By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City – The effervescent Luis Pedron opened the International Film Festival Manhattan 2016 awards night on Thursday, October 20, with a pop dance with filmmaker Ricky Carranza, director of film documentary Beyond the Block.
Donning a Marcoart red satin vest, the IFFM creator swayed and hopped well enough to electrify the mood of the audience at the Kalayaan Hall. Pedron cited 20 awards to actors and filmmakers, topbilling Gemini, a Philipine psycho thriller movie as the Best Feature film Global. Gemini is directed by Ato Bautista and features twin sisters Sheena and Briggit McBride.
Andreas Munoz was named best actor for his portrayal of St. Ignacio de Loyola, a Spanish film. His sister, Gara Munoz received the plaque and read his acceptance speech, “I was a little boy dreaming to be an actor and now I have won. Let us keep dreaming. We should not stop.” These words made Pedron emotional and couldn’t contain himself but cry.
Best actress awardee Nathalie Hart for Siphayo broke the ice for being unprepared in her acceptance speech, blurting that she’s grateful and hungry too.
The Best Ensemble Acting award went to the cast of Walang Take Two, most of whom flew in from the Philippines. The comedy-drama film, directed by Jay Cuevas, was screened during the awards night along with the short film Lila.
Dennis Garcia, who played toughie Oblax, has endeared himself with the crowd that evening.
The OSM! Online magazine, a major media sponsor of the event, congratulates all winners of the #IFFMNYC 2016.
Here is a complete list:
“Our Journey to Hijaz” Dir: Jameelah Lineses
“A Matter of Seconds” Dir: Mo Zapata
“ Silence of the Ham” Dir: Sean Lynch
“Ella” Dir: Paula Romy Riemann
Actor Jake Mestre “Ekaj”
Actress Brigitte McBride “Gemini”
Actress Sheenah McBride “Gemini”
1) Life Time Achievement Award in Screenwriting
Winner: Ricardo “Ricky” Lee (Philippines)
2) Outstanding Achievement in Popular Art
Winner: Peter Marco (USA)
3) Best Student Film:
Winner: “ The Equation “ Dir: Rhoda Joy Blaza (USA/Philippines)
4) Best FX
Winner: “ The X Job” Dir: Gerard Mendez (USA)
5) Best Cinematopgraphy
Winner: “Another Place” Dir: Ian Nsenga (Canada)
Cinematographer/DP: Cliff Hokanson
6) Best Music Video
Winner: “Exist” Kirby Assunto Music Video Dir: Director: Kurt D. Fick (USA/Philippines)
7) IFFM Most Popular
Winner: “Magtanggol” Dir: Sigfreid Barros – Sanchez (Philippines)
8) Best Screenplay
Winner: “Thicker Than Water” Dir/Screenplay by: Brynn Thayer (USA)
9) Best Short
Winner: “ Lucky Jinx “ Dir: Giovanni Baldeserri (Philippines)
10) Best Actor Short
Winner: “Redlights” Actor Leon Miguel (Philippines)
11) Best Director Short
Winner: “ Licentious “ Dir: Daryl Denner (USA)
12) Best Actor
Winner: “Ignacio de Loyola” Actor Andreas Munoz (Philippines / Spain)
13) Best Actress
Winner: “ Siphayo” Actress Nathalie Hart (Philippines)
14) Best Ensemble Acting
Winner: Cast of “Walang Take Two” (Philippines)
15) Best Director
Winner: “Aponi” John Bernard Richardson (USA)
16) Best Socially Relevant Film
Winner: “Filemon Mamon” Dir: Will Fredo Producer: Madonna Sanchez (Philippines)
17) Best Documentary
Winner: “Beyond the Block” Dir: Ricky Carranza (Finland)
18) Best Feature USA
Winner: “ Star Crossed Lovers” Dir: Francesco Nuzzi Prod: John Hedlund (USA)
19) Best Feature Global
Winner: “Gemini” Dir: Ato Bautista (Philippines)
20) Special Award Independent Achievement Award to
Winner: “Licentious” Brian Pollock (USA)
(Photos by Boyet Loverita and Edwin Josue)