As with any film entry to the 43rd Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), Siargao had its share of positive and negative feedback from moviegoers as well as film reviewers.
This, despite the fact that the film took home a total of seven awards at the MMFF Awards Night, last December 27, including Best Director for Paul Soriano.
In an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last January 4, during his solo press conference at the Relish restaurant in Quezon City, Direk Paul shared his thoughts on the negative feedback surrounding Siargao.
“I read it all,” he confessed.
According to Direk Paul, among the negative feedback he came across are: “Siargao falls flat” and “It’s just an Instagram-able movie.”
Of these, Paul said, “With social media today, I’m tagged in all these reviews—good or bad comments, one liners. I’ve heard it all from people who call Siargao shitty or boring, to the people who have praised it.
“For me naman, point of view nila 'yan. I respect their opinion. I saw their point, but of course, I’m proud of my film.”
Direk Paul sounds like he doesn't take the comments, particularly the negative ones, personally: “For me, it creates a discourse. Okay lang yun sa akin. It’s fine.”
Continuing, he says, “You can’t please everybody. You’ll have the people that hate it, love it, like it, [and yung] okay lang. It’s part of the industry.”
What the award-winning director appreciates about reading these reviews, especially on social media today, is that it gives him a sneak peek at how people think.
“Ah, ganito pala ang isip ng tao,” Direk Paul said of his realization.
“Everybody has different tastes, and I respect that.”
He reiterated, “I did my best. Even before the awards, and with every film that I do.”
Aside from Best Director, Siargao took home the awards for Best Sound; Best Original Theme Song, “Alon” by Hale; Best Editor; Best Cinematography; and Best Supporting Actress for Jasmine Curtis-Smith.
Siargao was also named 2nd Best Picture. Larawan won 1st.
After the 43rd edition of MMFF comes to an end on January 7, Direk Paul says Siargao will be privately screened, for free, in various towns of Siargao Island, to “give back and celebrate these awards also with the locals of Siargao.”
In the film, Jericho Rosales is cast as a musician who returns to his hometown. He is torn between a new acquiantance (played by Erich Gonzales) and his old flame (played by Jasmine Curtis-Smith).