The remarkable teamwork of the cast and crew of Layang Bilanggo paid off as the movie romped off with four major awards in the 6th Cinema One Originals awarding ceremony held last night, November 14, at the Dolphy Theater of ABS-CBN.
The family drama won Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director for Michael Angelo Dagñalan, and Best Actor for Pen Medina.
The Jury praised Layang Bilanggo as "ang pelikulang sensitibo, buong-buo ang konsepto, Pilipinong-Pilipino ngunit tagos ang kaisipan at damdaming pang-mundo" and how its simple craftsmanship was suited to its theme.
The Best Picture award came with a cash prize of P200,000.
In accepting his trophy, Direk Mike acknowledged his cast members, especially lead actor Pen Medina, for contributing to the completion of the script.
"Binigyan po namin ng kalayaan na mag-improve ang aming mga artista. Naniniwala po kaming ang paggawa ng pelikula ay isang collective work," he said.
Pen, whose victory was by unanimous decision, reciprocrated by saying, "Bago po simulan ang pelikula, sabi ko, bigyan ninyo ako ng karapatan na aprubahan ang pagkasulat ng karakter ko at pag-develop ng emosyon."
He added: "Happy birthday kay Ronnie Lazaro! Makikiinom ako diyan!"
Veteran actor Ronnie Lazaro is, like Pen Medina, considered one of the finest actors working today. Ronnie played the lead actor in Ishmael, another Cinema One entry, but he was not present at the awards ceremony.
Pen's son Ping Medina, one of the hosts that night, quipped: "Congrats Tito Pen! Parang ako na rin ang nanalo."
The thrilling race for the Best Supporting Actor trophy ended with Marc Abaya emerging victorious. The band vocalist-turned-actor beat veteran stars Mark Gil and Pen Medina in this category.
Marc was clearly nervous when he went up the stage to receive his award for the horror film Dagim.
After calling his co-nominees "gods," Marc accepted the glass trophy for his role as the leader of a tribe of cannibals.
"I dedicate this to Johnny Delgado, my mentor, my master, my father," said Marc in his acceptance speech.
He later told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) that he considered the late veteran actor as his father because Johnny taught him about acting through his acting workshops.