‘Mindanao’ dominates MMFF 2019 awards night


Posted at Dec 27 2019 11:09 PM | Updated as of Dec 28 2019 12:57 AM

‘Mindanao’ dominates MMFF 2019 awards night 1
Brillante Mendoza's "Mindanao," which stars Judy Ann Santos (pictured), was the big winner of the night. Mindanao Facebook page

MANILA (UPDATED)—"Mindanao" took home the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) best picture award in a ceremony dogged yet again by calls for mall owners to give less popular entries its rightful share of cinemas.

The war drama, directed by Brillante Mendoza, was the big winner of the night, taking home the most number of trophies, including both of the major acting awards but its star, Judy Ann Santos, was left hoping that these wins will translate to their movie being shown in more theaters in the country.

During her acceptance speech for best actress, Santos, referring to the P100,000 sponsored cash prize handed to her and Allen Dizon, her co-star who won best actor, quipped: "Direk, baka puwede namin pagsamahin ni Allen iyong P200,000. Kikita na siguro tayo kahit papaano."

She earlier addressed the lack of cinemas showing their movie when they accepted the best picture award, pleading: "Bilang kaunti lang po iyong sinehan namin, baka puwedeng pakidamihan naman po. Pakisabi na lang."

Mendoza, who was awarded best director, made his own criticism of the yearly problem of cinema owners hastily removing some entries in favor of the popular ones by saying: "Ang hiling lang po sana namin ay madagdagan iyong aming sinehan."

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"Mindanao," about a Muslim mother caring for her daughter with cancer, was expected to take home the lion's share of the awards given its international recognition, but the ceremony was not without a shocker.

“Miracle in Cell No.7," a local adaptation of a Korean movie that told the story of a man who has developmental disorder wrongly accused of a crime he did not commit, was widely predicted by fans to take home at least best actor for lead star Aga Muhlach, but the film did not receive a single award.

‘Mindanao’ dominates MMFF 2019 awards night 2
Many predicted Aga Muhlach to take home best actor, but the award ended up going to Allen Dizon of 'Mindanao.'

The entry continues to be a fan favorite and was reported to be one of the surprise blockbuster hits of this year's film festival, based on screenshots of sold-out screenings.

The second best picture went to "Write About Love," a story about an aspiring scriptwriter and hopeless romantic attempting to write a movie about, well, love. Its director, Crisanto Aquino, won a special jury prize and was hailed as the next face of local movie writers.

Third best picture was given to "Sunod," which centers on a loving mother, struggling to make ends meet for her sick daughter, forced to take a job as a call center agent. Eerie occurrences follow her in her new job.

Check out the full list of winners from the Gabi ng Parangal, which was held at the New Frontier Theater in Cubao Friday, below:

  • Best Actress
    Judy Ann Santos - "Mindanao"
  • Best Actor
    Allen Dizon - "Mindanao"
  • Best Picture
  • 2nd Best Picture
    "Write About Love"
  • 3rd Best Picture
  • Best Director
    Brillante Mendoza - "Mindanao"
  • Special Jury Prize (writing)
    Crisanto Aquino - "Write About Love"
  • Special Jury Prize (cast)
  • Best Screenplay
    "Write About Love"
  • Best Supporting Actress
    Yeng Constantino - "Write About Love"
  • Best Supporting Actor
    Joem Bascon - "Write About Love"
  • FPJ Memorial Award
  • Gatpuno Antonio J Villegas Cultural Award
  • Best Visual Effects
  • Best Production Design
  • Best Original Song
    "Ikaw ang Akin" - "Write About Love"
  • Best Musical Score
    "Write About Love"
  • Best Sound
  • Best Child Performer
    Yuna Tangod - "Mindanao"
  • Gender Sensitive Award
  • Best Float
  • Best Student Short Film Award
    "Pamana ni Lola"


  • Industry Stalwarts
    Marichu Vera-Perez
    Boots Anson-Rodrigo
    Bienvenido Lumbera
    Joseph Estrada
  • Best Actor
    Anthony Alonzo
    Christopher De Leon
  • Best Actress
    Nora Aunor
    Amy Austria
    Vilma Santos-Recto
    Maricel Soriano
  • Best Supporting Actress
    Eugene Domingo
    Cherie Gil
  • Best Director
    Marilou Diaz-Abaya
    Joel Lamangan
    Jose Javier Reyes
  • Best Screenplay/Story
    Roy Iglesias
    Ricky Lee
    Jose Javier Reyes
  • Best Cinematographer
    Rudy Lacap
    Lee Meily
    Carlo Mendoza
    Romy Vitug
  • Best Sound Engineer
    Ditoy Aguila
    Michael Albert Idioma
    Rolly Ruta
  • Best Musical Score
    Dionisio Buencamino
    Von de Guzman
    Jaime Fabregas
    Jessie Lasaten
  • Best Editor
    Vito Cajili
    Manet Dayrit
    Jess Navaroo
    Edgardo Vinarao
  • Best Visual Effects
    Roadrunner Network, Inc.