"Ang Larawan" has been adjudged best picture at this year's Metro Manila Film Festival.
The musical based on a play by late National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin beat out Dan Villegas' "All of You" and the gorgeous paradise flick "Siargao" to take home the top prize in a ceremony held at Kia Theatre in Cubao Wednesday night.
It was the fifth award for the movie after it also won best actress (Joanna Ampil), best musical score, best production design and the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award.
The win came amid the film's struggles to stay in cinemas, having been dropped from more than 25 theaters across Metro Manila, just two days into the film fest.
But according to producers, they have been "slowly" regaining screens as of Wednesday thanks to fan outcry and positive reviews.
Set in prewar Manila, "Ang Larawan" tells the story of two sisters struggling to make ends meet after their painter father falls ill and fails to produce art — its theme of overcoming ravaging poverty remains unfortunately relatable even today.
Director Loy Arcenas was also nominated but lost out to Paul Soriano, who helped steer "Siargao" toward seven awards, the most for any entry this year.
The Erich Gonzales and Jericho Rosales-starrer won 2nd best picture, best supporting actress (Jasmine Curtis-Smith), best editing, best cinematography, best sound and best theme song.
Derek Ramsay won best actor for his film fest return in "All of You," wherein he was reunited with his leading lady, Jennylyn Mercado. They play two strangers who hook up via an app.