Robin Padilla (MNS photo)

Robin Padilla (MNS photo)

Although “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo” brought home nine trophies at the 40th Metro Manila Film Festival Awards, the biopic’s producer can’t understand why the film did not win the Best Screenplay and Best Director awards.

The historical film on the life of the Filipino hero won Best Picture but failed to clinch the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Director awards.

Dan Villegas was named Best Director for “English Only Please,” while the film’s lead stars, Derek Ramsay and Jennylyn Mercado, bagged the top acting honors.

Nagpapasalamat pa rin kami sa dami ng awards na aming nakuha. For me, mission accomplished kami,” producer Rina Navarro said.

“But I am half-hearted as a producer. Hindi ko po siya ma-celebrate ng lubos dahil para sa puso ko at sa mga nanood ng ‘Bonifacio,’ si Robin Padilla, si Vina Morales, ang aming director, the way we wrote our script, buong puso nilang ginawa ‘yun at ang effort po nila ay exemplary. I speak for myself,” she said.

While stressing that she has no quarrel with the team behind “English Only Please,” Navarro has questions about the judging process.

I want to be educated at nagtatanong din ako bilang first time producer kung ano ba talaga ang basehan or ingredient ng isang Best Picture. In layman’s term, kung ihahalintulad ko siya sa pagkain, masarap ang ulam, panalo siya pero ‘yung nagluto at ‘yung mga kasama na ingredients, hindi panalo. Hindi ko rin siya maintindihan.”

Navarro nonetheless congratulated Ramsay and Mercado.

“I want to congratulate them both. Maganda naman ang acting nila. I don’t want to discredit anyone. Doon lang po ako nagbe-base sa how I feel na I am not happy. I cannot celebrate for Robin, my director, for Vina,” she explained.

“Sa mga nanalo, I want to congratulate them. Hindi nila kasalanan that they won. Lahat ng mga artista, of course, they gave their best. I only speak po for ‘Bonifacio,’” she said.

Meanwhile, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino, who also heads the MMFF executive committee, maintained that judging had been fair with the board of jurors comprising not just of members of the academe but also renowned figures in the film industry.

For Best Picture, Tolentino said the criteria is 25% creativity and artistry, 25% technical excellence and innovation, 25% content and 25% Filipino, cultural or historical value.

He added the scores of the judges were also audited by an independent firm.

Lahat po ng hurado, lahat ng criteria ay merong kanya-kanyang pamantayan at lahat po ito ay sinuri at sinuma ng ating independent auditing firm,” Tolentino said.

Yung 25% doon sa screenplay ay maaring daig sa ilang bahagi pero pag sinuma ay talagang Best Picture. Pero kapag binukod ‘yung content ay baka may close fight doon o merong basehan ‘yung judges na hindi ko alam, hindi naman ako member ng board of jurors,” he explained.

Nonetheless, Toletino thanked Navarro for joining this year’s MMFF, saying “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo” is a great contribution to the movie industry. (MNS)