Films on gay men, intersex person bag top prizes in film fest

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SILA-SILA, a film about gay men navigating through breakups and friendships, and Metamorphosis, a film about an intersex individual, won the top prizes — Best Picture and Best Director, respectively — at the recently concluded Cinema One Originals film festival.

The awards were given on Nov. 15, at a ceremony held at the Dolphy Theater in Quezon City.

“The film is really about connections, how you build a relationship — not only with those you love but also those with your friends,” Sila-Sila film director Giancarlo Abrahan said in vernacular in his acceptance speech for the Best Picture award.

Mr. Abrahan also dedicated the film to the “entire spectrum of the LGBT community.”

“I was so happy when I saw this one tweet where the person said, ‘Wow, I feel seen.’ So now we’re here standing in front of you: a gay director, a gay writer [with] gay actors. We are seen,” he added.


The film also won Best Screenplay, the Audience Choice Award, and Topper Fabregas took home the Best Supporting Actor Award.

Meanwhile, Metamorphosis by J.E. Tiglao won Best Director, Best Actor for Gold Azeron, Best Supporting Actress for Iana Bernardez, Best Sound and Best Cinematography. The Best Cinematography award was shared with the horror film, Tia Madre.

The film — about an intersex individual, which the UN Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights defined as someone who “do not fit the typical definitions of male and female bodies” — was almost barred from screening during the festival due to the initial X-rating given by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). After an appeal and subsequent review, the film was given an R-16 rating.

“Five years, for five years I’ve fought for this film. Thank you for the people who supported me in doing this film. I dedicate this award to our intersex friends. Thank you,” Mr. Tiglao said during his Best Director acceptance speech.

Below is the list of winners of the 15th Cinema One Originals film festival:

• Best Picture: Sila-Sila

• Special Jury Prize: Utopia

• Best Director: J.E. Tiglao for Metamorphosis

• Best Actor: Gold Azeron for Metamorphosis

• Best Actress: Alessandra de Rossi for Lucid

• Best Supporting Actor: Topper Fabregas for Sila-Sila

• Best Supporting Actress: Iana Bernardez for Metamorphosis

• Best Screenplay: Daniel Saniana for Sila-Sila

• Best Cinematography: Shared by Tay Clamor for Metamorphosis and Carlos Mauricio for Tia Madre

• Best Production Design: Eero Yves Francisco for Utopia

• Best Editing: Benjamin Tolentino for Lucid

• Best Musical Score: Kevin Dayrint and Emerzon Texon for Lucid

• Best Sound: Immanuel Verona and Vince Banta for Metamorphosis

• Audience Choice Award: Sila-Sila

• Student Film Award: Kapasidad by Tyrone James Luanzon. — Zsarlene B. Chua