A starless Maria Clara Awards

The 1950s-era Maria Clara Awards was resurrected last October 13 amid the existence of warring factions within the Film Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS).

The awards night, held at the Golden Fortune Restaurant along T.M. Kalaw Street in Manila, was revived by a group of FAMAS members, headed by Col. Jimmy A. Tiu. The group wanted “to continue the FAMAS legacy” amid legal battles against another faction, led by Art M. Padua, over incumbency as the real leaders of the oldest film award giving body in Asia.

None of the big winners, however, showed up to receive their Maria Clara awards due to prior commitments. A separate FAMAS Awards Night is scheduled in November—this time under Padua’s group.

Regal Entertainment’s Blue Moon was the Maria Clara’s biggest winner as it bagged four awards: Best Picture, Best Director for Joel Lamangan, Best Story for Palanca Award-winner Allen Tijano, and Best Cinematography for Lyle Sacris.

Star Cinema’s Dubai, however, got the most number of awards. Its lead stars copped the major acting plums – Claudine Barretto for Best Actress, Aga Muhlach for Best Actor and John Lloyd Cruz for Best Supporting Actor. Dubai also won Best Screenplay (Ricky Lee and Rafael Hidalgo), Best Editing (Marya Ignacio) and Best Sound (Arnold Reodica).

Hilda Koronel was named Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Nasaan Ka Man while BJ “Tolits” Forbes won Best Child Performer for Exodus.

In other awards, Exodus won Best Visual Effects (Ignite Media Inc.) and Best Production Design (Richard Somes), Enteng Kabisote 2: The Legend Continues bagged the Best Special Effects (Imaginary Friends), and Best Musical Score went to Jessie Lucas in Can This Be Love?.

Aside from film awards, the Maria Clara also handed out special awards. The first special awardee was no less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who received the Monumental Achievement Award. Former MTRCB Chairman Manoling Morato got the Achievement Award for Value Formation in Cinema and Television. National Artist and Manila Bulletin Columnist Dr. Alejandro Roces bagged the Legacy Award. Dr. Roces is one of the founders of Maria Clara Awards who allowed Tiu to use the name for his group’s awards night.

Excluding Ms Arroyo, all the special awardees were present.

Star of the Night Donna Villa brought home the Dr. Jose R. Perez Memorial Award. With her that evening is husband-director Carlo J. Caparas.

The event was hosted by Rey Langit and Cecil Guidote-Alvarez, who also won as Best Dressed Male and Female Celebrities.






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