Queers Win Big in MMFF, Philippines’ Summer Film Festival Awards

Summer MMFF

Filipino queers have something to celebrate as they win big at the recently concluded awards night for the 2023 Metro Manila Summer Film Festival (Summer MMFF), on April 11, at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City, Metro Manila.

The Philippines saw transgender actress Kaladkaren win the Best Supporting Actress Award, the first transgender to win the said award in the history of the film festival. She won for her role in the LGBTQ-themed comedy film ‘Here Comes the Groom.’

“This award doesn’t just recognize my work, but also my identity,” she said as she accepted the award. “Thank you for hiring a transgender actress to play a transgender character. Thank you for being truthful,” she added.

‘Here Comes the Groom’ also won the Best Supporting Actor and Special Jury Prize. The film is about a conservative Catholic family on their way to a wedding that gets body-swapped with a family of gay pageant contestants when their vehicles hit in the midst of a solar eclipse and cruised on a magnetic field.

Another LGBTQ-themed film, ‘About Us But Not About Us’, made a sweeping win as it gathered 10 awards in total. The film won the following: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Romnick Sarmienta), Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Editing, Best Sound, Best Musical Score, and Special Jury Prize (Elijah Canlas).

Summer MMFF
Above: Kaladkaren; Below: Cast of ‘About Us But Not About Us (Images: PEP.ph)

 

‘About Us But Not About Us’ is a 91-minute film set in post-COVID-19 lockdown Manila where a gay professor (Sarmienta) who is grieving the loss of his partner, meets a young literature student (Canlas) in a restaurant. Their initially simple conversation “becomes a dangerous game of cat and mouse in which startling revelations are made.”

The 2023 Summer MMFF, a “summer” spin-off of the Metro Manila Film Festival annually held in December, will run until April 18.

Sources: (1) (2) (3)

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