December 29, 2022
MANILA – Mikhail Red’s psychological thriller “Deleter” emerged as the big winner at the 48th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) on Tuesday night, bagging a total of seven trophies, including the best picture and best director honors.
Its lead star, Nadine Lustre, was named best actress for her performance in the film which presents a secretive, shadowy side of the world of online content moderators.
“It’s super unreal. I feel like I’m on Cloud 9,” Lustre told the Inquirer shortly after the awards ceremony at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City.
She noted that “Deleter” was not even originally intended for the festival, and that the production only learned that Viva Entertainment had submitted it for MMFF consideration during the last two days of shooting.
Asked how she felt about unofficial reports of the film’s good showing at the box office, Lustre replied: “To me, these are just numbers. As an actress, as someone who loves her craft, my priority is to be able to entertain my audience. If ever this is true, then I’m happy because this means I am able to achieve my goal.”
The film also won for best cinematography (Ian Alexander Guevarra), best editing (Nikolas Red), best visual effects (Gaspar Mangalin) and best sound (Team Promovi).
Organized by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the festival, which features eight full-length films of various genres this year, will run until Jan. 7.
P500-M projected sales
Based on the audience turnout, MMDA Chair Don Artes said, “we expect to reach our earlier projection of P500 million for the 2022 edition.”
“We will release the total gross ticket sales at the end of the festival, but will not mention gross receipts per movie,” he said.
Half of the proceeds from the ticket sales will be given to the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation Inc. (Mowelfund), while the rest will go to the Film Academy of the Philippines, Motion Picture Anti-Piracy Council, Optical Media Board, and Film Development Council of the Philippines.
Artes acknowledged that some entries “are now being pulled out of movie houses, but this is normal.”
“We can guarantee that the pullout will not be abrupt. We will make sure there is balance, that all the eight films can still be seen in particular areas during the festival run,” he said.
He refused to comment on reports that Cathy Garcia-Molina’s comedy flick “Partners in Crime,” starring Vice Ganda, topped the box office race on Christmas Day, with “Deleter” and Nuel Naval’s domestic drama “Family Matters” in second and third places.
“What I can say is that it always happens that cinema operators allot more movie houses to entries that win during the awards ceremony, and that gross sales for these films almost always go up,” Artes said.
Backlash on Toni, Paul?
Joel Lamangan’s R-18 drama “My Father, Myself,” and Paul Soriano’s “My Teacher,” starring his wife Toni Gonzaga and comedian Joey de Leon, reportedly recorded the lowest sales based on unofficial estimates. The Lamangan project’s adults-only rating was blamed for the poor showing, as it has been the policy of SM Cinemas not to screen R-18 films since 2002.
Soriano’s film, on the other hand, is believed to have suffered from the backlash received by the director and his wife for their roles in President Marcos’ campaign in the May elections.
Awarded third best picture was Shugo Praico’s psychological thriller “Nanahimik ang Gabi,” which gave lead star Ian Veneracion his first best actor trophy over a 40-year career.
Mon Confiado won the best supporting actor award, also for “Nanahimik ang Gabi,” while Dimples Romana and Shawn Niño Gabriel received the best supporting actress and best child actor awards, respectively, for “My Father, Myself.”
A visibly disappointed Naval walked out of the venue shortly after none of his film’s female cast members—Agot Isidro, Mylene Dizon and Nikki Valdez—whose performances were raved about online, received a nomination for best supporting actress.
Second best picture went to Lester Dimaranan’s controversial action movie “Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told,” which also received the best screenplay award for Eric Ramos.
The film, which explores the fatal clash between Moro rebels and police commandos in February 2015, won two special awards: the Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial award and the Special Jury Prize for ensemble acting.
But the jury prize was only announced through an MMDA press release on Wednesday, a day after the show.
The other winners are Mariel Hizon, best production design; “Nanahimik ang Gabi”; Greg Rodriguez III, best musical score, “Nanahimik ang Gabi”; best float, “My Father, Myself”; best theme song, “Ang Aking Mahal,” “Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told”; Gender Sensitivity award, “My Teacher”; Marichu Vera Perez Maceda Memorial award, Vilma Santos-Recto; Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural award, “Family Matters.” INQ