A triumphant Star Cinema's Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo went home with most of the trophies in the recently concluded 32nd Metro Manila Film Festival held last night, December 29, at the Aliw Theater, CCP Complex.
Judy Ann Santos emerged as Best Actress while Ms. Gina Pareño was Best Supporting Actress. The two play daughter and mother, respectively, in Kasal. The movie's director, Jose Javier Reyes, was judged Best Director for the second straight year. He won the award last year for the movie Kutob.
Direk Joey, which is how the writer/director/TV host is addressed, was magnanimous in his acceptance speech: "There's no such thing as best director. I share this with other directors. There should be mutual respect for one another at hindi unhealthy competition."
The multi-awarded director also took home the awards for Best Story and Best Screenplay. "My first love is writing. There will always be stories to tell," said Direk Joey.
Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo was given two more awards outside the regular MMFF categories. It went away with the Most Gender Sensitive Film award, an initiative of Mayor Sonny Belmonte's office to foster gender awareness, and it also went away with the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award.
Add to the movie's list of accolades its award for Best Movie Theme Song for "Hawak Kamay" by Yeng Constantino and its trophy for a second-place finish in the Best Float competition. The latter is part of the Parade of Stars held the day immediately preceding the opening of the MMFF. The nine MMFF entries mount floats that go through a circuitous route (this year, from the Quezon City Circle to the Aliw Theater in Manila), at the end of which judges choose the most colorful, innovative, and attractive float.
Star Cinema's entry nearly dominated the entire evening until the best films were announced: Shake, Rattle and Roll 8 was named Third Best Picture, Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo only came in second, and Enteng Kabisote 3: The Legend Goes On and On and On captured the Best Picture plum.
Enteng Kabisote 3 and the rest of the Best Picture winners were essentially chosen by virtue of their box-office performance. After the Best Picture winners were announced, awards-night host Edu Manzano explained that the MIFF rules allotted 40% to the movie's box-office returns. At press time, the three Best Picture winners were leading the pack.
OTHER MMFF ENTRIES. Regal Entertainment's Mano Po 5 bagged five awards. The franchise film won Best Cinematography (Charlie Peralta), Best Musical Score (Von De Guzman), Best Recording (Ditoy Aguila), and Best Production Design (Egay Littua). The film was also chosen 1st placer in the Best Float category.
Ligalig, one of three filmfest entries rated A by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB), took home three awards: Best Actor for Cesar Montano, Best Supporting Actor for Johnny Delgado (who was a no-show), and Best Editing for Jason Cahapay.
Tatlong Baraha—which is currently at the tail end of the box-office race—surprisingly brought home three awards. The movie won for Best Makeup (Baby Lucero), Best Visual Effects (Imaginary Friends), and Best Festival Float.
Aside from the Third Best Picture prize, Shake, Rattle and Roll 8 also got the Best Child Performer for Nash Aguas.
Enteng Kabisote 3 was not mentioned the whole evening until it was adjudged Best Picture.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS. Sunshine Cruz and Ryan Agoncillo were named Stars of the Night.
Aside from Edu, other hosts that evening included singer/actress Pops Fernandez (who also performed), beauty queen/TV host Miriam Quiambao, and model/actor Derek Ramsay.
Pauleen Luna and John "Sweet" Lapus were the program anchors, while Jericho Rosales and Heart Evangelista were the "trivia" hosts.
Philippine Idol finalists Jan Nieto, Gian Magdangal, and Miguel Mendoza opened the awards night with Kyla and Rachelle Ann Go in an OPM medley.
Sexy stars Jen Rosendahl, Ella V., and Alyssa Alano heated up the dance floor with a sizzling dance number with the SexBomb Dancers and the Dance Focus.
Veteran character actresses Bella Flores, Luz Fernandez, Baby O'Brien, and Mila Ocampo performed with Barako Boys Reggie Curley, Allen Dizon, Carlo Maceda, and Emilio Garcia.
Popular rock band 6 Cyclemind sang a medley of their hit songs, while Christian Bautista, Jay-R, and Toni Gonzaga reprised a number of best movie theme songs.
For the finale, the husband-and-wife tandem of Cesar Montano and Sunshine Cruz performed a sensuous bossa nova number.