MANILA METRO FILM FESTIVAL: 'ASIONG' SWEEPS WITH 11 TROPHIES

[PHOTO - Laguna Gov. E.R. Ejercito (in bow tie) and wife Pagsanjan Mayor Maita Sanchez (to his left) lead the cheering for the victory of Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story at the Metro Filmfest Gabi ng Parangal Wednesday night. PHOTOS by VER PAULINO]

MANILA, DECEMBER 31, 2011 (STAR) By Ricardo F. Lo - Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story joined late in the 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), taking the slot left vacant by Robin Padilla who bowed out, and coming out the biggest winner with 11 trophies at the MMFF Gabi ng Parangal held Wednesday night at the Resorts World Manila.

Starring in the title role Laguna Gov. E.R. Ejercito (a.k.a. Jeorge Estregan) who was undoubtedly inspired by the same movie that launched his uncle, former Pres. Joseph “Erap” Estrada in the early ‘60s, Asiong Salonga won, among other awards, Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (for John Regala) and Best Director for Tikoy Aguiluz who has earlier asked that his name be removed from the credits due to a misunderstanding with the producers.

Absent from the awards night (she’s abroad), Maricel Soriano won Best Actress for Regal Films’ Yesterday Today Tomorrow which was disqualified from competing in four categories (Picture, Direction, Screenplay and the Gatpuno Award) due to what the MMFF executive committee said was a violation of a rule (that the finished product must conform to the script submitted months earlier).

John Regala, Best Supporting Actor (Asiong Salonga)

Dingdong Dantes was named Best Actor (for Segunda Mano, which he himself co-produced with co-star Kris Aquino and Star Cinema) while Eugene Domingo took the Best Supporting Actress Award for her performance in the comedy My HouseHusband: Ikaw Na!

As of last count, Asiong Salonga placed sixth among the seven entries, with Enteng ng Ina Mo a runaway No. 1 with more than P110M gross so far. This year’s target gross of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is P600M, or more. Last year’s gross was more than P500M.

Asiong Salonga opened last Dec. 25 in only 17 theaters. With more theaters, it could have earned more. Reports quoted Gov. E.R. that behind the delay in the delivery of the prints to the cinemas was a “connivance” between film processing laboratory SQ Film Laboratories and production companies in the Metrofest. SQ Film Laboratories is categorically denying any “connivance.”

In a media statement, post-production manager Anastacio Angelo A. Santos said, “With all due respect to Gov. E.R. Ejercito, we regret that the delay in the release of the prints was interpreted as sabotage, which we categorically deny. We also categorically deny that there was, nor will there ever be, any connivance between SQ Film Laboratories and other production companies involved in this festival.”

Eugene Domingo, Best Supporting Actress (My Househusband: Ikaw Na!)

Santos also put on record that, in fact, the printing of the Kris Aquino-Dingdong Dantes starrer Segunda Mano was halted to give way to the printing of the provincial copies of Asiong Salonga.

Santos said that this arrangement was done “with the consent of both production managers of Star Cinema and Scenema Concept.” Star Cinema is one of the producers of Segunda Mano, while Scenema Concept is the producer of Asiong Salonga.

Santos pointed out that having been established in 1971, SQ Film Laboratories is the oldest existing film processing company in the Philippines. It takes pride in producing the prints of many MMFF movies since the filmfest began in 1975. SQ’s roster of clients includes mainstream and independent film producers, as well as international production companies. SQ Film Laboratories is wholly-owned by the family of Dr. Felixberto Santos and Mrs. Purita Q. Santos.

Here is Santos’ complete statement:

We write this in response to an article dated December 27, 2011, ‘E.R. Ejercito slams delayed release of ‘Asiong’ prints,’ and released on Yahoo! Southeast Asian Newsroom, in which the Laguna governor claims that his film was deliberately sabotaged by the late release of the prints by our film laboratory, which in turn allegedly affected the number of prints in circulation. We reserve the right to respond to these unfair allegations.

