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‘Big Night!’ hits close to home

‘Kun Maupay Man It Panahon’ depicts the harrowing experience of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” through a family in a fictional coastal town



Christian Bables / Photograph courtesy of MMFF

Very close to home.

That’s what the two biggest winners in the 47th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), Big Night! and Kun Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether the Weather is Fine), are all about.

On 27 December, Big Night! — about a beautician running against time to get his name off a dreaded list of drug suspects — took home eight awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Jun Lana), Best Actor (Christian Bables), Best Supporting Actor (John Arcilla), Best Cinematography and Best Musical Score.

‘KUN Maupay Man It Panahon,’ starring Rans Rifol, Daniel Padilla and Charo Santos-Concio wins Second Best Picture. / PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF MMFF

Kun Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether the Weather is Fine) — about a family fleeing their town after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” strikes — won seven: Second Best Picture, Best Actress (Charo Santos-Concio), Best Supporting Actress (Rans Rifol) MMFF Jury Prize (Daniel Padilla), Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects and Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award.

In Big Night! the Philippines’ controversial drug war is laced with humor without diluting the subject’s potency. Bables’ character, Dharna, goes through a circuitous manner to prove to authorities their drug list is inaccurate.

It is during Dharna’s struggle to clear his name that the plot turns into an art-imitating-life-and-vice-versa cycle.

“I am blessed to be put in a profession where I can be a voice to the voiceless,” Bables was quoted after a Big Night! press screening. “I find it hard to put my opinions in words. But let me show where I stand through my art. The world is full of hate. I think we owe the world our message of hope through our performances.”

Meanwhile, Kun Maupay Man It Panahon depicts the harrowing experience of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” through a family in a fictional coastal town. Miguel (Padilla) searches for his mother Norma (Concio) and his girlfriend Andrea (Rifol) as another storm approaches.

Co-producer Joji Alonso said the movie took seven years to make. It has been screened in 10 international film festivals and won two awards in Europe (Best Director and Best Film from a New Filmmaker for Carlo Francisco Manatad).

Shot in the Waray language, the movie took a whopping P65 million to make.

“We are grateful to all those who helped Carlo make this film as a tribute to Tacloban City when it was ravaged by Supertyphoon ‘Yolanda’ in 2013,” Alonso said.

It is hoped that the awards night can draw more people to watch the MMFF in cinemas.


Winners’ list

Best Picture — Big Night!
2nd Best Picture — Kun Maupay Man It Panahon
3rd Best Picture — A Hard Day
Best Actress in a Leading Role — Charo Santos-Concio (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 Director — Jun Robles Lana (Big Night!)
MMFF Jury Prize Award — Daniel Padilla (Kun Maupay Man It Panahon)
MMFF Creator Jury’s Choice Award — Kandado
Best Cinematography — Big Night!
Best Editing — A Hard Day
Best Production Design — Kung Maupay Man It Panahon
Best Visual Effects — Kun Maupay Man It Panahon
Best Original Theme Song — Huling Ulan Sa Tag-Araw (Umulan Man o Umaraw by Louie Ignacio)
Best Musical Score — Big Night!
Best Sound — A Hard Day
Best Float — Huwag Kang Lalabas
Marichu Vera-Perez Maceda Memorial awardee — Rosa Rosal
Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award — Kun Maupay Man It Panahon
Gender Sensitivity Award — Big Night!
Natatanging Gawad MMFF — Chairman Danny Lim and Bienvenido Lumbera