Erik Matti's 'Seklusyon' dominates MMFF awards night


Posted at Dec 29 2016 11:05 PM | Updated as of Dec 30 2016 12:48 AM

Erik Matti ("Seklusyon") wins Best Director at the annual Gabi ng Parangal. Photo from the film's Facebook page

The field in this year's Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) didn't have a prayer against "Seklusyon."

During the filmfest's awards night held at the Kia Theater in Cubao Thursday, Erik Matti's devil-infested film burned through the competition and took home seven major awards, including the coveted Best Director nod for Matti.

It also won Best Supporting Actress for Phoebe Walker, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Sound Design, and Best Original Theme Song. 

The top prize, however, went to Baby Ruth Villarama's "Sunday Beauty Queen," a documentary about the lives of OFWs living in Hong Kong. It is the first documentary to have been selected as one of the official list of entries of the MMFF. 

Paolo Ballesteros, as expected, snagged Best Actor for his role as a transgender in "Die Beautiful." Irma Adlawan's portrayal of a barangay captain defending a small mining community from bandits won her Best Actress. 

Here is the list of winners:

Best Picture — "Sunday Beauty Queen"

Best Actress — Irma Adlawan, "Oro"

Best Actor — Paolo Ballesteros, "Die Beautiful" 

Best Supporting Actress — Phoebe Walker, "Seklusyon"

Best Supporting Actor — Christian Bables, "Die Beautiful"

Best Director — Erik Matti's "Seklusyon"

Best Screenplay — "Seklusyon"

Female Celebrity of the Night — Rhian Ramos

Male Celebrity of the Night — Ronnie Alonte

Best Cinematography — "Seklusyon" 

Best Editing — "Sunday Beauty Queen"

Best Production Design — "Seklusyon" 

Best Original Theme Song — Francis de Veyra's "Dominus Miserere" ("Seklusyon")

Best Musical Score — "Saving Sally"

Best Sound Design — "Seklusyon"

Best Ensemble Cast — "Oro"

People's Choice — "Die Beautiful" 

Children's Choice — "Saving Sally," "Sunday Beauty Queen" and "Vince & Kath & James"

Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award — "Sunday Beauty Queen"

Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence — "Oro"

Special Jury Prize — Rhed Bustamante, "Seklusyon"

Best Float — "Die Beautiful"

Meanwhile, "EJK," a dark comedy tackling the prevalence of extrajudicial killings in the country, took home the top honor for the short film category, 

In other short-film categories, the animated drama "Passage of Life" was the Children's Choice; "Manila Scream" received a special jury prize; "Mitatang," another animated feature, won Best Screenplay; and Jarell Serencio of "Mga Bitoon sa Siyudad" was named Best Director.