Lifetime Achievement awardee Eddie Garcia with Boots Anson-Roa

With all due respect to the Governor, we regret that the delay in release of prints was interpreted as sabotage, which we categorically deny. We also categorically deny that there was, nor will there ever be, any connivance between SQ Film Laboratories and the other production companies involved in this festival.

For the record, with the consent of both production managers of Star Cinema and Scenema Concept, the printing of Segunda Mano was stopped to give way to the printing of the provincial copies of Kingpin. SQ Film Laboratories is not involved in the distribution of prints to theaters.

Our laboratories are the longest running film processing company in the Philippines and maintain the highest standard of professionalism. It is unfortunate that in the run up to the festival, the incoming and erratic traffic of material from different groups of filmmakers resulted in compromises to the final outcomes to all concerned.

Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos receives award for Pintakasi, Best New Wave Full-Length Film, which she produced

In line with our mission statement, our company “commits ourselves to serve the best interest of the company’s stockholders, employees, customers, suppliers, and the global environment through high standards of integrity by delivering quality and technical expertise through leading technology and innovation, competitive pricing and excellent customer service in pursuit of financial growth and excellence.”

We run our business with excellence and integrity and will continue to do so to provide the best service to the Filipino film industry.

The Metro Filmfest ends on Jan. 7 next year. Some of the entries might go on extended run. But the official total gross will cover only the 10-day festival. At the rate it’s going, the MMFF might outgross last year’s.

The Honor Roll

• Best Actor — Dingdong Dantes (Segunda Mano)

• Best Actress — Maricel Soriano (Yesterday Today Tomorrow)

• Best Festival Supporting Actor — John Regala (Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story)

• Best Festival Supporting Actress —Eugene Domingo (My Househusband: Ikaw Na!)

• Best Production Design — Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story

• Best in Editing — Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story (Jason Cahapay and Ryan Orduna)

• Best Musical Score — Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story (Nonong Buencamino)

• Best Sound Recording — Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story (Mike Idioma)

• Best Festival Visual Effects — Ang Panday 2 (Riot, Inc.)

• Best Make-Up — Enteng ng Ina Mo

• Best Festival Original Theme Song — Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story (La Paloma by Ely Buendia)

• Best Cinematography — Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story (Carlo Mendoza)

• Gender Sensitivity Award — My Househusband

• Best Festival Child Performer — Bugoy Cariρo (Shake, Rattle & Roll 13)

• Best Story — Shake, Rattle & Roll 13 (Rain, Rain Go Away)

• Best Screenplay — Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story (Roi Iglesias and Rey Ventura)

• Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award — Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story

• Best Festival Director — Tikoy Aguiluz (Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story)

• Best Festival Picture — Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story

• 2nd Best Festival Picture — Enteng ng Ina Mo

• 3rd Best Festival Picture — Shake, Rattle & Roll 13

• Best Float — Ang Panday 2

* * *

New Wave — Independent Film Section

• Best New Wave Actor — JM de Guzman (Pintakasi)

• Best New Wave Actress — Iza Calzado (HIV)

• Best New Wave Full-Length Film — Pintakasi

• Best New Wave Student Short Film — Mate and Payaso (Tie)

• New Wave Section Special Jury Prize — Biyahe Ni Barbie

• Gender Sensitivity Award (Student Category) — Speechless

• Gender Sensitivity Award (Full-Length Category) — HIV

* * *

Special Awards

• Lifetime Achievement Award — Eddie Garcia

• Male Kutis Ganda Celebrity Award — Ryan Agoncillo

• Female Kutis Ganda Celebrity Award — Ai-Ai de las Alas

• Celebrity Sexiest Appeal of the Night — ER Ejercito

• Celebrity Sexiest Appeal of the Night — Judy Ann Santos

• Male Face of the Night — Richard Gomez

• Female Face of the Night — Iza Calzado

• SMDC Most Glamorous Stars — Iza Calzado and Ryan Agoncillo

• Posthumous Award for Excellence — Director/choreographer Lito Calzado


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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