmark win as one of its lead stars, Kaladkaren took home the Best Supporting Actress Award. Kaladkaren, whose real name is Jervi Li, is the first trans woman to win in the category.

MMDA Acting Chairman and concurrent MMFF Over-all Chairman Atty. Don Artes said that the Summer MMFF was a success after it was shelved for three years because of COVID-19.

“The mere fact that Filipino films were given chance to run in cinemas nationwide without the foreign films this summer is already a success of the industry,” said Artes during the Gabi ng Parangal held last night at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City.

Artes also said that the MMFF has proven that it can produce quality and world class films as he mentioned he received an inquiry from a foreign production company to conduct a Metro Manila International Film Festival where eight official film fest entries will be shown simultaneously in cinemas across Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, and New York, where the jurors will be Filipino-Americans.

The official is confident that this Summer Film Festival will not be the last.

“Habang kayong lahat ay nasa tabi namin, katulong at kaagapay, kami ay hindi magsasawa at mapapagod na magsagawa ng Summer MMFF hanggang ito ay maging isang tradisyon at maging parte na ng summer ng bawat isang Pilipino,” Artes said.

Meanwhile, the official list of winners of Awards Night are as follows:

Best Picture: About Us But Not About Us

2nd Best Picture: Love You Long Time

3rd Best Picture: Here Comes the Groom

Best Actor: Romnick Sarmenta, About Us But Not About Us

Best Actress:  Gladys Reyes, Apag

Best Supporting Actor: Keempee De Leon, Here Comes the Groom

Best Supporting Actress: Kaladkaren, Here Comes the Groom

Best Director: Jun Robles Lana, About Us But Not About Us

Best Screenplay: Jun Robles Lana, About Us But Not About Us

Best Cinematography: Neil Daza, About Us But Not About Us

Best Original Theme Song: “Paralaya” by Andy Alviz, Apag

Best Musical Score: Teresa Barrozo, About Us But Not About Us

Best Editing: Lawrence S. Ang, About Us But Not About Us

Best Production Design: Marxie Maolen Fadul, About Us But Not About Us

Best Sound: Armand de Guzman, About Us But Not About Us

Best Float: Love You Long Time

Special Jury Prize: Ensemble Cast of Here Comes the Groom

Special Jury Prize: Elijah Canlas, About Us But Not About Us

With the theme, “Tuloy-tuloy ang Saya,” the 8 films will be shown in cinemas nationwide until April 18.

Proceeds from the film festival go to a number of beneficiaries in the film industry, including the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation Inc., the Motion Picture and Anti-Film Piracy Council, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, and the Optical Media Board.

Catherine R Cueto

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