Judy Ann Santos, ‘Mindanao’ Win Big at the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival

Brillante Mendoza’s family, socio-political drama, Mindanao bagged the Best Picture plum at the recent Metro Manila Film Festival Awards Night at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City. Multi-awarded actress, Judy Ann Santos then copped the Best Actress trophy while co-star Allen Dizon snatched top acting award as Best Actor, while internationally-acclaimed auteur Mendoza goes home with the Best Director trophy.

Amidst polarizing reviews on its cultural accuracy, Mindanao, a film that centers on a Muslim mother of a child battling cancer set in the country’s warring region, raked in 11 awards, including special citations Gatpuno Villegas Cultural Award, the Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award and even Best Float, which the Cannes Film Festival-winning director worked on himself.

In a post, Santos, expressed her joy on this win but focused on encouraging the Filipino movie-going public to take time and see the film aside from the ones that have commonly been earning box office records in the festival.

She wrote, “Wooohhh!!! Lord! Grabe ka sa akin this year! I am beyond grateful ! ❤️❤️ maraming maraming salamat sa bumubuo ng mmff , mmdf sa parangal na ito.. to the whole team of mindanao congratulations for bagging 11 awards!! @brillante_mendoza direk.. maraming salamat sa pagkakataon na makatrabaho ka.. buong buhay kong ipagpapasalamat sayo si saima. ❤️❤️ @qurator@gelalaurel , @jeffreyaromin salamat sa pagpapaganda sa akin ngayong gabi.. worth it ang bangs! My love.. @ryan_agoncillo i love you.. thank you for capturing this image.. and for being with me this whole time.. you and the kids will always be my greatest blessing!


During her acceptance speech, Santos playfully joked about pooling her P100,000 sponsored cash winning that went with her award, along with co-star Dizon, to make up for the film’s poor performance at the box office. However, she pleaded, along with the film’s director to cinema operators to allow the award-winning film to be screened in their respective cinemas.

This serves as Santos’ second Best Actress win, after taking home the award in 2006 for the film Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo. opposite her now-husband Ryan Agoncillo. Mindanao has since premiered at the Cairo International Film Festival where she was also awarded the Best Actress trophy.

See the complete list of awardees here:

Best Picture: Mindanao

2nd Best Picture: Write About Love

3rd Best Picture: Sunod

Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award: Mindanao

Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award: Mindanao

Best Director: Brillante Mendoza, Mindanao

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Allen DizonMindanao

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Judy Ann SantosMindanao

Best Screenplay: Write About Love

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Joem Bascon, Write About Love

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Yeng Constantino, Write About Love

Best Child Performer: Yuna Tangog, Mindanao

Best Cinematography: Sunod

Best Sound: Mindanao

Best Original Song: Write About Love “Ikaw Ang Akin”

Best Editing: Write About Love

Best Visual Effects: Mindanao

Best Musical Score: Write About Love

Best Production Design: Sunod

Gender Sensitivity Award: Mindanao

Special Jury Prize Ensemble award: Culion

Special Jury Prize award: Crisanto Aquino, Write About Love

Best Float: Mindanao

Star of the Night (Male): Aga Muhlach

Star of the Night (Female): Carmina Villaroel

Best Student Short Film: Pamana ni Lola, Polytechnic University of the Philippines

Special Jury Prize Short Film: Bronze, Silver, Gold at Anting-Anting

This year, the Awards Night also handed out Hall of Fame awardees on various categories. Here are the awardees:

Hall of Fame Awardees

Best Actress: Nora Aunor, Amy Austria, Vilma Santos-Recto, Maricel Soriano

Best Actor: Anthony Alonzo, Cesar Montano, Christopher de Leon

Best Supporting Actress: Eugene Domingo, Cherie Gil

Best Director: Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Joel Lamangan, Jose Javier Reyes

Best Visual Effects: Roadrunner Network Inc.

Best Art Director: Rodel Cruz, Joey Luna

Best Cinematography: Rudy Lacap, Carlo Mendoza, Romy Vitug, Lee Meily

Best Sound Engineer: Ditoy Aguila, Michael Idioma, Rolly Ruta

Best Musical Score: Dionisio Buencamino, Von De Guzman, Jaime Fabregas, Jessie Lasaten

Best Editing: Vito Cajili, Manet Dayrit, Jess Navarro, Edgardo Vinarao

Best Screenplay: Roy Iglesias, Ricky Lee, Jose Javier Reyes