ANTOINETTE Jadaone’s film about not meeting one’s heroes swept this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival’s (MMFF) awarding ceremonies, going home with nine awards including all of the night’s biggest ones: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress for 24-year-old Charlie Dizon and Best Actor for Paulo Avelino.

The film has been a frontrunner since it was announced as an entry to the festival in November due to the praise it got when it premiered at the 2020 Tokyo International Film Festival.

What was more impressive was that Ms. Dizon won the Best Actress Award over seasoned veterans including the Superstar herself, Nora Aunor.

“I don’t know if I’ll be a part of a great film like this again, so I’m very thankful for this opportunity,” Ms. Dizon said during the awards ceremony held on Dec. 27 via Facebook Live.

Aside from the major awards, Fan Girl also went home with several technical awards including Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Sound, and Best Cinematography.

The Boy Foretold by the Stars won Second Best Picture at the MMFF. The win was described by its writer/director Dolly Dulu as “a big step towards representation of LGBTQ — that we have stories to tell and that people want to hear our stories.”

Meanwhile, the fantasy Magikland, which used extensive CGI effects, bagged many of the technical awards: Best Musical Score, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects. It also took home the award for the Best Virtual Float — as the traditional MMFF float parade could not be held because of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a virtual parade was held instead.

The pandemic also led to the film festival being held online, with the entries screening online via The festival is ongoing until Jan. 7.

The full list of the winners follows:

Best Picture: Fan Girl

Second Best Picture: The Boy Foretold by the Stars

Third Best Picture: Tagpuan

Best Director: Antoinette Jadaone (Fan Girl)

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Charlie Dizon (Fan Girl)

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Paulo Avelino (Fan Girl)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Michael de Mesa (Isa Pang Bahaghari)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Shaina Magdayao (Tagpuan)

Best Child Performer: Seiyo Masunaga (The Missing)

Best Screenplay: Fan Girl, Antoinette Jadaone

Best Cinematography: Fan Girl, Neil Daza

Best Sound: Fan Girl, Vincent Villa

Best Original Theme Song: “Ulan” by Jhay Cura/ Pau Protacio (The Boy Foretold by the Stars)

Best Editing: Fan Girl, Benjamin Tolentino

Best Musical Score: Magikland, Emerzon Texon

Best Production Design: Magikland, Ericson Navarro

Best Visual Effects: Magikland, Richard Francia, Ryan Grimarez (Central Digital Lab)

Best Student Short Film: Paano Maging Babae, De La Salle College of Saint Benilde

Best Virtual Float: Magikland

Gender SensitivityAward: The Boy Foretold by the Stars

Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award: Suarez: The Healing Priest

FPJ Memorial Award: Magikland

Marichu Vera Perez-Maceda Memorial Award: Gloria Romero

Special Jury Prize: Peque Gallaga

Zsarlene B. Chua