Firefly, GomBurZa are the big winners at 2023 MMFF awards

Firefly, GomBurZa are the big winners at 2023 MMFF awards

ZIG DULAY’s fantasy film Firefly, about a young boy’s search for the mythical island of fireflies, was one of the night’s two big winners in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). It bagged the coveted Best Picture award.

Meanwhile, GomBurZa, a historical drama about the three Filipino Catholic martyred priests Mariano Gomez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora, bagged the most awards, including Second Best Picture.

The awarding ceremony was held at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City on Dec. 27. It was also streamed on Facebook.

Firefly’s other two awards were Best Screenplay for Angeli Atienza and Best Child Performer for Euwenn Mikaell.

The film follows Tonton (played by Mr. Mikaell), who goes on a quest to find the island of fireflies that his mother Elay (played by Alessandra de Rossi) told him about in her bedtime stories.

“Inaalay namin ang pelikula sa lahat ng taong naniniwala sa kapangyarihan ng pangarap, kapangyarihan ng pag-ibig, at kapangyarihan ng sining (We dedicate this film to all those who believe in the power of dreams, the power of love, and the power of the arts),” Firefly director Zig Dulay said in his Best Picture acceptance speech.

GomBurZa’s six awards were Second Best Picture, Best Actor for Cedrick Juan, Best Director for Pepe Diokno, Best Cinematography for Carlo C. Mendoza, Best Production Design for Ericson Navarro, and the Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Juan dedicated his win to victims of injustice like the titular priests of GomBurZa.

“Inaalay ko po itong parangal na ito para sa lahat ng Pilipinong hindi nakakakuha ng tamang hustisya dahil, 152 years ago, ganoon po iyung nangyayari sa atin (I dedicate this award to all Filipinos who are not able to attain justice because, 152 years ago, that was what was happening to us),” he said.

“Sana ay matuto tayo sa ating history, hindi dahil para baguhin ito kundi para matuto (I hope we can learn our history – not to revise it, but to learn from it).”

The Third Best Picture was Mallari, a horror film about the first Filipino serial killer Severino Mallari. It went home with an award for JC Santos as Best Supporting Actor, and awards for Best Visual Effects for Gaspar Mangarin and Best Score for Von de Guzman.

The Fourth Best Picture was When I Met You in Tokyo, a romance between elderly overseas Filipino workers Azon (played by Vilma Santos) and Joey (played by Christopher de Leon) which is set in Tokyo. The film went home with an award for Ms. Santos as Best Actress, the Fernando Poe, Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence, and an award for Best Float.

The 2023 MMFF jury was chaired by filmmaker Chito Roño with actress Lorna Tolentino as vice-chair.

The 49th MMFF film screenings are ongoing nationwide until Jan. 7. — Brontë H. Lacsamana


And the winner is…

HERE is the full list of winners at the 2022 Metro Manila Film Festival awards night which was held on Dec. 27.

Best Picture: Firefly

2nd Best Picture: GomBurZa

3rd Best Picture: Mallari

4th Best Picture: When I Met You in Tokyo

Best Actress: Vilma Santos, When I Met You in Tokyo

Best Actor: Cedrick Juan, GomBurZa

Best Supporting Actor: JC Santos, Mallari

Best Supporting Actress: Miles Ocampo, Family of Two

Best Director: Pepe Diokno, GomBurZa

Best Screenplay: Angeli Atienza, Firefly

Fernando Poe, Jr. Memorial Award for

Excellence: When I Met You in Tokyo

Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award: GomBurZa

Marichu Vera-Perez Maceda Memorial Award: Lily Monteverde

Gender Sensitivity: Becky & Badette

Best Cinematography: Carlo Canlas Mendoza, GomBurZa

Best Editing: Benjamin Tolentino, K(Ampon)

Best Production Design: Ericson Navarro, GomBurZa

Best Visual Effects: Gaspar Mangarin, Mallari

Best Original Theme Song: “Finggah Lickin,” Becky & Badette

Best Score: Von de Guzman, Mallari

Best Sound: Melvin Q. Rivera and  Louie Boy Bauson, GomBurZa

Best Child Performer: Euwenn Mikaell, Firefly

Best Float: When I Met You in Tokyo