IT INDEED pays to be brave.
Lights shone undoubtedly bright for ‘Firefly’ at the 2023 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Gabi ng Parangal last December 27, as the film took home three major awards among 15 nominations, including this year’s Best Picture nod.
Produced by GMA Pictures and GMA Public Affairs, Firefly likewise bested nine other entries in two more categories: Best Screenplay, which was won by GMA Public Affairs Senior AVP and Firefly creator Angeli Atienza, and Best Child Performer, which was conferred to GMA Sparkle child star Euwenn Mikaell.
The coming-of-age road trip drama is GMA Network’s official entry to this year’s MMFF.
It follows the story of Tonton (Euwenn), a young boy on a journey to find the mystical island of fireflies from his mother’s bedtime stories. Together with the companions he meets along the way, they set out on a quest of their dreams in search of the fireflies.
The film is also top-billed by award-winning actress Alessandra de Rossi, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Elay – Tonton’s mother in the film. Earning Best Supporting Actor nominations as well were Dingdong Dantes (who played the young Tonton) and Epy Quizon. Ysabel Ortega, Miguel Tanfelix, Cherry Pie Picache, Yayo Aguila, Kokoy de Santos, and Max Collins complete the ensemble.
Senior Vice President for GMA Pictures and First Vice President for GMA Public Affairs Nessa Valdellon shares her pride for Firefly’s recent MMFF achievements: “This means so much to GMA Public Affairs. Firefly is a story about a small boy with a big and heartfelt dream. It’s also the story of GMA Public Affairs, this small team that could. We were the underdog in the MMFF this year but somehow, magically, became the biggest winner of all. So I just want to tell everyone to continue being brave and to believe in the power of stories!”
“My only hope is that more people watch and come to love Firefly, as it’s a film made with so much love and respect for our audience,” she added.
Behind the success of ‘Firefly’ is ‘Maria Clara at Ibarra’ director Zig Dulay, who heartwarmingly dedicates the film to his late mother. “Siya ang nagsilbing patunay sa akin na totoo ang mga superheroes na napapanood sa mga pelikula,” shared Dulay, who was also nominated for Best Director.
Award-winning cinematographer Neil Daza, who was nominated for Best Cinematography, further highlighted the film’s cinematic masterpiece.
The film was also shortlisted in various special awards including the Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence, Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award, Gender Sensitivity Award, and Best Float.
Also earning nominations for Firefly were Kenneth Kevin Villanueva (Best Production Design), Reality MM Studios Inc. (Best Visual Effects), and Len Calvo (Best Musical Score).
In its special screening last December 12, ‘Firefly’ received touching praises from Kapuso celebrities and personalities, including award-winning broadcast journalists Jessica Soho, Howie Severino, and Kara David, who all commended ‘Firefly’ for its powerful and moving storytelling.
Moviegoers echoed their sentiments amid the limited cinemas where the film was being shown during the first few days of the festival screening.
Coming from the public’s clamor, more cinemas have been added to the list of theaters where Firefly can be seen.
The Metro Manila Film Festival continues to embody the highest standards of excellence in Filipino cinema, and ‘Firefly’ proudly cements its place as a top-performing masterpiece in this year’s film festival. (PR)