Winners of the recently-concluded Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival pose for their family picture at the end of the awards night held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines

Respeto wins big in Cinemalaya 2017
Vberni Regalado (The Philippine Star) - August 14, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - In a film festival of diverse narratives, a movie about the underground hip-hop scene and the modern age of impunity swept the major awards at the 13th edition of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.

Respeto bagged the Best Film award for its “infectious, propulsive energy, its highly convincing cast of characters and very effective ensemble acting, its breathtaking, nearly epic sweep of the underside of Manila, its expert application of the resources of cinema to depict a teenager’s drive to rise above poverty and violence, its cogent melding of contemporary rap and traditional oral literature, and its sheer humanity and coruscating poetry.”

The film also bagged Best Sound, Best Editing, Best Cinematography (tied with Baconaua), Audience Choice Award and NETPAC Jury Prize Award.

In an interview with The STAR, director Albert Monteras II said the film’s core message is that “violence doesn’t solve anything. Hindi natin kailangan ng karahasan para masolusyonan ang problema ng bayan. Pinaka-importante ‘yung respeto sa sarili, respeto sa kapwa, lalo na ‘yung respeto sa karapatang pantao.

Set in urban poor Manila, Respeto tackles human rights violations across two generations — weaved altogether by music and poetry. The film stars rapper Abra and Dido de la Paz, who won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Doc, an old man being haunted by his tragic past.

Young theater actor Noel Comia Jr. wins Best Actor for his role as Kiko in Thop Nazareno’s Kiko Boksingero

Meanwhile, indie favorite Angeli Bayani won Best Actress for her powerful portrayal of Mercy in Zig Dulay’s Bagahe, an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who is suspected of dumping a newborn in the trash bin of an airplane toilet and subjected to state criminal investigation. In the film, government agencies try to lighten her emotional baggage, but with a price to pay.

Masayang masaya ako. Apart from the fact that the film is timely, it is a necessity (to tell this story). Mataas ‘yung level ng emotional investment (ko sa character). I was so emotional when I received my award because I was here for quite some time, being part of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company, the resident theater company of CCP. So, to receive an award on this stage was just (thrilling),” Bayani told The STAR.

Bagahe also won Best Screenplay.

Young theater actor Noel Comia Jr. won Best Actor for his role as Kiko in Thop Nazareno’s Kiko Boksingero, a young boy who wants to be a boxer to reconnect with his prizefighter-father (played by Yul Servo). Yayo Aguila, who plays his nanny in the film, also won Best Supporting Actress. Kiko Boksingero was Comia’s debut film.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Full-length Feature Film

• Best Full-length Feature Film: Respeto
Best Director: Joseph Israel Laban (Baconaua)
• Best Actor: Noel Comia Jr. (Kiko Boksingero)
• Best Actress: Angeli Bayani (Bagahe)
• Best Supporting Actor: Dido de la Paz (Respeto)
Best Supporting Actress: Yayo Aguila (Kiko Boksingero)
Best Sound: Corinne de San Jose (Respeto)
• Best Musical Score: Kiko Boksingero
• Best Editing: Lawrence Ang (Respeto)
Best Production Design: Marxie Maolen Fadul (Nabubulok)
Best Cinematography: Ike Avellana (Respeto) and TM Malones (Baconaua)
• Best Screenplay: Zig Dulay (Bagahe)
• Special Jury Prize: Baconaua 
• NETPAC Jury Prize: Respeto
• Audience Choice: Respeto

Short Film Feature

• Best Short Film: Hilom
• Best Screenplay: Duwi Monteagudo (Bawod)
Best Director: E. del Mundo (Manong ng Pa-aling)
Audience Choice: Nakauwi Na
• Special Jury Prize: Fatima Marie Torres and the Invasion of Space Shuttle Pinas 25
NETPAC Jury Prize: Aliens Ata

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