IT was a fruitful night for “Big Night,” as it won a bevy of awards at the recent Metro Manila Film Festival 2021’s Gabi ng Parangal.
The Jun Robles Lana-directed film won best picture, best director (Lana), best screenplay (Lana) best actor (Christian Bables), best supporting actor (John Arcilla), best cinematography (Carlo Canlas Mendoza), best musical score (Teresa Barrozo) and Gender Sensitivity Award, per an article from PEP.ph.
In a nutshell, “Big Night” is the story of a gay beautician named Dharna who learns that his name has been included in a watchlist of drug users/drug pushers. In the midst of preparing a costume for his boyfriend who works at a gay bar who will again have a big night, Dharna flies all over town to ask for assistance from several people on how to clear his name from the list.
According to director Lana, the idea of “Big Night” came to him as he was shooting another film. He overheard a group of talents talking and laughing about an EJK (extrajudicial killing) in a barangay where a body was discovered. The person was covered only by cardboard.
“The reason they were laughing,” the director related, “was that it was fiesta day for the barangay. I don’t know if it’s true, but the body was mistaken for a lechon.”
“I don’t know the veracity of the story but just to hear them laughing about it, I thought to myself, ‘Have we arrived at this point where we are numb to what is happening around us?’ And I thought, you know, comedy would be the perfect lens for us to see how we have become numb to these kinds of experiences,” he continued.
“It is funny, but I hope in the end we feel that who we are laughing at is only ourselves,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bables, in a lengthy acceptance speech, offered his award to EJK victims who do not have the voice or strength to fight for their rights.
Even if he could not express it through words, Bables said, “Let me fight with you through my art.”
Aside from thanking director Lana and Perci Intalan, the actor also said he wanted to share his award with fellow nominees Daniel Padilla and Dingdong Dantes.
Industry stalwart Charo Santos, meanwhile, won the best actress award for her performance in the film “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon,” according to Inquirer.net.
Describing her win as a “very pleasant surprise,” Charo said she considers it a privilege to star in a film about those who were affected by super typhoon Yolanda several years ago.
“To MMFF, this is a very pleasant surprise in a challenging year where I have been in a roller coaster of emotions,” she said.
“I would like to dedicate this to all Taclobeños. I had the privilege to share your story around the world in my own little way. I hope this also serves as an inspiration to our fellow Filipinos who were affected by typhoon Odette,” she added.
Santos was not able to attend the MMFF’s awards night due to personal matters, although she extended her congratulations to fellow film stars Daniel Padilla and Rans Rifol who were honored with the special jury prize and best supporting actress award, respectively.
“Kun Maupay Man It Panahon,” a film which tackles the story of a mother and son dealing with the aftermath of the super typhoon that hit Tacloban and nearby provinces eight years ago, is directed by Carlo Francisco Manatad. It won a special award at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland last August.
Here’s the full list of winners at the recent MMFF “Gabi ng Parangal”:
- Best Picture: “Big Night!”
- Second Best Picture: “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”
- Third Best Picture: “A Hard Day”
- Best Director: Jun Robles Lana, “Big Night!”
- MMFF Jury Prize Award: Daniel Padilla, “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”
- Best Actress in a Leading Role: Charo Santos, “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”
- Best Actor in a Leading Role: Christian Bables, “Big Night!”
- Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Rans Rifol, “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”
- Best Actor in a Supporting Role: John Arcilla, “Big Night!”
- Best Screenplay: Jun Robles Lana, “Big Night!”
- Gatpuno Antonio J Villegas Cultural Award: “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”
- Marichu Vera-Perez Maceda Memorial Award: Rosa Rosal
- Natatanging Gawad MMFF: Chairman Danny Lim and Bienvenido Lumbera
- MMFF Creator Jury’s Choice Award: “Kandado”
- Gender Sensitivity Award: “Big Night!”
- Best Cinematography: Carlo Canlas Mendoza, “Big Night!”
- Best Editing: Lawrence Fajardo, “A Hard Day”
- Best Production Design: Juan Manuel Alcazaren, “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”
- Best Visual Effects: Mofac Creative Works, Hue Media Quantum Post, Ogie Tiglao, “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon”
- Best Original Theme Song: “Umulan Man O Umaraw,” “Huling Ulan sa Tag-Araw”
- Best Musical Score: Teresa Barrozo, “Big Night!”
- Best Sound: Albert Michael Idioma, “A Hard Day”
- Best Float: “Huwag Kang Lalabas”.