Firefly, GomBurZa are the big winners at 2024 MIFF awards

MIFF SPOKESPERSON NOEL FERRER

THE 1st MANILA International Film Festival (MIFF) in Los Angeles, California, which aimed to promote Filipino films made in the Philippines on the US and international film stage, saw Zig Dulay’s fantasy film Firefly emerge as the night’s big winner.

The MIFF showed the same line-up of films as the 2023 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) did last December.

Having been named Best Picture during the MMFF, Firefly again bagged the Best Picture award at the MIFF.

Meanwhile, Pepe Diokno’s historical drama GomBurZa was named Second Best Picture.

The awarding ceremony was held at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, California on Feb. 3.

Firefly’s other three awards that night were Best Screenplay for Angeli Atienza, Best Supporting Actress for Alessandra de Rossi, and Best Director for Zig Dulay.

The film follows Tonton (played by Euwenn Mikaell), who searches for the mythical island of fireflies that his mother Elay (played by Ms. De Rossi) told him about in her bedtime stories.

GomBurZa’s two other awards were Best Cinematography for Carlo Mendoza and the Audience Choice award. The film garnered acclaim for telling the tale of martyred Filipino Catholic priests Mariano Gomez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora.

Coming home with two awards is family drama Rewind — which is also the first Filipino film to have earned over P900 million at the box office. Its actors, Dingdong Dantes and Pepe Herrera, won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively, at the MIFF.

Tied with Mr. Dantes as Best Actor was Piolo Pascual, who played three different lead characters in the horror film Mallari, while Vilma Santos bagged the Best Actress award for her role in the romance When I Met You in Tokyo.

The 2024 MIFF jury included director Marie Jamora; Birns & Sawyer chief executive officer Mari Acevedo; director of photography Leah Anova; TV, film, and Broadway actor Reggie Lee; arts school director David Maquiling; and television and film actress Sumalee Montano — Brontë H. Lacsamana

HERE is the full list of winners at the 2024 Manila International Film Festival awards night which was held on Feb. 3.

Best Picture: Firefly

2nd Best Picture: GomBurZa

Special Jury Prize: Becky and Badette

Audience Choice Award: GomBurZa

Best Director: Zig Dulay, Firefly

Best Actor: Dingdong Dantes, Rewind; Piolo Pascual, Mallari

Best Actress: Vilma Santos, When I Met You In Tokyo

Best Supporting Actress: Alessandra de Rossi, Firefly

Best Supporting Actor: Pepe Herrera, Rewind

Best Cinematographer: Carlo Mendoza, GomBurZa

Best Screenplay: Angeli Atienza, Firefly

Trailblazer Awards: Mark Dacascos, Romando Artes, and Rochelle Ona

Lifetime Achievement Award: Ms. Hilda Koronel