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LIST: Winners of the 2023 Metro Manila Film Festival Gabi ng Parangal

By NICK GARCIA Published Dec 28, 2023 11:35 am

Winners of the 2023 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF)’s Gabi ng Parangal were named at the New Frontier Theater last Dec. 27.

The Gabi ng Parangal, which was also live-streamed on the MMFF Facebook page, saw the country’s finest actors, filmmakers, and other stakeholders in attendance.

Fantasy adventure Firefly won best picture, best screenplay, and best child performer for Euwann Mikaell.

Director Zig Dulay, in his acceptance speech, said they made the movie from the heart.

"Inaalay namin ang pelikula sa lahat ng taong naniniwala sa kapangyarihan ng pangarap, kapangyarihan ng pag-ibig, at kapangyarihan ng sining,” he said.

Historical biopic GomBurZa took home the most awards with seven trophies, including second best picture, best actor for Cedrick Juan, best director for Pepe Diokno, best cinematography, best production design, best sound, and the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award.

Juan, in his acceptance speech, paid tribute to Filipinos who suffered injustices, noting it’s been going on since over 150 years ago.

“‘Yun po ang kuwento ng tatlong paring martir,” he said. “Sana ay matuto tayo sa ating history hindi dahil para baguhin ito kundi para matuto.”

Vilma Santos, dubbed the “Star for all Seasons,” won best actress for her role in romance movie When I Met You in Tokyo.

As she’s about to begin her speech, Santos fought back tears, saying she didn’t expect to win at all.

“We just wanted to do a simple love story sa edad po namin,” she said, adding they’re also trying to bring back people to theaters.

Horror movie Mallari won four awards, including third best picture and best supporting actor for JC Santos.

Here’s the full list of winners:

  • Best Float – When I Met You in Tokyo
  • Best Child Performer – Euwenn Mikaell, Firefly
  • Best Sound –  Melvin Rivera and Louie Boy Bauson, GomBurZa
  • Best Score – Von de Guzman, Mallari
  • Best Original Theme Song Finggah Lickin, Becky & Badette
  • Best Visual Effects Gaspar Mangarin, Mallari
  • Best Production Design Ericson Navarro, GomBurZa
  • Best Editing – Benjamin Tolentino, K(Ampon)
  • Best Cinematography – Carlo Canlas Mendoza, GomBurZa
  • Gender Sensitivity Award – Becky & Badette
  • Marichu Vera-Perez Maceda Memorial Award – Lily Monteverde
  • Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award GomBurZa
  • Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence When I Met You in Tokyo
  • Best Screenplay – Angeli Atienza, Firefly
  • Best Director – Pepe Diokno, GomBurZa
  • Best Supporting Actress Miles Ocampo, Family of Two
  • Best Supporting Actor JC Santos, Mallari
  • Best Actor – Cedrick Juan, GomBurZa
  • Best Actress – Vilma Santos, When I Met You in Tokyo
  • Fourth Best Picture – When I Met You in Tokyo
  • Third Best Picture – Mallari
  • Second Best Picture – GomBurZa
  • Best Picture  Firefly

For its 2023 edition, the MMFF has 10 entries instead of the usual eight, handpicked from the 26 scripts that 32 production companies had submitted for consideration. Genres include historical drama, romantic comedy, and horror.

The 49th MMFF will run until Jan. 7, 2024, and will only be screened in select cinemas nationwide. Check out the full list here.