This year's edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) is already on track to matching the massively successful 2015 edition, which passed the P1-billion mark.
And it might just get a little help in doing so from small entries such as "Ang Larawan" and "Siargao," which, according to MMFF 2017 executive committee chairman Tim Orbos, got a boost in sales after reaping big wins from last night's awards ceremony.
Loy Arcenas' buzzy and acclaimed musical adaptation of the classic play by National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin scored Best Picture, while Paul Soriano's gorgeous-looking paradise flick nabbed seven awards -- the most for any entry this year.
"Sila naman po iyong nag-pick up ngayong araw," shared Orbos in an interview on DZMM on Thursday, before noting that the timely praise definitely helped offset the films' sluggish start in the box office.
"Kami lang po ay kasing lakas ng pinakamahinang pelikula namin so we would like everyone to watch all the films," he explained.
"Suportahan ho natin sila."
Prior to the awards night, "Ang Larawan" was said to have been dropped from more than 25 theaters across Metro Manila. It started regaining screens on Wednesday, thanks to fan outcry and positive reviews online.
Set in prewar Manila, "Ang Larawan" tells the story of two sisters struggling to make ends meet after their painter father falls ill and fails to produce art — its theme of overcoming ravaging poverty remains unfortunately relatable even today.
One of its lead stars, Joanna Ampil, won Best Actress, in addition to the other awards it received, namely best musical score, best production design and the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award.
The top directing prize went to "Siargao," while the best actor award was handed to "All of You" star Derek Ramsay.