Award-winning ‘Mindanao’ director Brillante Mendoza asks more cinemas to screen film
Award-winning ‘Mindanao’ director Brillante Mendoza asks more cinemas to screen film
The day after winning all major MMFF 2019 awards, only 38 cinemas nationwide screened the movie

MANILA, Philippines – After winning the Best Actress award during the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2019 awards night on Friday, December 27, Judy Ann Santos made a rather strange quip.  

“Direk, pwede naming pagsamahin ni Allen yung P200,000 pwede na ba natin… kikita na siguro tayo kahit papaano,” she said, referring to Best Director winner Brillante Mendoza and Best Actor winner Allen Dizon. (Direk, maybe Allan and I can bring together our cash prized. The movie will earn that way.) 

As funny as the actress’ wisecrack was, Mindanao faced a less than hilarous problem: It was not getting the distribution it wanted.

As of Saturday, December 28, only 38 cinemas around the country were screening the movie.  

“Ang hiling lang po sana namin ay madagdagan po kami ng sinehan bukas. At sana itong award na ito, magpatuloy at mapanood natin ang ‘Mindanao.’ Ginawa namin ito para sa inyo,” said Brillante after recieving the award for Best Director.

(Our only wish is for us to get more cinemas tomorrow. With this award, we hope you’ll be able to see Mindanao. We did this for all of you.) 

Bilang kaunti lang po ang sinehan namin, pakidamihan naman po pakisabi na lang,” said Judy Ann. 

(Since we only have a few cinemas, can we please have a bit more.)

The MMFF is a yearly festival that begins on Christmas Day, December 25. In the duration of the festival, only MMFF entries are allowed to be screened in Philippine cinemas. There are 7 other films in this year’s MMFF roster. 

BEST FILM. Brillante Mendoza and the people behind the movie 'Mindanao' onstage. Photo by Dion Besa/Rappler

In Mindanao, Judy Ann plays a mother who takes care of her child with cancer as she waits for her husband (Allen Dizon) to come home. (READ: Judy Ann Santos on being culturally sensitive in the film ‘Mindanao’)

Aside from the acting and best picture awards, Mindanao also picked up several special awards including the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award, Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award, and Gender Sensitive Award.  – Alexa Villano/

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